Movie Review: Star Wars: Episode One 3D

Darth Maul is back, this time waving his wand in 3D.  “Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace” was poorly received by critics when it debuted, so does it fare any better with its new up-conversion?

Not really.  The sci-fi adventure contains so many mistakes in casting, characters and direction, it’s still terribly difficult to like.

The story is basically sound. But, writer-director George Lucas should have delegated the screenplay and piloting to someone more experienced and savvy.  So many mistakes along the way.

Since this is only a summary, and not an essay or formal review, let me short-list the major disappointments:

1.  Dumbing it down for small children.  That includes the disaster they call Jar Jar Binks.  But, also the flawed performance of Jake Lloyd as Anakin Skywalker.

2. Actors being allowed to perform badly: Natalie Portman, Keira Knightley, Samuel L. Jackson and Lloyd all needed help from a good director.  They didn’t get it.

3. The writing. Dull, stilted and childish.

On the positive side:

1. Good performances from Liam Neeson, Ewan McGregor and Ray Park.

2. Darth Maul was truly something to get excited about.  He was a product of technology and competent acting skills.

3.  The fight scenes were well-executed and absorbing.

4. Tech credits are just what you would expect from George Lucas.

So, how was the 3D?  No better than any other film up-converted to the format.  Your eyes strain to spot any differences from the original film.  But, after a while you just sit back and watch it like any other film.

Grade: C


Watch the trailer!