You all know the story from back in 1999, the prequel of how young Anakin Skywalker – played here by cutesy Jake Lloyd – began his journey on the road to Jedi Knight status, while harbouring a darker side that would later reveal itself in Episode III. The hope was that the latest offering in 3D would turn George Lucas’s 2D The Phantom Menace with its fairly average storyline into an interactive Star Wars 3D Mecca for fans who have been longing to see the spaceships and lightsabers fly out of the screen towards them while re-immersing them in the intergalactic battle of good verses evil.
Never say never to revamps, especially with new technology to hand, but what has happen here is nothing short of pimping up a lame dog of a storyline that was on shaky legs in the first place – and this reviewer had blissfully forgotten how irritating Jar Jar Binks was. There is also the more troubling feeling that leaves an unpleasant taste in the mouth at being charged 3D ticket prices for reliving the whole tedious experience once more. Granted, some fans will be happy to do this, regardless.
The 3D only works in dramatically contrasting sequences such as the bright spacecraft against space and planets in the battle scenes. Unfortunately, a lot of the darker-exposed moments of the film and night-time/underwater shots do not render as well, merely creating fuzzy images where the 3D technique has been applied, lazily adding a little more depth of field in most cases. Coupled with the fact that a vast majority of the film is still watchable in 2D – if you lift your specs, and because Lucas’s grand vistas often show all the action playing from left to right, the 3D effects feel underused and oversold.
The only plus point is introducing newbies to the big-screen Star Wars experience – if the 3D price is right for you. Short of that, the flying thrill rides and Ewan McGregor and Liam Neeson cringeworthy Jedi portrayals can still be enjoyed just as well in 2D, straight out of the DVD/Blu-ray boxset.