Intellectual Dishonesty: A Commentary

Someone on my Twitter feed had retweeted a post on some sf/geek site or other on five ways the prequels were great and five awful things about Eps IV-VI. Now right off the bat, I don’t think it’s necessary or even desirable to put one trilogy down to make the other one look better. But it’s become ridiculous how many prequel detractors put treat the “originals” like “The Godfather” and the prequels like “The Room.” Every criticism leveled at the prequels was also leveled at the first set of movies as well. I figured the post was in the spirit of removing the mote in one trilogy’s eye before pointing out perceived flaws in the other, so I checked it out.

The author lost me when very early on he says, “The prequels suck.” He bashes the films before moving on to the five great things about them.

The only redeeming value a bad movie might have is if it’s so bad, it’s funny. Nothing, or close to nothing, goes right with a truly bad movie: not the direction, not the script, not the cinematography, not the acting. If it doesn’t offer the kitschy, ironic charms of a “Plan 9 From Outer Space” or the kind of fare on MST3K, it can be excruciating to watch. There’s nothing great about a bad movie.

There are a lot of hit-and-miss films; that’s probably the bulk of what gets made. There are movies that aren’t bad per se but are annoying, offensive, boring, or just plain not your taste. But those aren’t movies that “suck.”

No, this author obviously knew what I know: if you say anything positive at all about the prequels, the internet zombies will arise from their graves to unleash their flames upon you. Saying that the prequels suck is just his way of laying cover fire for the rest of his post.

This is intellectually dishonest and cowardly. Have the guts to point out what’s good in the prequels without having to sop to what you think is popular opinion. I would have more respect for the opinion of someone who hates all of the movies with a passion than for a half-baked, half-hearted defense like the one I read.

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