Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Man on Film: Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

One might think that when a group of men wait nearly 20 years for the right script to come along before they make a fourth installment in a much loved series that the end product should at the very least have a good script. Were one to operate on that assumption one would be giving the men behind some of the more entertaining films of the last 40 years too much credit because the newest Indiana Jones film is not very good and much of the film's shortcomings stem from its (to be kind) weak script.

For starters, this film is basically the combined plots of National Treasure Book of Secrets and The Last Crusade with a few of the sets looking like they probably just repainted the old National Treasure sets just for good measure. The dialogue is shockingly bad, devoid of any wit whatsoever, and was apparently written under the idea that their entire audience was going to actually be developmentally disabled adults. Following the crew's final escape to safety, Indy actually says, "Knowledge was their gift. Their gift was knowledge." I think I'd rather hear the pimp line from Southland Tales another three times than phoned in dialogue like that.

Apart from the completely cribbed plot, they also made the decision to incorporate an absolutely retarded alien plot line that was simply baffling. Not baffling in the way that the plot was just too complex for my feeble mind to comprehend it. Baffling in the way that I had no idea why the fuck it was even there. It was completely out of place in the series and, honestly, has no place in the genre. Seriously, if I had told you that the newest Indiana Jones flick was going to have aliens, you'd have punched me in the junk. Hard. There are fucking aliens in the new Indiana Jones movie. What the fuck?

Shit script aside, there really isn't a lot to like about this film. Shia LaBeouf did what he could with a crap role loaded with cliche-ridden, greaser dialogue. Cate Blanchett's hair looked good. There's something about Ray Winstone I generally like, I guess.

Back to the garbage...

The special effects are terrible. There are inserts of CGI animals in the opening that look comically bad. Their effects during the intra-jeep sword fight are cartoonish at best. Indy getting hurled somewhere in the vicinity of a mile inside a refrigerator (and getting out immediately without any problems at all) in a nuclear blast was both unrealistic and unbelievable.

I could keep going. I could complain about the lame wedding and the hat blowing to Mutt's feet with a heavy-handed opening for a spin-off. I could elaborate on a bunch of things that left me wanting, but Spielberg and Lucas have worn me out. I don't want to spend any more energy (read: time and/or money) on them.


Little Brother said...

That whole Shia leaping from vine to vine with the monkey's was awful. I saw it at a drive-in, so most of the CGI wasn't as painful.

I got so bored with all of the action scenes. They just got so long, you sat there...repositioned how you were sitting...and waited for the scene to be over.

It was terrible

KRD said...

I could talk/write about this movie for days (and, in fact, I already have). It is that bad.

But based on his weird obsession with Joseph Campbell, I stand by the idea that the end of the film is Lucas's nod to Homer, and not necessarily an opening for the franchise to continue. I didn't understand the animals or the aliens--neither are good compliments to archeology.

But I do love me some Ray Winstone. He was, hands down, the best thing in the movie. Along with the short appearance by the Janitor from Scrubs. I didn't see that one coming.

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