Tuesday, May 27, 2008

"...not as easy as it used to be."

[Spoiler alert!- don't read on if you don't want details about the movie. Not that it would make a difference, really...]
[photo from Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull imdb site]

It made me sad. Kinda like seeing an old friend fade away in spurts and gasps rather than as a comforting, nostalgic memory of good times past. Until today, I remembered the Indy movies as wonderful adventure stories- always witty, rollicking fun and well, exciting, for the lack of a better word. I'd like to think that I am still capable of being awed, and that it's not age that has made me feel any less for a favorite movie character from my childhood.

Honestly, the new Indiana Jones movie was terrible. Downright awful. And it made me sad. Oh right, I said that already. But it did... I knew going in that it wasn't going to be anything like the Indy movies I had grown up with and loved, but nothing prepared me for how bad it was. I expect more from Lucas and Spielberg. The story was weak, the production quality was oddly uneven- one might even say shoddy, and Harrison Ford really looked like he was going to bust an artery. And inter-dimensional beings? Aliens? Surviving a nuclear explosion by hiding in a fridge? A UFO??!! I lost count of how many times throughout the movie where I went, "Oh, come ON!..."

I do have to say that it was nice seeing Karen Allen again- I really liked her in Raiders of the Lost Ark. And hearing the familiar strains of the theme song always makes me smile- bad movie or not. But apart from that, the movie was just disappointing. It was like they were trying so hard to recreate the allure of the original movies by upping the ante with the CG-effects that they forgot that what made those early Indy movies so great was just good ol' adventure storytelling, authentic action sequences (which you just can't compensate with special effects overload), and a cast that looked like they were having fun and not just doing a job, or trying to revive a career. I felt like I was watching a bad "The Mummy" sequel, except without Brendan Fraser.

Like I said, it made me sad. And I will say that, again and again...

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