Sunday, June 22, 2008

Belated thoughts: Indy 4

I should've written this when the movie was fresh in my mind, but alas, I didn't. However, I did find an IM convo I had with someone the day I saw the movie, so I dug up the log. ;)

In a nutshell: Too much Lucas, not enough Spielberg.

There are minor spoilers in this review, so I've stuck it in the first comment.

1 comment:

CrystallinEntity said...

I thought the movie was ok: just ok, not great. I definitely liked Last Crusade better. This one had some good moments but it had too many cheesy/over-the-top moments (IMO). It made little winks to Raiders; I usually prefer that sort of stuff to be subtle, so I groaned a lot. For instance, I thought the Ark scene should've been more subtle, maybe only showing a tiny corner of it, or showing just the serial number on the crate.

I didn't care for the mythic element of the plot. I enjoyed the Biblical stories of Raiders and Last Crusade because they're famliar to us Westerners, but what we got in Crystal Skull was too paranormal, unfamiliar, and, ahem, alien. Also, if you look at Raiders and Last Crusade, the climax of the plots relied very little on special effects. Crystal Skull was an effects extravaganza. That really hurt the feel of the movie and made Indy's adventure much less plausible and tangible.

Regarding the refrigerator scene at the beginning: It was cool at first that Indy had enough presence of mind to climb into the refrigerator before the bomb blew off -- one of the great things about Indy is his ability to think on his feet -- but I was disappointed when the refrigerator was flung through the air and Indy was able to walk away from that, despite the impact of the refrigertor's landing. Uh-huh. It's like what the Bad Astronomer said about Transformers: it's not the fall that kills you, it's the impact.

Other little things:

* I was disappointed that Mutt went to all the trouble of taking his motorcycle with them to South America, and there was never really a payoff with it. In that case, IMO, they shoudl've ridden around on donkeys with Mutt saying, "We should've' taken my bike!" Mr. CrystallinEnt noted that a donkey would've prompted a fart joke.
* Mac wasn't as charismatic as Belloq.
* I didn't care for the prairie dogs. (but not in a "handpuppet" sort of way.)
* It was nice to see a female villain who wasn't bedded by the hero.
* It was good to see Marion again.
* I got a kick of Mutt and Indy both being named after dogs.

Finally, I ran across this article on Popular Mechanics' website: 4 Ways Sci-Fi Indy 4 Fails Dr. Jones—and the Trilogy's Legacy. I generally agree with the points, although I can let point #4 side a little. (Well, ok, the waterfall scene was a bit much.)