I mean for major, big budget films.
Considering the track record of those involved, the money put into this film, the talent of most of the lead actors, the cultural impact and magic of the first two films (ANH and ESB), and the expectations, I really do think that The Phantom Menace is the worst film ever made. It is easily the worst movie that I have ever seen.
From the underwhelming opening scroll I knew something was wrong. Tax and trade disputes kicked of the entire saga; sad but true. Aliens with Chinese accents, etc x1000.
I don’t want to spend anymore time recalling the atrocity but when I saw it in the theater back in 1999, as the closing credits rolled I actually entertained the thought that I had been the victim of a practical joke of some kind and that Lucas would walk into the theatre laughing and announce “okay, now I’ll show you the real movie.” I’m serious about that. I really thought that the crap I had just witnessed was a prank by George Lucas.
And pretty much all the actors today have distanced themselves from it. Poor Jake Lloyd seems to have PTSD because of Episode 1.
Lucas is a hack who got lucky.
One theory is that Lucas needs someone to hold the reins a bit. The fewer people he had to answer to, the worse his movies got.
TPM probably has the largest difference between expectations and reality of any movie.
I don’t think Lucas is a hack that got lucky (although I’ll agree the success of the original trilogy was a product of more than just Lucas). My guess is that the second trilogy failed because of Lucas’ growing hubris.
So, not seen the Transformers series, I take it…
It’s not even close to the worst big budget film ever made, but I absolutely hate it. There are many, many worse multi million dollar movies.
Indeed. Watching documentaries about the making of the prequels is depressing. He is surrounded by yes men and women that nod and agree with literally everything he says.
Go out and find yourself a copy of the Wing Commander movie. Don’t actually watch it, mind; that’d likely cause your brain to leap out of your skull and skitter away in protest. But take in your hold. Hold the case and reflect that the best- the absolute, very best part of this movie, was the preview for The Phantom Menace that it and it alone had in its theatrical release.
Reflect that I say that having seen The Phantom Menace.
So no, it’s not the worst big-budget movie ever made. Not even close.
Its way better than the Star Wars Holiday Special.
(Yeah, I know, not a big budget thing…but still, when you are reaching for the bottom, the Star Wars franchise does know where it is, and missed it by a lot with TPM).
The prequels are horribly flawed films, but they are ambitious(maybe too ambitious) and are kind of unique in that Palpatine is not only the villain but he wins, Ian gives an amazing performance too.
I guess one of the few things I loved was the story of a chess master villain who wins, and amazingly this part is well written. You realize the Jedi and republic were trapped even in TPM, no matter what happens Palpatine wins.
Too many other candidates that are far worse. The Phantom Menace was just mediocre. Battlefield Earth was bad in every single aspect, for instance.
Quite possibly, but this is due more to the height of the expectations than to the quality of the movie.
Phantom Menace? Please. Foodfight!
This. The potential, audience and not unreasonable expectations set a high bar, and it came in as a bottom feeder. There are many big budget flops, but it’s the gulf that kills this one.
Napoleon! Like anyone could know that.
Those weren’t expected to be good, only profitable.
Phantom Menace still had a lot of fun stuff. Much of it sucked – midichlorians and Jar Jar and little kid Anakin. But I loved the lightsaber battles and even liked the pod-racing.
Bad Star Wars movie, mediocre blockbuster, in my opinion.
I liked it, but it is the weakest Star Wars film, definitely. Darth Maul is a genuine highlight, as is Liam Neeson. I actually saw it twice when it was in theaters.
Reported for a forum change.
BTW, I agree with the OP.
My take on recently re-watching TPM: Lucas turned the quirky/cheesy/oddball vibe of the Cantina scene in ANH and crafted an entire movie around it. And it sucked.
“People loved all the weird and funny aliens in the Cantina,” he thought. “Let’s do a whole movie like that!” he thought. I’m actually surprised he didn’t have the Cantina Band’s music on loop in the background during the movie. Who knows-- may have actually improved it.
ETA: I did like Darth Maul.