Jeff's Reviews

Thoughts on every movie I've ever seen.

Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace (1999)

Directed by George Lucas

Starring Ewan McGregor, Liam Neeson, Natalie Portman, Jake Lloyd


Pretty good story, although the immaculate conception bit was a bit hard to swallow. Introduces the saga nicely, and cleanly lays out the stories for the next two films of the series. A tad long and slow.

Just wish the characters were developed a bit more. The characters in this one, particularly the central characters Ewan and Liam (who are just carbon copies of each other), aren’t nearly as strong or interesting as the ones in the first series. Darth Maul was a bad-ass, but we don’t get to see him much. Five minutes tops. Would love to see him play a larger role in the next couple of films (there’s a running rumor that he’ll be cloned). Jar Jar gets annoying. Would have loved to see Darth Maul rip his scrotum off. Might have to watch the film a second time just to figure out what he’s saying. Jake did a pretty good job. One alien came from Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and another looked like the Fifth Element diva. Were they copies or are we really running out of alien forms? And the chrome space cruiser was the same damn one in Deal of the Century. Are they running out of spaceships too?

Typical Lucas. Choppy scenes (and a choppy story), cheesy fades. Obviously, effects have improved since the first series. Lots of fuzzy CGI. The pod-racing scene and the other battle sequences were awesome. I just wish they’d let us enjoy the special effects ride a bit longer instead of fast-cutting so much. More gore than I was expecting, which was nice. We get to see salamander dudes getting blown up and crushed. Definitely a space opera, with musical score through every scene. Were the other films like that too?

The audience was pretty excited for this one. We’ll just have to sit back and wait to see if it’s gonna sink the Titanic.

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