I liked the Phantom Menace as a little kid, and I still like it today. That dies not mean that I don't see the huge problems: quite a few of the plot details, the lack of anything for Darth Maul to do, some painful acting here and there, Jar Jar, ect. I see them very clearly. I am just able to forgive them because the overall plot is still good, the new music is just as good as it ever is in a Star Wars movie, and the action is exciting.
There is one thing, though, that I cannot and will not overlook. When our heroes arrive on Tattooine, a barran, desert planet populated by criminals and run by the mafia-like huts, Jar Jar Binks for some reason goes with the party that scouts the nearby settlement for a new hyperdrive. No one even questioned whether it was a good idea to take the amphibious swamp alien with a talent for getting into trouble into a desert environment where keeping a low profile is key. BS. Pure BS.
It is an asinine stuation, but it is one of many in the movie. So why can I forgive the others and not this one one? Because this is just Lucas shoving the most hated character in his franchise down our throats even when it makes absolutely no sense. Jar Jar has nothing to contribute plotwise on Tatooine (Anakin did not have to save him from the Dug for them to end up at his house) and no purpose being there, yet there he is, chewing scenery and distracting us from the important stuff going on.
While I can forgive every other flaw, this one thing is enough to make me question whether Lucas actually thought anything through when it came to the Phantom Menace.