movies: indiana jones and the kingdom of the crystal skull

indiana jones and the kingdom of the crystal skullIf I had to sum up Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull in one word... that word would probably be "cheesy"...

That's not to say that it's bad... it's pretty much a rip roaring adventure, with a few tips of the hats to the Whipped One's previous outings... it's just... well... cheesy...

Cheesier by far than any of the other three movies... which is saying something, because the others are pretty cheesy in spots too. Okay, enough with dairy product references...

As the movie started I was a little disappointed, each of the Indiana Jones movies starts with an iconic adventure scene that has nothing really to do with the rest of the movie... Raiders has the golden idol... Temple has the Chinese nightclub... Crusade has the flashback (and then the thing with the boat)... this movie doesn't... well, kinda... but not really... it's more just another part of the movie rather than a James Bond-eske unrelated opening sequence...

I guess that part of it was that they wanted to do the big reveal of Harrison Ford... which was very iconic with the hat and the shadow and the whole thing... but at the same time it gave you more than enough time to look at Harrison and think "damn but you got all old and skanky"... that does wear off after a while, but every now and again you catch yourself thinking "damn Indy, how you've aged!"...

Speaking of "old and skanky" brings me right around to Karen Allen... I know it's been 27 years (crap, I didn't know it had actually been THAT long, that's just scary) but time has not been kind... but at the same time it was good to see her character again, pretty much picking up where she left off in Raiders.

But luckily there was Shia LaBeouf who's just lickable... even with the total Marlon Brando-ness of his first appearance on screen... actually, the whole leather jacket and the little hat and the big bike... that just helped with the lickableness... and no amount of wet or dirt or falling or highly improbable adventures with monkeys could do anything to change that. Yummy...

I also very strongly felt the loss of Denholm Elliott as Marcus Brodie (doubly so because there's a portrait and statue of him on the University grounds and a photo of him on Indiana's desk at home)... Jim Broadbent was okay filling in a highly similar role, but he's just not Denholm.

And rounding out the cast, I can't say that I was overly impressed with Cate Blanchett... her accent was irregular to say the least... and while Bernie Pollack and Mary Zophres, the costume designers, might have been going for period accuracy, that basically meant that Cate spends the whole movie dressed in what amounts to a shapeless grey sack, which is a shame given how good she can look... and how good the various women in the previous movies have looked...

Given the fact that Steven Spielberg was the director, the whole storyline (which is pretty damn obvious once you work out that the first scene takes place on an army base in the middle of Nevada... and the warehouse has a giant 51 plastered on the inside of the door... yeah, they went for THAT kind of story) doesn't come as any kind of surprise... and although all of the other movies have had "mystical" or "supernatural" elements, this one somehow seems to go that little bit too far... for some reason I can handle holy relics, holy stones and holy knights (hmmm, I never really realised before how much "holy" was going on in the Indiana Jones movies) but the whole 1950's Area 51 vibe just seemed to cross some sort of line, which is weird, because it was a line I didn't realise I had until they crossed it...

The CGI wasn't too bad over all... sure there were a few obvious things (a flying refrigerator, a bunch of groundhogs and a swarm of big scary jungle ants), but some of the other bits didn't seem all that bad... in fact the titular Crystal Skull was possibly amongst the worst effect of the whole movie... when you hold up your very important main prop for the first time and it seems to be clear plastic filled with iridescent cellophane, it might be a sign that you really need to go back to the drawing board and try again.

Oh, and I will just say this... if you happen to be the type of character who finds yourself in a room filled with treasure and weird things start to happen, DO NOT stop (or worse yet, go back) and try and fill your pockets with extra treasure... get the hell out while the getting is good... it doesn't work well for anybody, and you will die, usually horribly...

So in a nutshell it's cheesy... but entertainingly cheesy... and there's one scene right at the end that just makes me really want them to make a fifth and final movie...

yani's rating: 2 crystal skulls out of 5

4 comments:

Sunshine said...

But the cheesiness is exactly why the movie is awesome!! It's like a signature dish in a restaurant, only that we're not talking about a restaurant ... hell, you know what I mean. :P

yani said...

Yes, but to use your own analogy... it's like going to that restaurant and ordering that signature dish and discovering that they've made it with very mature, very vintage, very strong cheese, instead of regular old tasty cheddar like they've done in the past...

Sunshine said...

Are you saying Harrison Ford smells? :P

yani said...

Harrison Ford, no... Cate Blanchett's accent, maybe... :P

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