I am NOT a Star Wars fan, and I am NOT a 3D upconvert fan either (although The Lion King 3D showed it can work). But the latter certainly seems to have started a fad with this, Titanic, and Finding Nemo all receiving widespread 3D re-releases in the next few months. Ok, I understand that Toy Story 1 and 2 did it first, but it was The Lion King that was so successful.
So, if I hate Star Wars, and hate upconverts, why was I there? Simple. Joseph loves Star Wars and I wanted to at least give Micah the chance to experience the saga on the big screen.
This also gave me the chance to reappraise the film again, to see if it is as bad as it seems. And my opinion really hasn’t changed much. Somewhere in here, there is a good film struggling to get out. But as the film progresses this is buried more and more. The film starts off promisingly enough. Naboo is being blockaded, and Obi Wan and Qui-Gonn Jinn are sent to mediate. They very quickly get caught up in the ensuing battle however, before escaping in a ship. They get hit and have to take refuge on Tattoine, where they meet a little boy with a big destiny.
The plot is full of necessary exposition. I say necessary, because the story that Lucas is telling is a political one. But boy does it make the story dull. Lucas tries to liven it up by constantly wipe-cutting between different scenes in different locations – but he does this like he is suffering a bad case of ADHD. No scenes are given room to breathe. Yet, bizarrely sometimes scenes are extended beyond necessity to allow for some stupid immature sight gag to happen in the background. Make films for children, sure, but they still have brains. Don’t patronise them!
In addition, the script is even more dire than I remember. Notorious is the line “You have given hope to those who have none Anni!” but there are worse, much worse.
“Alway 2 there are a master and an apprentice!”
“I wonder which one was killed” (pregnant pause) “the master or the apprentice?”
I mean, Jesus!
So the script is poor, the pacing is off, and the acting – well quite frankly it is appalling. And don’t even start me on Jar-Jar. It does make me laugh when Star Wars fans who accept Ewoks dis Lucas for putting Jar-Jar in. Talk about inconsistent. But I’m not a fan so I can slag off both. But the nasty racial steretyping being shown with Jar-Jar and the fleet captain really is naughty. And Darth Maul’s makeup is just laughable.
Positives? Well, it’s always good seeing Liam Neeson in a role and he does well here, exuding calm. McGregor and Jackson are good as well. But everyone else is wooden as they come.
The 3D? As feared totally unnecessary. I can count on the fingers of one hand the number of times I noticed the 3D effect and even then I had to strain to notice it. The pod race, which really could benefit from 3D is as flat as anything?
Worth it then? Well – the kids kept their interest (at one point Micah woke me up as apparently I was starting to snore) but the reality is you have to be a pretty rabid fan to get much out of this at all. Or under 10.