Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace in 3D

WRITTEN BY: George Lucas
DIRECTED BY: George Lucas
STARRING: Liam Neeson, Ewan McGregor, Natalie Portman
RATING: 3.5 stars for the original film and 1 star for the 3D effects

I am a Star Wars fan. I'm not one of those fans who dresses up and attends conventions. But I do get a little excited at the sight of someone dressed up as Yoda. He's cool. Don’t pretend to disagree. Do I wish I had Jedi powers? Of course, but who doesn't? My point is, I like the franchise. What I don’t appreciate is George Lucas sucking people dry of their hard-earned money to watch the films on the big screen in 3D. I was bitterly disappointed with the so-called 3D effects in Episode I: The Phantom Menace.

I'm going to assume that you've already seen all the Star Wars films, so I'm not going to give you a run-down of the plot. I have no intention of starting a debate about whether they should have released episodes four, five and six (the original trilogy) before episodes one, two and three either. I'm sure hard core fans have a strong opinion about this.

What I want to criticise is the lack of 3D effects. I'm not sure why Hollywood is insisting on adding 3D to films that weren't filmed that way in the first place. Do they not realise it doesn't add anything to the film? It is very clearly a money grabbing exercise. Even the great lightsaber fight between Qui-Gon Jinn (Liam Neeson) and Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) versus Darth Maul (Ray Park) towards the end of the film doesn't make good use of the 3D, nor does some of the good flight sequences that could have used a 3D injection.

If you aren't a massive Star Wars fan, there really isn't much point in seeing Phantom Menace on the big screen in 3D, unless you just want to see it again at the cinema, because the 3D effects are lacking. As a film reviewer, will my disappointment in Phantom Menace stop me from watching the other Star Wars films in 3D at the cinema? Probably not. Does it discourage me from wanting to watch other 2D films turned into 3D like the upcoming release of Titanic? No. I'll still give it a try, but trust me when I say it probably isn't worth you spending money on.