The Phandom Menace Movie Review

There are Star Trek fans, and there are Star Wars fans. And while Trekkies gives you sci-fi geeks in there truly extreme glory, The Phandom Menace gives us an inside look at Australian Star Wars fanatics on the eve of the release of Episode I.

The usual points are hit -- the outrageous values of collectable figures and chicken restaurant promotional items, the outrageous excitement of the fans before the show, and the outrageous willingness to forgive the film its faults after the fact ("I love Jar Jar Binks... I think he's a cool character.").

Some of this is amusing -- the guy in the Boba Fett costume who complains of getting his nuts caught in the codpiece, the fan club president who is virtually heckled offstage while reading a letter from Lucasfilm before the movie begins, the fan films with Star Wars figures or toddlers as Jawas (full disclosure: I made these films when I was a kid, too). But some of this isn't radically different than your local news -- with tons of reaction from the populace about whether they liked the movie or not. Needless to say, the "talking head" shots wear you down, namely because everyone is saying the same thing.

If The Phandom Menace had been made with a more cynical eye -- and to be honest, if it had been just plain meaner, like Trekkies -- it would have been much better. As it stands, there are moments of curiosity and moments of boredom... a lot like The Phantom Menace, come to think of it.

The DVD (the only place you'll find this movie) includes a few extras, including a commentary from the directors and, oddly, one from the cast, as well as a few extended interview sequences/outtakes.

Cast & Crew

Director : Craig E. Tonkin, Warwick Holt

Producer : Craig E. Tonkin, Warwick Holt


Comments

The Phandom Menace Rating

" OK "

Rating: NR, 2000

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