Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace

Film, Science fiction
Phantom Menace_Darth Maul2.jpg

Time Out says

If Lucas's brief '70s directorial career saw him regress further into immaturity at each step, it's hardly surprising that after a 22-year gestation his return to the fray should prove both so inanely childish and so thoroughly unskilled, however saturated with state-of-the-art special effects. What you don't expect is just how dramatically drab and impenetrable it proves: right from the opening title scroll, the film grinds its way from nonsensical plot exposition to anti-climactic finale through vast stretches of intergalactic tedium. The space-set pastichess of old-time childhood favourites - war films, underwater adventures, swashbucklers, Harryhausen-modelled Greek myths (McGregor's performance is straight out of a Gerry Anderson cartoon) - are familiar from the earlier films (as is the spiritual mumbo-jumbo), but the absolute dearth of human reference in Lucas's entirely imaginary universe must be almost unprecedented. With much of the action and most of the intrigue taking place off-screen (where are the baddies?), the menace's phantom nature at least seems clear: this is just a crude curtain-raiser of Episode II. Charmless, sexless, passionless and robot-humoured, it's preposterously uninvolving.

By: NB


Release details

Release date:
Friday February 10 2012
132 mins

Cast and crew

George Lucas
George Lucas
Natalie Portman
Liam Neeson
Brian Blessed
Ahmed Best
Pernilla August
Hugh Quarshie
Franz Oz
Ian McDiarmid
Terence Stamp
Celia Imrie
Anthony Daniels
Samuel L Jackson
Jake Lloyd
Ewan McGregor
Kenny Baker
Oliver Ford Davies
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