It all looks very forced
POOR old Phantom Menace is intergalactically regarded as the worst vehicle to ever carry a Star Wars badge on its grille.
Now here it comes again, reversing into cinemas with a bright and shiny new 3D paint job.
Actually, scratch the bit about bright and shiny. For the most part, the sludgy re- processing of the original 1999 footage leaves everything looking as if it was lensed through a wet, worn sock.
The film itself remains as chunky and clunky an origin story as you’ll encounter.
Sure, it’s nice’n’all to be there when young Anakin Skywalker ( Jake Lloyd) first meets his future mentor Obi- Wan Kenobi ( Ewan Mcgregor). Ditto the historic teaming of R2- D2 and C- 3PO. And Liam Neeson is still holding the classiest of straight faces in ridiculous circumstances as the noble Jedi Knight Qui- Gon.
But it’s not so nice with stinky Jar- Jar Binks craning over everyone’s shoulder, whooping and whimpering in that weird Rastafarian- leprechaun accent of his.
And the dialogue throughout the picture is so devoid of life you’d swear it was written with a ouija board.
The likes of Mcgregor and Natalie Portman must blush from top to toe whenever they recall mouthing a script that gave them the appearance of talking fence- posts.
Only one sequence – the epic pod race on the planet Tatooine – goes close to making any worthwhile use of the 3D format.
The rest will only please Star War- riors with too much time on their hands.