Comments on watching and making films.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

I'm not going to bother doing the traditional review tactic of giving you some kind of hint at what this film is about. I'm really not sure what I could say that would do it justice and still not give away the plot. The plot, in fact, is so strangely insane that I don't really feel like I can discuss it at all without giving it away.

I can say this, though - the film had me for the first half. It felt like I was a kid again, sitting in a darkened theater and watching Last Crusade (which I like, by the way. I say that because most people don't). When the second half came around, though... They lost me. Real quick. It turned into cartoonish spectacle and just seemed kind of stupid, which, I don't understand, because they managed to keep away from all of that in the first three films. Why did they feel the need to go into it here? It just doesn't make any sense.

Things I did like about it - 

1. I liked that it was post-war, and they just said "Listen, we know Harrison Ford is twenty years older, so we'll make the film take place twenty some odd years after the last one". It made me happy that they didn't bother with trying to pick up where they left off.

2. I LOVED the whole atomic bomb/ground zero recreation they did. I just love the imagery of the fake town, with all of the fake people (which, I thought, was used very well in the remake of The Hills Have Eyes).

3. I thought it was kind of cool that they brought Marion back.

4. Two words - Cate Blanchett. Not so much her character, but just her. She rocks. They could have a scene of her playing with a paddle ball for ten minutes, and I would come out proclaiming the film as cinematic gold.

Things I was on the fence about - 

1. They reference Indy's dad dying. Umm... maybe it's just me, and I hate to get technical here, but didn't he drink out of the cup of everlasting life in Last Crusade? I mean, Indy did to... So, shouldn't the dad still be alive?

2. Shia LeBouf is always pretty decent as an actor, but the whole Marlon Brando reference was SO obvious... 

Things I didn't like about it - 

1. Well, most of what I don't like I can't really talk about without giving away plot points.

2. It was really obvious that Lucas had his hand in this a little too much. I'm pretty sure Lucas has completely lost it. He's let his world collapse in on itself, remaking or "re-imagining" all of his past success's. Hey George, how about giving me a little chunk of your billion dollar + fortune, and let me make some GOOD movies, and you just slink away. Or give us that Tuskegee Airmen film you've been going on about for, like, a decade now! Please! Just something OTHER THAN Star Wars.

3. The opening sequence. What was the point? What were those kids doing so far out in the middle of nowhere in Nevada anyway? ... I'm just saying...

All in all, I wasn't completely let down, but, it could have been a lot better.


Anonymous said...

Thanks- I'm glad I'm not the only one that's confused by the whole "cup of everlasting life" thing...

I always assumed at the end of Last Crusade that dad and son would romp around forever and such.

PS- I also liked Last Crusade.

Stewart said...

Always good to meet another Last Crusade fan. I mean, I love the other ones as much as the next guy, but Last Crusade is still pretty cool.