Well, I just saw the highly-anticipated return of the beloved Indiana Jones franchise: Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
. It's been - *checks calendar* - a really long time since the last movie came out, and with his grizzled face and grey hair, you half-expect Indy to be fighting the Russians with an oxygen tank in one hand and a walker in the other. But no, even at his age, in the very first chase scene (that takes up about the first twenty minutes of the movie, mind you) he survives a NUCLEAR BOMB TEST by hiding in a REFRIGERATOR that is then CATAPULTED ACROSS TWO STATES by the blast. And crawls out unscathed.
It's around that point I stopped taking this movie seriously.
Don't get me wrong, TKOTCS
is not necessarily a bad movie, but it's not nearly to the caliber of Raiders of the Lost Ark
or The Last Crusade
. What separates these movies is that in the previous installments, the action builds over time, giving the audience enough adrenaline to keep them excited, but enough down time to develop characters and advance the plot in a plausible way. In this movie, they just throw all that boring stuff out the window and pack as many car chases per capita into the film as they can. The action sequences are pretty awesome, but you don't care about any of the characters involved in them because they don't have enough time in between the fights to connect with the audience.
The Russian chick isn't scary at all because we don't know anything about her
. Why the hell does she fight with a sword? How did she get started in paranormal stuffs? All we see of her is how she handles herself in a fight; she doesn't do anything particularly evil during the movie. Not much torturing or anything of that sort. So, when she dies in typical "Don't say we didn't warn you!" fashion at the end like all other bad guys in Indiana Jones movies, we just don't care
Hell, even Marion Ravenwood comes back, and I was thrilled when I first heard this - I loved her in Raiders of the Lost Ark. But here, she doesn't even turn up until about two-thirds of the way through the movie, and then she doesn't do much. She doesn't have as many snarky lines as before, she doesn't even get to show off her liver o' steel and drink those Russians under the table. She just bickers with Indy over their romance. And gets married at the end. Yay?
And even the plot is stupid. I'm sorry, angels, demons, and the wrath of God we can handle. Once you throw aliens and psychic manipulation into the mix, it just turns into an episode of the X-Files. I was basically face-palming throughout the whole end of the movie, it was so insultingly dumb
. Wanting to find the Ark of the Covenant or the Holy Grail gets us excited because it's far more mainstream and the legends are more well-known. We know it's important and powerful and that people have been looking for it for ages. Crystal skulls and alien civilizations? That just has such a crazy-kool-aid-drinking-cult stigma about it that once they start explaining it all, we kind of stare at the screen in skepticism. "Really? Are you kidding? You seriously expect us to believe all that?"
I wanted to believe. But I couldn't. Sorry Indy, you just haven't aged well. Final Verdict
3 out of 5
Good for action sequences and nostalgia, but not much else. Kind of like Transformers.