Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
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To most the whip is Pop Culture iconic along the lines of the lightsaber. Seeing it should pop John Williamsí goose-bumping score into our heads and create images of the whipís heroic owner outrunning large boulders or using the whip to lasso out of harmís way. If on the other hand, the image of a whip only reminds you that you are late for an appointment with Helga, the tranny dominatrix that always ignores you when you cry out the safety word, then stop reading and go to church because this review is not for you.
This review should be for the Indiana Jones purists. The long time fans that ran out and purchased the box set once released. The fans that, upon seeing the teaser trailer for Kingdom of the Crystal Skull and heard the well known theme song for the first time in a long time on the big screen, looked at their friends, wives or even kids and didnít even have to say a word. The other individuals could tell from your look that you will be seeing that movie no matter what and chances are they felt the exact same way. This review is for you Indiana Jones, whip loving Bums out there. (The other whip loving fans can go read Dixon Ballsí reviews. His movies are probably right up your ally.) You might not have loved ALL of the Indiana Jones movies, but you have to admit, if it is on TV you are going no where.
I donít believe that I even need to go into who Indiana Jones is. If you do not know who he is, then shame on you and quit reading. Your kind is not welcome here!! The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull is Indyís latest adventure and I hate to disappoint you Bums out there, but it is an adventure that did not leave me feeling all good inside. In fact, like a horrible date with a very ugly woman who ends the date before offering a nightcap when you would CLEARLY be doing her a favor, left me feeling pretty empty inside.
Years have passed for Indy. It is now the 50s and he is grabbed by some Russians, led by freaky-deek Irina Spalko, (played by Cate Blanchett) looking for the Crystal Skull. This oddly alien (wink) shaped skull has the power for full knowledge and also mind control. Indy gets away, gets blacklisted by the CIA or FBI because they think he works for the Russians or something and then gets swept off to fight the same Russians that he got away from in the beginning of the movie to save a greaser Muttís (played by Shia LaBeouf) mother. They end up in the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull and blah, blah, blah. Folks, to put it bluntly, the story sucks. It really does.
Now, I am very torn with the latest outing of Indy. Here we have the return of Indiana Jones. Hot damn!!! Joyous day for nerds of cinema like myself. The man who made treasure hunting cool!! On the other hand, something is missing. The problem was it was a let down, and I fear that Lucas and Speilberg forgot what made the originals so much fun.
The movie is not the worst of the series because of the age of Harrison Ford. Let me get that out of the way to start. Yes, he is old. No, they do not hide it and in fact point it out at times. At the same time, this is still the same old Indiana Jones and the same old Harrison Ford playing him to perfection. The movie is not horrible because of the inclusion of Shia LaBeouf, because like Transformers or Disturbia, the kid's good. The problems that I had with the movie overall can be broken apart in 3 simple parts.
1.Story: The movie is greatly missing a strong story. For starters, the Russians didnít seem that evil. The Nazis in the first and third one created a sense of danger and urgency for Indiana and crew. Hell, even the Indians from Temple of Doom created a sense of danger. (Those bastards would tear your beating heart out.) The Russians seemed downright polite in this film.
The movie lacked the epic nature of the ones before. Hell, the movie took place in one location most of the time. (There was only one time that we saw the classic map with the plane flying above.) The movie moves too fast and hollow to create any type of tension or feeling of adventure. Action happens on the screen, but it feels empty somehow. This could be due to theÖ.
2.CGI. When did Indy go CG? Seeing a jeep chase between Indy and company vs. the Russians played out on a green screen with a fake looking filter overlay was ridiculous. Could anything look more fake and cheesy? Oh yeah, wait till you get a load of Mutt swinging Tarzan style on jungle vines. Sweet Jesus, folks. How is it that Raiders of the Lost Ark has more realistic effects than a movie made 27 years later? Damn do I hate computer advancements. The only thing that was stupider than the Mutt-zan hanging out with the monkeys wasÖ..
3.Aliens. Damn you Spielberg and your hard-on for aliens. Close Encounters, E.T, the garbage that was War of the Worlds and now this? Putting aliens in an Indiana Jones movie was like putting the Beastmaster in the real world in Beastmaster 2: Through the Portal of Time. Ok, so maybe not exactly the same, but you get my point. Even with Indy fighting for historically supernatural items like the Ark and the Holy Grail, or an Indianís hand that can pull your heart through your ribcage like itís made of butter, it was still historical. (Maybe not so much with the butter hands.) Aliens to me seemed waaay too left field for Indiana Jones. Howís about him fighting Dracula next? Chupacabra maybe?
The movie had a lot going for it to start, but after watching it, it made me see that it has more going against it. At the end of the day, this is still an Indiana Jones movie. There are references from the earlier trilogy throughout, it has returning characters (though I would love to have seen the return of Sallah. Look it up and youíll agree) and even with its terrible faults is still going in my collection. Hell, even though I left jaded, I was still happy that I saw another Indy film in the theaters. Like a child of yours that is stupider than the rest and has a hair lip, you still have to love them and canít leave them on the side of the road. Not a great Indiana Jones by any means, but if you go in thinking this is more like National Treasure 3: The Treasurierst, then youíll still have some fun. 3 cans.
Added: Wednesday, May 28, 2008
Language: eng[ Did you find this review helpful? Yes No ]
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