Thursday, May 22, 2008

Indiana Jones Disappoints on an Epic Scale

Before you read this, see Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. That is, if you want to see it. If you don't care, don't worry.

Patton Oswalt has a bit where he says if he had a time machine, he would go back in time and kill George Lucas before he made the prequels to the beloved Star Wars films. I wold have to agree with him so Lucas could also not ruin the Indiana Jones franchise.

For me, Indiana Jones is one of the best blockbuster franchises out there. Indy is smart, badass and has many facets to his personality. The two sequels are far from perfect, although Last Crusade comes damn close. Action, fun and intriguing characters all come together with some interesting historical folklore attached to it.

Kingdom of the Crystal Skull from it's advertising seemed like it would fit right in to the rest of the series. The movie starts off on the right foot with a great opening in New Mexico. Communists are using Indy and his insider knowledge of a hangar that holds several powerful artifacts, specifically the remains of a charred body found in *gasp* Roswell?! Immediately, we can tell who is writing the story for this one. George Lucas and his vast obsession with space and everything that comes with it. This is strange territory for Indiana Jones and immediately we can tell where this film is going. Or do we?

The film slugs on with a really great scene between Indiana Jones and Mutt Williams (played really well by Shia LeBeouf) a 50's diner followed by the most believable and enjoyable chase scene of the movie. Once Indy flies to South America to the Nazca Lines, the movie starts to spiral slowly. A strange unexplained fight scene with some natives martial arts weirdos and the discovery of the crystal skull. Once the Russians meet up with Indy again, more ridiculousness ensues. A retarded fight/high speed chase through the jungle followed by another retarded fight amidst giant red ants followed by a retarded waterfall scene followed by the realization that Indiana Jones is no longer about finding ancient artifacts that have any semblance of history and we find out that it's all aliens. A stupid alien skull with other worldly powers. It ends in a spectical of retarded special effects and then a really really fucking cheesey wedding between Indy and Marion. BARF!

What ruined Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull was not the acting or directing (minus some phoned in scenes and the advent of CGI) but what ruined the movie was the writing. The story was so loose and full of huge holes that it resulted to really lame and bloated action scenes that verge on the edge of lunacy. The alien angle has to be the fault of George Lucas. Why on Earth would you put Indiana Jones into a fucking movie about aliens?! WHY? Indiana Joens wouldn't give two shits about alein life. He seeks historical artifacts! GAAH!

Ok I know I'm ranting here. Some of the action sequences are fun to watch, Shoo LaBoo is quite good as Indy's bastard son and the first half of the movie showed what the movie could have been like. Too bad it was ruined. Not even Cate Blanchett, John Hurt or Ray Winstone could save the movie. Their roles were either so over the top or were misused and underused. It's disappointing and hurtful to sit through. Don't bother wasting your time.


Jess (aka LittleBunny) said...

so sad, i think im still going to see it just cause- but as soon as i heard aliens were involved my heart sank.
george lucas is an a-hole. and shouldnt be allowed to work on films anymore.

Leon said...

You hit the nail on the head...I grew up as a huge Indy fan and this movie was a complete disappointment. In addition to the writing, I blame the insane use of CGI. The best part of the movie was the chase scene through the university, a scene that used little to no CGI. Just because you can use it George, doesn't mean you should. Indy was a great series of films because he was a real person in real situations. The films made us all believe we could be Indy. This movie is just a glorified episode of the X-Files crossed with National Treasure...Oh yeah, I think Indiana Jones was in it too.

jmcleoson said...

You know, I hope this starts a backlash. I never was on the Lucas-Spielberg wagon and I hope people just give up on them now. Neither has made anything spectacular in years. Munich was good but he didn't dare make any judgements on anyone, lest he actually have some balls....

Actually, I'll say that it's kinda unfair that everyone is blaming Lucas for unneccessarily making a plot about aliens, and not Spileberg. Ummm... do I have to remind you all of a little thing I like to call THE LAST TEN FUCKING MINUTES OF A.I.?????? AHHH!!!!! Senor Spelbergo has an unhealthy space fetish too.

You should have been in the Bill Wine class when we revolted because he chose Close Encounters over Raiders of the Lost Ark. He's just as guilty of dicking around with his little space stories.

Anonymous said...

If the inclusion of alien culture is the only thing holding this movie back, I wouldn't say that's a terrible leap from the super natural nature of the other three movies.

Each of the three previous movies dealt with artifacts/forces that had some degree of cultural mythology and the theme of the unknown attached to them. The myth of other-worldly life has just as much base in historical/cultural myths as religious super naturalism.

It's one thing if they throw in light sabers and hitachi power converters. But if they just translated the root of mystery from God and/or organized religious belief to the fabled belief in other-worldly creatures, then I really don't see too much of a deviation from the other three films' themes.

Ealer said...

Unfortunately, I saw this last night. And it was just silly. Everything was so cartoonishly outlandish, it literally should have been released as an animated film. Straight to video. VHS video. I was actually expecting an ACME anvil to be dropped on Indy at some point and have him burst back into shape from his pancaked form, then wink at the camera.

While Spielberg does pop many a bone to extraterrestrial storylines, this is all Lucas. Spielberg and Ford actually had to compromise with Lucas' stubborn fat ass to get it to its final draft. And when you start off the movie-making process with the main creative forces compromising their visions, it's almost inevitable that the movie will be garbage.

I wish that the alien plot device was the only thing flushing this turd down the toilet.

Bina007 said...

Not that I wouldn't hang George Lucas for Crimes Against Cinema for Star Wars 1,2 and 3 but.....
come on, we all can't blame him for the alients. Spielberg has form - Close Encounters, AI etc. Plus, he's the director, so he ultimately has to carry the can. I'd blame Ford too. This project stalled for decades coz he didn't like any of the scripts, so presumably this one had a big thumbs up.....