Friday, November 5, 2010

Indiana Jones and The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull-review

When the trailers came out for this movie I was hit with a wave of nostalgia.  I was very excited to see another Indiana Jones movie.  I wasn’t able to go to the opening but I heard the reviews and it sounded as if they opened the Ark of the Covenant in the theater.   I am a master nitpicker and movie snob.  But people were ready to burn this thing to the ground.

​Like “Star Wars” Indiana Jones movies are a throwback to the old serial movies of the 40s like “Flash Gordon”.  You were supposed to check your brain at the door and enjoy the ride of the adventure in front of you.   I like the other movies a lot more than this one but they also are wildly ridiculous with plot devices that honestly rival the fridge scene that people hate so much.

​Yes it is unlikely you will survive ground zero of a nuclear blast just being in a lead lined fridge.  If anything it will vaporize you.  In “Raiders of the Lost Ark” does anyone have a comment about the silliness of swimming to a Nazi sub and sneaking into the base somehow?  So the submarine never dove underwater that time? For “Temple of Doom” the biggest leap off the bullshit train comes when Indy, Short Round and Willie leap out of a crashing plane onto a mountain and survive because they are on an inflatable raft.  Or what about in “The Last Crusade” where Indy and a Nazi are on tank duking it out as it flies over the edge.  Somehow time and space is bent and Indy climbs up and surprises his Dad behind him.  He must be some sort of sorcerer.

​My point is this is nitpicking.  These movies are all full of scenes that are completely ludicrous.   Does that make the latest movie good?  No, but it wasn’t as bad as people made it out to be. It certainly was the weakest of the movies.  It is sad that the character Sallah, played by John Rhys Davies, is not present.   I would have rather had a reunion with an adult Short Round then some Father-Son drama with Shia LaBeouf (THE BEEF!).  I thought that tacking on a wedding with Marion was a waste and really was unnecessary.

​The villain, Spalko, played by Cate Blanchet, looked killer good.  But I never felt any of the menace that I did from the villains in the past movies.   All Indy villains are over the top, but from her I just didn’t see her as much as a threat to Indy as opposed to an annoyance.  The use of CGI was a complaint from a lot of folks.  I admit I miss the good days of stunt men, explosions and minis too.  But honestly folks, they had hoards of killer ants.  How did you expect that to be done without CGI?

​I do wish the Alien looked a wee more rubber suited than CGI man.  I think that would have fit the old-school mood they were trying to set more.   I’ve heard complaints that the ending is a rip off of Raiders.  Let’s be honest and shame the devil though.  All of these movies end this way.  The villain is overcome by their greed and is killed in a supernatural comeuppance.   Is it really a problem that it happened a fourth time?

​I don’t know what people expected.  It’s Indiana Jones.  It’s not realistic at all.  If it was then their nitpicking might be valid.  But I just don’t get why folks are bitching about it as much as they are.  It’s a so-so movie that plays on some nostalgia chords.   But it certainly wasn’t awful.  If you take if for what it was worth it’s worth at least seeing despite the awful hype.

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