So I saw Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull today.
Okay, let me start off by saying I’m not like the other people who watch these movies. I, as a matter of fact, am probably the only straight guy I know who was never really into the Indiana Jones movies. I loved The Last Crusade but I always thought Raiders of the Lost Ark was boring as shit when I was a kid (I saw most of it again the other night and I still feel that way) and I’ve only seen bits and pieces of The Temple of Doom so no, I’m not a huge Indy fan overall. So I’m not a huge fan of the Indy movies but I still really love the character a lot and I do think the movies have a lot of great scenes that are a lot of fun to watch. I mean, who doesn’t love that part in ROTLA where Indy is pretty much like “Fuck this,” and he just shoots the master Swordsman? That was one of the only parts of that movie I really liked.
But anyway, I saw the new movie with an open mind because I wasn’t a diehard thinking “This has to be as good as the originals or I’ll never forgive Spielberg!” and I wasn’t a “I hate this gay shit anyway so this new movie will suck no matter what” kind of guy either.
So what are my thoughts on the new movie? (Spoilers ahead for the whiny “I can’t be spoiled!” people):
Well, I’m reminded of one of my favorite scenes in Roseanne.
Dan (John Goodman) comes home from work to see that Roseanne’s friend Nancy is crying in their living room. Dan asks “What’s wrong?” Roseanne hands Dan a note.
Dan’s silent for a minute as he studies the note. He glances up at Roseanne and asks
“Who are the Allens and why are they out of spice?”
(The joke is that Nancy’s husband Arnie (played by Tom Arnold) is an idiot and he couldn’t spell Aliens from outer space or write it out very well).
“Who are the Allens and why are they out of spice?” I don’t know why but I consider that one of the most hilarious things from Roseanne. The timing and the setup were just great. But anyway, I’m reminded of that exchange when I think about the new Indiana Jones movie. Aliens? I mean…seriously…Aliens? Why? For the love of God why? Aliens?
I mean, Indy’s friend Ox (spoilers ahead) explains “they’re not Aliens, they’re interdimensional beings” but…come on. We all know that they were aliens.
I can accept magic being a part of the Indy universe but…Aliens? To me that’s just too much even for an Indiana Jones film. I was also bothered by the fact that (spoiler) Indy’s dad died. That was like “wow, did the screenwriter even watch The Last Crusade?” How could Indy’s dad die if he was rendered immortal by drinking from the Holy Grail? I’d bitch more about that but that can be forgiven to an extent thanks in part to the explanation I found here.
So all in all I thought the movie was great and lousy at the same time if that’s even possible. It was great because I really loved the characters and the acting and I thought the action sequences were just as fun and exciting to watch as they were in the original films. And Karen Allen reprising her role? That was great. Karen Allen’s chemistry with Harrison Ford and the aforementioned “death of the swordsman” scene were the only things that really redeemed ROTLA for me so seeing her make a comeback in the new movie was really awesome. And it was (spoiler again) great to see Indy finally settle down and get married at the end. And Shia LaBeouf was a welcome addition to the cast. I, unlike a lot of other people, really actually like Shia LaBeouf as an actor and thought he was really entertaining (and that’s really something for me because I used to really hate his guts and was initially horrified when I found out he was cast in the first Transformers movie). I would definitely see Indy movies with his character as the lead.
So it was a great movie because of all the things I listed above but it was also really lousy because the story was crap. Utter crap. Aliens (final spoiler) posing as Gods was great in Stargate but it just doesn’t work at all for Indiana Jones. What’s next? Indy battles cyborgs? Clones, perhaps?
So all in all it’s a good movie if you love the characters and the actors but if you’re looking for a decent story than this one might even be worse than the Temple of Doom if that’s at all possible. I just don’t know what it is about Spielberg and his Aliens fetish. Shit. I wonder if he watches “Debbie does Area 51” while he’s laughing over the fact that people pay $10 a head to watch his overrated movies.