for sustained sequences of sci-fi action/violence.
as Obi-Wan Kenobi
Samuel L. Jackson
Let's start with the love story. We all know in the future Anakin and Amidala wed and have children, so we need to now see how all that started. Anakin, who was very young when he first met Amidala, says that he dreamt of her every night for ten years and has been in love with her since. Amidala, after a long while, admits to being in love with Anakin as well. We're not really shown why they care for each other, other than they're both young, attractive people, but since most romantic comedies rarely let the audience understand why the couple love each other, I can let that pass. They certainly are a handsome couple. Hayden Christensen is a stud in the making, with a look that for some reason reminds me of a more hard-edge Paul Walker, with a little bit of Tom Cruise thrown in. And Natalie Portman has always been a beautiful and talented leading lady, but who knew her abs looked so good? It's a good thing they are so good looking, because some of their dialogue with each other is extremely cheesy and groan-inducing. And scenes like them sitting on a blanket having a picnic and Amidala running through the fields while Anakin rides a creature seemed out of place in this story. But within the 2+ hour running time, you do get a feeling for them, and do start to care about them and their relationship, even though you know by the next film, something will go horribly wrong. Or horribly good if you're a fan of the dark side.
Then there's the rest of the movie. Not being a huge fan of the Star Wars Saga, I'm not very good at keeping up with characters and story lines. So when it was mentioned that a Senator ten years ago ordered the creation of the Clone army, I had no idea who they were talking about. And trying to remember back to the original trilogy and making sense of what happens now, knowing what will happen in the future... well let's say if you think too much, smoke might start coming out of your ears. Clones, by itself, for the most part made sense to me. If I am correct, then Count Dooku was more or less a diversion while Palpatine gained control over the Republic and control over the Clone army, which in itself is a pretty interesting story. So (as long as I'm actually correct), I was able to follow the story within this movie, although I'm still not sure how everything fits in to everything else that has and will happen. But that is my own problem.
The entire movie was one large special effect. There wasn't one scene where there wasn't some kind of CGI going on, either in the forefront, or in the background. The chase scene towards the beginning was rather fun, if also rather dark and at times hard to see. The big battle scene towards the end with Mace Windu (Samuel L. Jackson) finally getting into it was also pretty good. And of course the final battle scene with Count Dooku fighting first Obi-Wan, then Anakin and finally the kick-ass Yoda, was the highlight of the film. The rumble in the theater when Yoda went into his fighting stance, and then starting kicking some serious ass was just downright cool. I had heard about Yoda's fight scene before I went into the film, but was still impressed, and I hope he gets a longer fight scene in the next installment. The CGI this time out wasn't as annoying as the last film. It all seemed to flow together a little better and while there were still times where it was overdone (again the scene with Anakin riding some kind of creature was just unnecessary), it worked better than in the previous film.
THE BOTTOM LINE
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Star Wars: Episode I -
The Phantom Menace
Star Wars Trilogy
The Stars of Star Wars:
Interviews from the Cast
© 2002 Wolfpack Productions