Variety falsely claims that The Phantom Menace ‘was ravaged by critics’
““Star Wars” flew back into theaters in 1999 with the start of the prequel series, which was… less well received, to say the least. The first in that series, “The Phantom Menace,” was ravaged by critics and fans even as it made big money at the box office.”
In 2005, Rotten Tomatoes calculated that 62% of critics had given The Phantom Menace a positive review.
Funny how something can be savaged by fans and still make a lot of money…
Poor fact-checking likely combined with a Hollywood/corporate agenda. Roast the rebel George Lucas. And take the easy/lazy path of not bothering to do a drop of research before casually taking another dump in the lake. After all, if you’re an industry publication, you’re only telling people what they want to hear, right?
We can’t pretend that critics felt they had sat down and seen a masterpiece or something on the level of the white-hot experience of the original. But very few films earn such overwhelming approval (and those that do aren’t always the ones that people remember).
It would be fairer to claim that critics generally didn’t rate the characters or storyline highly — but they did generally approve of the film as well-designed, imaginative spectacle. Short article from the official site:
Fans — or casual moviegoers, at least — did seem to like the film on the whole; as captured by Gallup polling in 1999:
I was very happy with TPM when it came out. It was something brand new and added a whole lot of new stuff to the universe. After only having the OT to watch all those years up until TPM. I seenit multiple times in the theater. And once during the 3D release.
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