Saturday, February 11, 2012

Forgiving the Unforgiveable

Yes, the Phantom Menace was an incredible disappointment, a huge letdown after years of waiting for the story that sets up the best trilogy in movie-dom (Godfather has the best sequel but not the best trilogy).  As I noted before, it is probably only better than Attack of the Clones but worse than all of the other Star Wars movies.   But with the re-release of PM, this time in extra-expensive and gratuitous 3D, it is time to reflect at the good and awful in the prequel. 

Ok, first the easy stuff--the bad:
  1. Jake Lloyd starts the tradition of bad Anakin acting.
  2. Bastardization of the force:  midichlorians?  Later on, the whole "we do not marry" crap is just stupid.  The original trilogy makes it clear that force talent is genetic, so the Jedi will make sure to select out that talent by preventing those with the talent from having genes in the pool.
  3. Jar Jar Binks.  Meesa say no more.  The only good thing about JJB is that he casts the deciding vote in the next movie that gives the Chancellor/Emperor more power.
  4. The pod race plot. The race was fine, especially as with Greg Proops as the play by play guy, but the whole "let's risk the kid's life so that we can get some money to fix the ship" plot device was just stupid.  A Jedi would figure out another way.  
  5. Oh, and the acting, writing, and directing.
I could go on.  Remind me of the awful stuff that I have repressed from my memory.

The good stuff.  Yes, there is good within the movie, I feel it.
  1. Obviously, the fight scenes are actually quite good.  Darth Maul is quite persuasively a badass, and the two Jedi demonstrate what it means to be fully trained, compared to Luke.
  2. The politics.  No, not the trade federation stuff, but the manipulation of events, including a nice diversionary war, to empower Palpatine.
  3. Young Obi Wan is pretty cool, and has good chemistry with Qui Jon as the movie starts with their attack on the blockading ship.  Plus we get introduced to Jedi Sam Jackson. 
So, will I go see it in the new re-release?  I could imagine doing so if it was not in 3D, but that makes the movie more expensive and tips the scales.  Instead, I will just ponder the Emperor's employment prospects:

1 comment:

Robert McClelland said...

The best reviews of the Star Wars prequels you'll ever see. They're long but far more entertaining than the movies were.