Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Star Wars: The Phantom Menace

The Phantom Menace is actually getting a bit of odd resurgence lately with some rather misguided individuals suddenly claiming the prequels, due to all their daring ideas, are better than the Force Awakens which was certainly derivative in many areas. Those individuals forget one thing though it's movie, you want a movie to be engaging the Force Awakens succeeded in that, the prequels on the other hand. Now on the point of Lucas's concepts there's many visuals of worlds. Visuals that are framed in always a banal fashion, so what's the point. We know nothing of these species and none of them house characters we care about it. Instead we get the infamous Jar Jar which can be used as a great example of how not to use comic relief in a film. How about our trusty humans? Well Ewan McGregor is wasted as young Obi-Wan, since they keep him in the ship, Liam Neeson begins his middle period between dramatic leading man, and action badass as doomed stoic mentor who is character who can only be described as stoic mentor. The worst of it comes in our pivotal character Anakin Skywalker the whole reason for the prequels existence really. Jake Lloyd perhaps unfortunately was the worst prominent child actor of all time. There needed to be at least an idea of Darth from the very beginning some conflict. Instead we get a cute kid, despite being slave. The majority of the action is weightless CGI, in some very poorly paced sequences the worst of them being the quite awful pod race sequence. However not all of the film is bad just most of it. Darth Maul looks cool, his light saber is cool, the song the duel of fates is cool, and his showdown with the Jedis is cool as well as has the only moment in the film that has any emotional weight to it. Unfortunately even that sequence is interspersed with other terrible scenes, but hey at least there were some new worlds, at least new in that they had a new name and establishing shot. No not really, who cares about concepts in the long run if you don't intertwine it with good storytelling.

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