I must admit that I was a huge fan of Star Wars. Sure, obviously not to the point of wackiness like buying the novels and buying toy figures or Yoda dolls like some people I know and heard of, but I loved it. I loved the concept and how it was played (even though if you look at it closer, it’s pretty much a Western in disguise) and the science and mystery that surrounded it, plus the FX and those cool X-wing planes, and even though it kind of started winding down in the 3rd and last installment, I still enjoyed it. I noticed that in the first one (as well as everyone else) it was titled “EPISODE 4,” and that threw me off a bit, since I was like, “Well, where’s the other 3 movies?” My question remained unanswered until late 1997 when the first 3 films were re-released in Mexico (as far as I know, they were never released there in the first place) with added FX (which of course kicked more ass), and with the announcement that the prequel, Episode 1 was well underway. Fast-forward 2 years, and finally I received Episode 1 with open arms… or so I thought. Before I went to the theater, I read the Newsweek article special they did during lunch at High School, and the reviews of the film read of an utter disappointment, and that people would go see it anyway because, hell, it’s Star Wars; in other words, the film was completely critic-proof. My friends told me that was all bullshit; that critics are always like that, criticizing every film they see. That, plus me being a fan plus when I saw the huge box-office hit it was becoming, it was a no-brainer. It was “THE event” and you had to see it. So I took my uncle (whom is also a big SW fan) with me and we went to see it. My delight shrunk to mild annoyance, to disappointment, to anguish, and all the way to utter wretchedness. What the hell was that? Where was the magic? I couldn’t believe it. My uncle and I left the theater ripped off and vowed never to see it again… until a few weeks ago, when my dad asked me to rent it since he never saw it, so here I am, once again, taking the opportunity in reviewing this film.Ok, so a corporation called the Trade Federation has turned greedy and evil and is causing a great deal of shit in the Republic, so in order for their evil plans to get rolling (which obviously are to take over the Republic) they decide to invade peaceful Planet Nebu. Right, since that a hell of a lot easier than just simply make a coup-d’etat. And they’re invading it because, they don’t accept the Federation Treaties, so now, they’ll invade them and force them to sign the treaty, so the war can be made legal. Why go through all this trouble? Hell, everyone knows wars are always illegal (Remember Operation Iraqi Freedom), it’s pretty much written everywhere in history, and in essence, makes for a ridiculous plot hole, but pretend it makes sense and move on. The Republic, after realizing how incompetent it is to face off against the Trade Federation (which makes this film even more dumber), sends two Jedi Knights –Qui-Gon Jinn (Liam Neeson) and Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor)- as ambassadors to try and negotiate some peace treaty which, duh, obviously ain’t gonna happen. So they go in, they get shot at, they land, bump into an outcast Gungan called Jar-Jar Binks (the beginning of the nightmare), take him along for the ride, rescue Queen Amidala (Natalie Portman) and manage to unbelievably weave through the blockade of Federation ships and escape. Along the way they pick up Annakin Skywalker (Jake Lloyd), and go to planet Corouscant to try and attempt to stop the invasion with aid of Senator Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid), and from there, go back to Tatooine and try and repel the invasion
"An insult to the original"
First of all, this film is lame; the entire screenplay is lame. The first signs of irk ness strike first during the opening credits, as you get the initial layout of why this is happening, nothing wrong there, but the big fucker cracks open the minute that Jar Jar Binks comes into the picture. Ok, I’m not the first one to bash George Lucas with this crap heap monstrosity that is obviously out of place in the entire freaking movie, which is of course, nothing but a blatant attempt to water this film down for little kids to see it (I’ll get to that later). But man, the ridiculous Jedi dialogue, the total absence of character development, and his over reliance on CGI just make him look even worse than what he already is. Qui-Gon in many scenes recites philosophical rambling on so many obvious moments you just want to go like “No shit Qui-Gon, wanna tell me what color Washington’s white horse is?” Completely annoying and ridiculous, it’s like having an announcer behind your shoulder describing your every move and annoying the living shit out of you. And it will get even worse since Yoda is also given several ridiculous dialogues; with shit like “Hard to see, the dark side is,” it makes him just plain embarrassing to watch, especially since it's so easy to tell who the fuck is the Phantom Menace. And if these guys are so smart and know the force and all that shit, why didn’t they recognize immediately who Queen Amidala is, or the freaking Phantom Menace for that matter?
It shocks me that there’s no character development here in this film. Who is Qui-Gon? Why is he a Jedi? Where did he come from? Who’s Obi-Wan Kenobi? Who’s Queen Amidala? Is She a Virgin? Has she been laid? What’s a Sith? Who’s the fucker in the dark overcoat? Who the fuck is Senator Palpatine? There isn’t a single character in this film that we can relate to, or is involving, or is of any interest to us, unless of course you’re a retard, then it’s possible you can relate to Jar Jar fucking Binks. Sure, a few things are told about Annakin (duh), but not enough to involve you in into him, and in the end, you could care less about him, especially due to the lame dialogue he spouts out and the completely wooden performance of Jake Lloyd. I actually liked this kid in Ah-nuld’s Christmas comedy disaster Jingle All The Way, but over here he’s just painful. His emotions show up in the wrong places, and most of the time he’s just reciting his dialogue instead of acting (Example: The scene where Annakin says goodbye to C-3PO, the robot he made). This just makes for more annoying shit and you’ll be less interested in his character due to these distractions. Jar Jar Binks is probably the worst of the two, this guy is simply a computer crapshoot, there’s no emotion in him, and no character. He and his entire fucking race are just a hole in the movie, in which all kinds of stupid shit spout about. Both of these characters are pointless, YES, even Annakin, and that my friends is the real fucker.
THIS FUCKING MOVIE WAS WRITTEN FOR KIDS. It’s a comic book; to quote Erik Childress: Nothing in it is real, not even the humans. Overfilled and over-relied with CGI FX all the way to ad-nauseaum, flat story, flat characters, ridiculous action scenes, an ending so fucked up it’s tragic. I can’t believe that those fucking robot soldiers aren’t able to shoot straight at the fucking Jedi’s. Not a single shot those little fuckers shoot ever hits them, and it’s like 40 of those against 2? It seems that their purpose there is just to get whacked and chopped all over by the Jedi’s. Hell, if I were the Trade Federation honcho, I’d fire whoever designed those fucking robots. Give me some real soldiers for Christ sake. The pod race –which I admit it was cool- is the only highlight in the movie, and ridiculously enough, it becomes the entire point of the movie. What the hell, man? Why base your story all around a single, unimportant plot element? And finally, words cannot describe the excruciating pain that I felt in the climatic ending, and it just fortifies my point even further. The original Star Wars worked not only for the obvious reasons that it had interesting characters and quite a good story, but also because it was a film for everyone. You could take it seriously and even take it lightheartedly and it would still work in so many ways. It was a film for kids and adults and everyone enjoyed it. Not here, Lucas has child pedophilia so far up his ass that he thinks that the kids market will make the trick so that this film would be successful. Isn’t that a great combination? Star Wars and kids, excellent marketing strategy, more Yoda dolls sold, more toy light sabers sold, more Jar Jar Binks statues sold (Hell, a neighbor has this huge fucking Jar Jar Binks statue in his room, no shit), more happy meals, games, all in the name of George Lucas and his Star Wars franchise. Please put me out of my misery. Lucas is so busy jumping from the climatic Jedi/Sith fight to the god-awful shitty adventures of Annakin in outer space that the climatic buildup is chopped over and over, and when the time comes, and the music stops, it’s all a huge void, so huge that you just want to sigh in disbelief. Thanks a lot George for anally raping what it was a solid and well-made franchise, and it’s even sadder that he’s destroying his own creation. Hey, did you know this was Lucas’s first film he’s directed since FUCKING 1977? No wonder he can’t direct worth a damn these days. Hello, George, ever heard of a slogan called “practice hard, don’t hardly practice?” You can see he’s struggling, the aforementioned climatic battle sequences, an over reliance of one-camera shots and annoying close-ups (especially at the beginning of the movie and during light-saber fights), and his unwillingness to push his actors to actually act, and just use them as mere drones and let the CGI take over the freaking movie, which is just a fatal mistake. Worse, he had like 20 years to tighten this script and make it better. 20 FUCKING YEARS, MAN! The cast is struggling; Liam Neeson is clearly embarrassed and lost in the entire film, you can tell that he’s uncomfortable. Ewan McGregor is a tree. Natalie Portman is a tree. Jake Lloyd, don’t get me started. And what the hell is Samuel Jackson doing there?In the end, stay away from this filth. I for the life of me can’t believe that Lucas sacrificed his talent to appease the Ghouls of the Box Office, and didn’t even spent a single shred of time after all these years of preparation to make his script and his movie a lot better than what it came out. Words fail me, really. From the glory of American Graffiti, the original Star Wars, and Indiana Jones to this sack of shit, it’s sad, really sad. Stick with the first three, avoid this one like the plague, and if you buy it, be sure to watch it whenever nobody is looking, or be prepared to pay the consequences. (0-5)
link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=723&reviewer=235
originally posted: 07/18/03 12:13:18