Two Jedi knights, apprentice Obi-Wan Kenobi and his master Qui-Gon Jinn attempt to resolve a dispute between the Trade Federation and planet Naboo. As the conflict escalates they discover ‘The Chosen One’, a young slave destined to bring balance to The Force.
This film is not currently playing on MUBI but 30 other great films are. See what's now showing
Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom MenaceDirected byGeorge Lucas
Time is the healer of all wounds. The world needed to see THE FORCE AWAKENS to understand why quirky (or quacky!) George Lucas is the 'special sauce' of Star Wars. Released in 1999, PHANTOM MENACE's greatest sin was that it dared be different. From the rolling Droidekas to Nute Gunray's Thai accent to the uncomfortable age gap between Anakin and Queen Amidala, it's George Lucas riffing on the weird and the wonderful.
The screenplay was pretty weak, and some background to the Jedi mythology would have been nice. But I love the chemistry between Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan, the hidden city, the podrace, the creativity of the Darth Maul and Nute Gunray characters, and the action sequences (some of the best of the whole saga). It was never going to live up to the originals, but it's still infinitely better than it's successors.
Coming armed with as much listless verbiage concerning trade negotiations as light sabres, TPM would work far better as a TV mini-series; instead, saddled with the mantle of being a Star Wars movie, it sinks under the weight of its fan's expectations, its nonsensical premise and lacklustre execution. (Pretty much copy and paste this comment for the next two movies.)
It introduced me to the saga at the age of four, and I still remember seeing it for the first time. Today, I can't help but feel conflicted. On the one hand, you've got Lucas' boundless imagination, Neeson, McGregor, Maul (what a badass) and some of John Williams' best work. On the other, an idiotic plot, truly grating aliens, midi-chlorians and Jake Lloyd. Much better than its reputation, but still highly uneven.
This is by far my favourite Star Wars movie. They actually got into the nitty-gritty of politics, Liam Neeson, Terence Stamp, Keira Knightly, Ewan McGregor, great cast all around. The final lightsaber fight is the best lightsaber fight ever done in all of star Wars, it introduced Duel of the Fates, the ending is just an ungodly amount of battle (cross-cutting in 4 battles). Yeah, this is really underrated. I love it.
The Prequel Trilogy is an oft reviled chapter in the history of the franchise. Obnoxious comic relief, an unclear and (frankly) unengaging story, and lack of character make this film weaker where its source material is strong. There are occasional good points, the soundtrack and lightsaber battles being among them, but the film still feels shallow and underwhelming.
This is a kid's movie right? I'm just a little confused about that because it seemed to me this was a very political film about the ins and outs of trade tariffs, and well I have a degree in economics but I found this shit confusing. This film is legit terrible, an awful MOVIE which disguises commerce as entertainment. Some of the most awfully boring talky scenes to sit through.