Indiana Jones and the what?

Warning: contains some minor spoilers but seriously, have you seen the previews?

Muse and I went to see Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull [omg could that title be any longer] at the theater in Tung Chung last Sunday.  We laughed our butts off, usually for the expected reasons, for the first half and then it kind of shifted gears somehow.  It was a great movie and I’ll buy it when it comes out on DVD but I think it was just too late to keep up appearances with the previous movies.

Harrison Ford is just as good in this version as he always has been although his character seemed to fluctuate quite a bit between an old man constantly thinking “I’m getting too old for this shit” and a hero that can do anything.  In the first three movies he was a lot more consistent.  The idea of him having a son was a cute idea even if the character was a little annoying.  Short-Round had more personality.  Him showing up looking like Marlon Brando was a bit odd and really set the tone for two hours of cliches and stereotypes.

We re-watched the first three movies prior to going to see this new one so we would be ready.  One thing I noticed for the first time was how over the top, campy and completely unbelievable they were.  I never got that from these movies before.  Sure they all three showed some form of mythological magic in action against evil Nazis or evil Indians but they always seemed different.  I guess now that I’m older (and wiser? nah) I had to suspend my belief in everything that happened so much more than in the past.

So when the new movie makes fun of itself or things in the previous movies it’s a nice hommage now and then but sometimes it was just too much.  It seemed to ride on the hopes that the cliches and stereotypes it showed would carry it through and in some ways it did since all four movies are basically made in the old pulp fiction style of the Golden Age.  I suppose the idea of aliens from another dimension are nothing new when thinking about the Azteks. And truthfully is that any harder to swallow than a box that melts faces, a man who can pull out a still beating heart from a human with his hand or a knight living forever drinking from a magic cup?

The special effects were very hit and miss.  The ending sequence was pretty cool.  However, as Abraxus pointed out in his post, the cemetary model that was used was really pathetic.  Like him, I assumed we were supposed to be looking at an intentional view of a model and not the “real cemetary” as we were supposed to think.  It was a total amateur presentation from one of the best special effects companies in the world which just made me shake my head in wonder as to what they were thinking.

I know it sounds like I’m bashing the new Indiana Jones movie and that’s really unfair.  I’m a huge fan of the original movies and against my better judgement I still had extremely high expectations for the new movie.  It was a fun, funny and entertaining movie.  I would watch it again.  It’s just that the Indiana Jones movies basically created the current Action/Comedy genre of movies that we have been evolving with since the early 1990’s and this movie just feels very retro and un-evolved.  Not that that is a bad thing – it’s just not what was expected.  I have no idea why.

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2 Responses to “Indiana Jones and the what?”

  1. jason says:

    Perhaps the amateur special effects were on purpose. Who knows? I haven’t seen it yet. Thanks for the review. I’ve heard both negatives and positives regarding this film. I’m a fan of Indiana Jones, so I’ll definitely see it.

  2. Gail says:

    I saw it yesterday and the one thing that really bugged me about it was how plastic the skull was. Now if it were really solid crystal they would struggle to lift it, however Indy and everyone else who held it seemed to have no problem whatsoever with it’s weight.

    The rest was great fun, I enjoyed it for what it was, just like I enjoy Bruce Willis in Die Hard having a fist fight on a 747 as it speeds along a runway in a blizzard!

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