“I got a bad feeling about this.” – Indiana Jones
When the end credits started to roll, there was a smattering of applause…and almost as many “boos”. Yep, that’s the sound of my expectations being dashed on the rocks.
The only things I heard about this movie prior to seeing it was that the reviews were mixed and that Lucas wanted it to have something to do with aliens. I’ll leave it up to you to find out how accurate that is. (*cough!* story opens in Nevada, 1957 *cough!*)
George Lucas co-wrote the story. I’d like him to recuse himself from being involved in film-making from now on. He should just hide on his big ranch built out of bags of money and leave it to people less crazy with power.
All that being said, it isn’t a total wash. The effects are top notch. There are some great little moments of humor and pop references to the era. And much of the Indy movie essence is there, just some of it is a little forced or flat. Even the story just needed a rewrite, minus one writer. The subject matter is too literal for an Indy film. It should have been more subtle. Having so much to live up to here, you could go either way depending on your point of view. I feel like they should be living up to the standard they already set themselves, and they didn’t.
The way Indy escapes death by the skin of his teeth is what we’ve come to expect. But here, it seems like all those moments are reduced to either a big action scene with no real tension, or an anti-climatic resolution. There are plenty of secret passages and chambers but no tricky traps to outwit. Well, except for the one much of the audience felt they had been caught in.
It was hard to love this movie, especially when the guy to my left spent much of the time groaning with his head in his hands. After about 90 minutes he left and went out in the hall to wait for his two friends.
There were also the requisite scenes of egregious defiance of physics and inexplicable events. Notable scenes involved an A-Bomb, waterfalls, and a fortuitous pack of monkeys.
In light of these things, and the rather ungainly title of the film, I have taken it upon myself to offer a few alternative titles. I mean, really, “Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” doesn’t exactly roll of the tongue. How about these:
“Indiana Jones and the Refrigerator of Life”
“Indiana Jones and the Army of Helpful Monkeys”
“Indiana Jones and the Hungry Ants”
“Indiana Jones and the Deadly Waterfalls”- Wait…Never Mind
“Indiana Jones – The Truth Is Out There”
Any of these might be a more appropriate. But that’s just me. If you rationalize things enough, you might not be as disappointed as I was. But my initial reaction is lukewarm and that just isn’t enough. It’s definitely the worst of the Indy movies. Sorry. I wanted it to be awesome, too.
Well, The Dark Knight has to be good, right?
–Neil T. Weakley, disappointed movie goer