As the new Indiana Jones flick was looming, I was hoping for the best, but bracing myself for the worse.
And why not, with a dopey title like Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull?
It looks like another unnecessary sequel (Beyond The Poseidon Adventure, anyone?). Why not just create an all new character and franchise?
The first film, Raiders Of The Lost Ark, I think is pretty damn near perfect.
The second one, The Temple Of Doom was a depressing mess, with that annoying kid and the ditsy chick running around.
The third flick, The Last Crusade was an upgrade, I liked the River Phoenix flashback, but I found the Sean Connery as papa Jones a little too cutsy, he reminded me of cuddly Ewok.
After this new one opened a couple friends, who are big fans of the series, said they really hated it.
So I went to the Dome yesterday with really low expectations and I’m here to report... it was worse then I could of even imagined.
So, here are some initial thoughts (for those that HAVE already seen the flick).
- Does George Lucas like people? Does he know any... human beings?
- THE LOOK of the movie immediately lost me. Other then some of the collage campus everything looked like a set. Or worse, like it was shot against a BLUE-SCREEN. Remember the stunts in Raiders? When Indy attacked the Nazi convoy that was a real human being hanging on to ropes and being dragged by real trucks.
- I was never in awe of the action here, other then some moments in the motor cycle chase through campus, everything looked created on a computer. Shia LaBeouf’s sword fight dangling between the two cars (getting hit in the balls by branches, hee hee) and his Tarzan swing through the trees looked so fake, not to mention the monkeys, why do they jump into the car and attack the Russian driver.
- And how about the Pixar GROUNDHOG? I was waiting for Bill Murray and his golf clubs.
- The BIG CAR CHASE, editing-wise, made no sense, who was chasing who? Where did Marion disappear to and then show back up? Same with the Russian trucks that were originally in the rear. When LaBeouf get stuck in the trees we cut back to more high speed chase for a while and then some how his tree position is way ahead of them.
- How about that terrible last shot of the spaceship (or whatever you call it) rising, creating such a whirl of wind that boulders and trees go flying all around it. But our heroes sit right there watching it and never get hit by flying gravel. Indy’s hat doesn’t even blow off his head.
I could never buy Indy and his posse (including the aged Karen Allen, chubby Ray Winstone and ancient John Hurt) running around at full speed. They then manage to survive three deadly waterfall drops. One was ridiculous enough, but by the third waterfall the editors gave up even showing it.
- I do like the idea of an adventure taking place in the early fifties. Though the over the top period details in the beginning (the car load of teeny boppers driving to Elvis’s Hound Dog) felt forced. A little later the details and extras in the Soda Shop reminded me of Spielberg’s 1941, which was like a live cartoon.
- The politics of Indy being blacklisted from the University felt rushed (what I assume was days after the debriefing with the Feds).
- Surviving the ATOMIC BOMB BLAST was the first of many near death moments that were never acknowledged.
THE CAST has gotten a lot of chat. Harrison Ford, was fine.
- I like the idea of the Russians being the baddies, but other then Cate Blanchett’s eccentric pageboy haircut nothing about the villains was memorable.
- I was dreading Shia LaBeouf, but I didn’t mind him. It wasn’t his fault that the script was so inconsistent about him being Smart/dim and scared/brave. And he had TWO crying stage-tears moments. I think Meryl Streep only had one teary-eyed moment in Sophie’s Choice. Shia got at least two wet face moments here.
- The John Hurt character was a bizarre lazy way to by the Writers to get Indy involved. Wasn’t the Russians kidnapping him on American soil enough to get Indy into the adventure? Instead having to go rescue some fay British kook, is what sends him packing?
- Why was Ray Winstone‘s character even in the movie? Pointless. Again the writing is so lazy. He’s a friend, then a spy, then a mole, but always just greedy. Hadn’t he been in adventures with Indy before? Why was ahead all agape to see lost treasures, as if for the first time?
- I remember in Raiders, Karen Allen‘s Marion to be a plucky loud mouth, but here, they touch on that, but mostly she is reduced to smiling and giggling. I know people want to give Allen as pass for sentimental reasons, but I thought her ‘acting’ was terrible.
- A MESS: So many ideas were brought up with no payoff or lame payoff.
Why did they make a point of LaBouf bring his motorcycle on the airplane but then the moment they get there he ditches it?
- I know every time some ex tells me I have a child I didn’t know about. I have an internal debate between suicide or murder. But Indy just smirks and later gets all cuddly with the hag. I wish I had that kinda class.
I need a break.
More of me bitching about this flick to come.... PART TWO