My love for Indiana Jones and my love for video games, specifically LucasArts adventure games, began at the same time. That's because the source of both was the highly underrated Last Crusade
adventure game - one of the first games I ever played. This way I became a fan of Indiana Jones before I had even seen one of the movies, and when my parents finally decided that I was old enough to watch the movie the game was based on I felt like it was christmas, only better.
Later I watched the other movies too, of course, and today the state is the following: I love Raiders of the Lost Ark
, don't really care for the most parts of Temple of Doom
and still adore every single second of The Last Crusade
Therefore the announcement that in the fourth movie Sean Connery wouldn't reprise his role as Henry Jones Sr. made me quite sad. And that wasn't the only bad thing I heard about it. Especially the fact that Frank Darabont was replaced as a screenwriter by David Koepp because George Lucas didn't like Darabont's script weren't exactly great news. And it seemed to went on in the way that Steven Spielberg and Harrison Ford constantly had to fight against Lucas to somehow keep the franchise in the realm of dignity - because we all know Lucas loves to rape childhoods with a spiked stick.
Anyway, despite of all this I didn't give up hope, mainly because the director was still Steven Fuckin' Spielberg, a man who understands the childlike wonder and magic of Hollywood cinema like maybe no one else. Also, Cate Blanchett!
To make a long story short, I've seen it now and here is my opinion: I think it's a great movie. I also think it's a horrible movie.
That may sound weird and/or pretentious at the first moment, but the thing is that Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
is a schizophrenic beast. There are scenes that made me think: "Oh my, that's awesome, I want an Indy movie every year now". And then there were the little moles. And the monkeys. The scenes that are way too much over-the-top even for Indiana Jones. The bloated finale. And finally the single most ridiculous and cheesiest closing sequence I've probably ever seen in my life. What. The. Fuck.
Why is this movie so amazing at one moment and so bad at the other? Well, a tantalizingly simple explanation would be to credit all the bad scenes to Lucas. It sure looks that way when considering the discussions he and Spielberg had in interviews, concerning filmmaking philosophies. The scenes that work are the ones with good old-fashioned action and humor, reminiscent of the older movies. The moment you see CGI, it's generally going downhill. I may sound like a grumpy old geezer and of course there are exceptions to the rule, but the main impression of the movie is a constant power struggle between Master Spielberg and and Digital Guerilla Lucas.
However, despite of that the movie is definitely
worth seeing. There are just too many great things about it. Harrison Ford's smirking charme. Playfully executed action sequences, fist fights included. Caves. Mummies. Snakes and scorpions. And last but not least: The many little homages and easter eggs. There is even a small Han Solo moment. If that was Lucas' idea, then I may manage to forgive him.