Read a Scathing ‘Star Wars: The Phantom Menace’ Review by None Other Than Eli Roth
These days, it's no secret that 'Star Wars: The Phantom Menace' is a fairly terrible movie, but back in 1999, the reaction was a little more mixed. These days, we know Eli Roth as the director of 'Hostel' and 'Cabin Fever,' but back in 1999 he was a writer trying to break into the industry. So what do you get when a young Mr. Roth anonymously (at the time) takes on one of the most disappointing movies ever? One of the most scathing movie reviews you'll ever read.
You can thank The Huffington Post's Mike Ryan for digging this review up, which was written for a now-defunct website called LeisureSuit.net, with the help of ScreenCrush's own Jordan Hoffman. Hoffman also an editor for the site, which he describes to Ryan as "a no budget culture zine we did on weekends from 98-00 that made no money but didn't lose any either."
So just how hard did Roth attack the 'Star Wars' flick? Here's a sample of Roth's frothing anger, which is about a decade ahead of its time in terms of sheer vitriol:
Let's start with the first problem of the movie, the title. What does it mean? I have no idea. Having seen the film, I still have no idea. I'm guessing it's a reference to Anakin Skywalker, but your guess is as good as mine. There are so many other glaring problems with this film that I don't even know where to begin. You should understand when you go to see it that this is truly a movie for kids. I remember suffering through Hook thinking, "Man, Spielberg's really lost it. He had kids, and it completely fucked him up. He's afraid to kill anybody--bad guys included." I think Lucas is going through something similar right now, having kids of his own. Somebody should kidnap his children or put him through another rocky divorce so he will take out suffering on his characters and not make everything so goddamn cutesy.
Ouch. Of course the man who made the black-hearted, viciously funny 'Hostel' films would suggest child abduction as the key to reviving George Lucas' career. You can read the full review (and Roth's response to the review being unearthed) over at HuffPost now.