I still maintain that The (theatrical cut of the) Phantom Menace has aged the best out of the prequels. It’s pacing, it’s tonal consistency mixed with using actual sets, miniatures, costumes, etc. It’s sound design is absolutely fantastic. It’s a competently made movie that’s bogged down by cringe slapstick and bad writing. Overall though, it’s a 5.5/10.
I concur. Visual design, sound design and soundtrack, great sets and props, and that overall feel of a wonderous, new universe are strong point of TPM and this makes it the best prequel movie for me. I find it to be more of a boring than a bad movie. And one that can be salvaged by a good fan edit. I wonder if Deepfake will soon be advanced and easy enough to use by someone to attempt to “hack” AotC’s 19 year old Anakin into TPM as a more rogue-ish hotshot pilot wannabe Jedi in place of 9 year old Jake Lloyd. That, and a suitable replacement for Jar Jar plus some dialogue changes and minor restructuring might actually turn it into a solid, good movie.
The less said about AotC, the better. There are a few good things about it - I liked some of the vehicle designs, Across the Stars, Geonosis as a locale and Jango vs Obi-Wan on Kamino was a refresher from lightsaber duels - but overall it is just a bad, boring movie. I see it best serving as a source for fan edits of TPM and RotS as a duology.
RotS is a mess. It has frequent tonal shifts that completely take you out of the moment, such as the jarring switches between serious (and great) and terribly badly written, acted and directed segments of the Battle of Coruscant. The movie does have some, few, high points. Padme’s ruminations scene comes to mind. But its lows are really, truly bad. People sitting on sofas and talking Yes, RLM was right about this one and it definitely has not aged well. With some exceptions, them being parts the space battle and the duel on Mustafar, the CGI has aged very badly. The climactic duels were too drawn out and over the top, Order 66 was a boring montage, Grevious was awful and Dooku died way too early. Anakin’s fall was just atrocious.
Someone very talented with a decent budget could cut AotC and RotS into a decent, watchable movie. But for me, RotS has never been a favourite and in fact, has aged quite poorly
Apologies for typos, writing from mobile.