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The Independent Critic

STARRING
Liam Neeson, Jake Lloyd, Natalie Portman, Ewan McGregor
WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY
George Lucas
MPAA RATING
Rated PG
RUNNING TIME
133 Mins.
DISTRIBUTED BY
20th Century Fox
 "Star Wars- Episode 1" Review 
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It is not fair to bash child actors.
It is not fair to bash child actors.
It is not fair to bash child actors.

It is not fair to bash a child actor that I know personally...Okay, now that I've gotten that out of my system...well, doesn't Jake Lloyd, as Anakin, just completely suck in this film?

"Star Wars: Episode 1- The Phantom Menace" was an amazing disappointment for someone who loved the original trilogy of films. I kept watching this film...it has to get better...it just has to...it's got to get better. The cast had so much potential, but, I just never got into this film on any level. Of course, by now everyone knows the film features Liam Neeson, Ewan McGregor, Natalie Portman, the aforementioned Lloyd, and assorted others.

First...what works? Of course...the musical score is awesome...some of the action sequences work alright...McGregor and Neeson, while not fantastic...do a competent job here.

What doesn't work? SOOOOO much more...First off, sadly, I have to say that Natalie Portman is simply dreadful here. Jake Lloyd simply is the weakest link here cast-wise...Truthfully, I have no idea how he made it through auditions. Woefully miscast.

Of course, one doesn't need to talk about Jar Jar Binks anymore...bad, irritating character. Also in this film is an odd, annoying change of attitude about "The Force." In some ways, it felt like Lucas had turned it into a defect instead of a spiritual force.

The film also has serious pacing issues...both too fast and too slow.

In short, George Lucas really disappoints with this film....not a failure, but an amazingly disappointing film experience.

© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic

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