Monday, May 26, 2008

I know I'm alone, but I loved Indy's comeback!

I've been called a nerd or geek from time to time, deservedly so, and am often proud of that. Perhaps that's why I liked the new Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. I liked that they took an established fictional character, in all his leather jacket, fedora and whip-wielding glory and moved him into a different set of circumstances and it still made for entertaining movie-making. Maybe it was just the setting they moved it into - a Cold War/Twilight Zone atmosphere that still has to use the tools of archaeology and "X marks the spot" logic to solve the mystery. The plot is ridiculous - but finding the Ark of the Covenant, the Temple of Doom, or the Holy Grail weren't exactly intellectual exercises. So this movie succeeded exactly where the others did, a great bad guy in Cate Blanchett's doctor seeking glory and knowledge, lots of chases and crafty escapes, a side-kick that makes Indy feel like he's "too old for this shit", and a heroine that can match Indy blow for blow. Basically, Indy gets kidnapped and made to find something in a government warehouse (Area 51!) for the Russians. He finds it, gets double-crossed and then followed by the feds for a while. The Russians keep looking for him and he meets a greaser Mutt (Shia LaBoeuf) who needs his help save his mom - Marion Ravenwood (the unforgettable Karen Allen from Raiders) lost in the Amazon. They leave to save the girl and of course get caught up in finding the actual treasure. The crystal skulls are a fairly ridiculous plot point, but create an interesting sci-fi background that doesn't actually make much difference to the story. Harrison Ford does a great job of trying to defeat the bad guys and keep the banter going, fighting with Marion, and trying to teach Mutt a thing or two. The effects are fun, and as a "Saturday matinee" type of film it works great. I love series of books, movies, etc. I love seeing characters in new situations but still being the same great character. That's what this movie delivers, incredibly well in my opinion. It's fun, ridiculous, entertaining, unbelievable, crazy, and a great time. Don't take it too seriously and you'll have fun.


Nayana Anthony said...

You are NOT alone! I loved that thing.

Rachel said...

I mostly agree. I liked it a lot, and in the world of Indy, thought it was well done. I loved seeing Marion again. I love Cate's bad girl role. Yes, it was over the top, but we knew it would be, because it wouldn't be Indy if it weren't. Overall, though, I'd rank it 3rd out of the four.

The Curmudgeon said...

I am told (possibly by Alexa?) that George Lucas originally wanted to call it Indiana Jones and the Saucermen from Space.

'Nuff said.

WaywardJam said...

I always referred to this as Indiana Jones and the Quest for the Silver Wheelchair...but that's just me.

I liked it enough. I will be seeing it again soon. With my expectations shattered I will be able to enjoy it for the summer flick it is.

Anonymous said...

Actually, I'm with you. Saw it Thursday night and enjoyed it a lot.