Tuesday, May 27, 2008

A Rambling Review of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

Oh my goodness I was practically giddy with excitement. It was my birthday and in my hand was a ticket to see the new Indiana Jones flick. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (IJKCS of Indy 4 for short). I love the older movies. Recently while watching the older ones on television I almost went online to sign up for whip handling lessons. I am not sure where I could get such a lesson but I am sure someone charges money to teach this completely impractical skill. I can see it now: Imagine that I am on an interview to be a new teacher and they say "So why do you want to be a teacher?" I pause for a moment and press my fingertips together in front of me and lean forward to make complete and total eye contact. "Well Dr. Randall," I begin, "I want to be like Indiana Jones. Last summer I mastered the art of the bullwhip and could use it to take the pen from your hand without even touching you. I have bought a huge collection of old dusty books filled with random facts about ancient civilizations. All I need now is to become a teacher and have students watch me adoringly as I try to tell them archaeology is boring even though I nearly got killed that very weekend while looking for an artifact in some remote jungle." I am not sure they would hire me but it would stll be cool. That whip is damn handy! Anyway so my roommate and I were in the theater saying "Hurry Dr. Jones!" and "You're my best friend Dr. Jones!" like Short Round would say in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. We wondered if he would reappear in this movie because he was awesome in that one. Dr. Jones! Then the movie lights dimmed and we tucked in for a 2 hour long tale of excitement.

The movie picks up in the 50's, the Nazi's are no longer the issue. Instead it's those damn Commies and all their Free Love and Applesauce For All! Wait, no, Commies like the color red... so they are like the fathers of the street gang the Bloods. I am being told that once again I am partially incorrect. Apparently communists are people who like to talk a lot especially during quiet times like during movies or at church. Their moniker was originally Communicationists but people hated saying that so they shortened it to communists. If you have ever been in a theater and had people around you talk through the movie you can understand the intense dislike of communists. This is why people say things like "Shut your commie mouth!" all the time. Anyway Cate Blanchett (who is a communist because she has horrible hair in this movie and doesn't know that you spell Kate with a K not a freaking C!) Anyway she really wants Indy's help finding something so instead of sweet talking him she shoves him and another guy into a trunk of a car. Apparently communists are not only yappy in movie theaters but they also disregard the personal safety of their guests. Of course the other guy that was in the trunk with Indy happens to be working for the Commies and has betrayed Indy which we soon find out. So she has taken him to a military base in Nevada and wants him find some magnetic box. The box has a body in it but all we get to see is a gnarled hand and then Indy is running for his life. You realize at that moment that even though Harrison Ford is like nearly 98 years of age, he is back and so is this character. He manages to escape and wander through the desert and into a town that happens to be a fake town used for nuclear testing. Of course the bomb is about to be dropped so he has to get out. The way he gets out is pretty cool so I will not tell you how. Anyway he survives because otherwise this would be a completely different movie. He is found and gets grilled by the FBI (one of them plays the janitor on scrubs, does that character have a name?) and the FBI hates him. The interrogation ends with Indy losing his professor gig, just in time to run into Mutt (Shia LaBeouf).
Mutt tells him the chick (and Mutt's mom) from the first movie and some other archaeologist were taken by communists (apparently communists also kidnap people, they have poor social skills). Of course the commies are following Mutt and a fun chase scene through the college campus ensues. Then we get to know Mutt as they tromp through the forest. They find a silly looking crystal skull that looks like glass with tinfoil in the hollow part of it. We also run back into Mutt's ma aka Indy's old flame. Then the silly Commies show up and we have a crystal skull that looks stupid and a movie that slowly gets sillier. Several times I thought they would go in a different direction but in the end they had taken all the lame routes and concluded this adventure with a stupid ending. They managed to take a fun movie with great potential and run it into a wall.... they waited 19 years for this? This could have happened directly after the third because all they were trying to do was cash in. AND WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO SHORT ROUND? They were supposedly best friends in Temple of Doom! WHERE IS HE SPIELBERG??? YOU MONSTER!!!! YOU DESTROYER OF DREAMS!!!

Ok I need to breathe! It wasn't that bad... it was just disappointing. Let's ask Indy and Mutt what they thought:

Indy: "Oh, land sakes! What did we just do?"
Mutt: "I think we landed in poo."

OK right here is where I tell you why I did not like the ending. I am giving it away so if you will do what I would normally do, which is see it anyway and avoid reading people blowing the ending then stop reading here. This is your warning.

Spoiler warning!!!

Oh my goodness did I just see Contact again? I swore I would never see Contact again and here it is in a new movie. The whole thing traces back to a freaking UFO and aliens?? Are you freaking kidding me!!??? 19 years and he remakes Close Encounters of the Indy Kind?? I am convinced that Harrison Ford, Steven Spielberg and George Lucas are completely senile! Someone please stop allowing them to make movies that spoil their earlier and far better work. If you are one of those three please stop making sequels and prequels and focus on new ideas and leave the past in the past. Oh and seriously what happened to Short Round?


EdieS said...

Well, I liked it! Really, I did...but I have low standards, so.

And hey, You have to have liked the interesting multi-dimensional crature a thingie. That was coool.

Michael Williams said...

It might have been that I really loved the first 3 and I expected so much more. It seemed cheap to go with stupid creatures from another dimension. So lamely Spielbergesque that I thought even SPielberg himself would not stoop so low. I was completely underwhelmed....

Anonymous said...

to answer your last question... Goonies. ... Goonies happened. stay tuned for speilbergs goonies 2 starring short round

Michael Williams said...

Goonies 2... I am hoping you are kidding. They have ruined enough films from my childhood