Sunday, May 25, 2008


Oh, where to begin reviewing this Indiana Jones sequel? Don't expect the following discussion to be spoiler free...

Aliens: At first, I thought I'd have a problem with aliens in the movie. But as the "story" unfolded, it wasn't that bad. I mean, the movie was true to the era it depicted, right? So, aliens as subject matter...okay. But how about that look? Did it seem to anyone else that the crystal skull seemed to be a miniaturized version of the critters from Cameron's Aliens? I had no problem with their supposed purpose on Earth as archaeologists (and while they're here, why not teach the locals of the time farming, etc.?). So...aliens not terrible.

Russians: Couldn't Indy fight, oh I don't know, Russians that sound like Russians? With Ms. Blanchett as Colonel Doctor Spunky, it's like casting Tim Curry as a Russian (oh yeah, they did that in Congo but at least his accent was passable). As a whole, these baddies were just bland. I mean, how did they not only grab a convoy of American vehicles but also gain access to the location of Area 51? And apparently their accuracy is on par with that of stormtroopers since they couldn't hit Jones at a mere 10 feet distance. Just, blech. Next time, flush the Russians and bring back the Nazis (perhaps in the form of Oddessa).

Jones: Harrison still looked good as Indy but man did he manage to mumble alot of his lines. Uh, Mr. Ford, could you please pay attention to what you're doing?

Plot: There's really too much to go over in one blog post. Let's just say that what plot there was was strung together loosely by minor characters and Indy was just along for the ride. He stumbled from plot point to plot point like a drunken sailor. It was good to see Marian again but she was pretty much useless except to (repeatedly) reinforce the fact that Shia's character Mutt was Indy's son. By the end, their marraige just had no emotional impact on me. It's been too long since we've seen her and it's not as if any of the characters were in danger throughout the movie anyway. Between the overly long jungle chase/fight, the waterfall drops, and their immunity to Russian bullets, any sense of jeopardy was shifted to whether or not the theater's popcorn was too salty.

Music: At the very least, I was expecting a decent Williams soundtrack. Bzzz! Wrong again. Between the snippets I've heard online and what I could hear in the theater, I'm not impressed. It was nice to hear the Ark theme, Last Crusade father/son theme, and Marion's theme again but any new material was simply phoned in by the composer. The skull's theme and action cues were brief and uninspired.

The Good?: There were a couple brief authentic chuckles for me. First was when Indy and Mutt slid through the library and the student asked a question of Jones. And then again when the kid was told not to stay in the library for real archaeology. Second was when Indy rocketed the jungle shredder and, after the CGI had dissipated, John Hurt's Ox repeated his mantra, "Henry Jones Jr." Another soft giggle came when Indy began to insist that Mutt finish school after he found out the kid was his son. Although that joke was visited too many times.

Final Thought: The true measure of a movie for me is whether I plan on adding it to my dvd collection. Sadly, the answer here is "no." I will not tell anyone, despite what I've noted above, not to go see KotCS. It is, after all, and Indiana Jones flick. Just don't expect it to be as good as the others. Indy's good years are gone as a franchise. Unfortunately, they had to make just one more movie in order to figure that out.


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