Sunday, October 19, 2008

Indiana-Jones-ulous


I heard a lot about how bad "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" was, so I put off going to see it in the theater and waited for it to hit DVD.

Last night, my family and my brother's family all watched the DVD together. And to all you who said the movie was bad, I shoot my metaphorical pistol at you as if you are a scimitar-twirling thug. We all thoroughly enjoyed it.

Here's a spoiler alert, because I'm about to list some things I liked about the movie:

- I loved the old guy kicking ass. I'm enough of an old guy now myself that it thrills me to see an old guy open up a can of Whoop Ass Stout. It's like that new Motley Crue song says; if he's going down, he's going down swinging.

- I like the passing of the hat to his son. In a very satisfying way, those scenes bridge the old movies to whatever new ones they want to do with Shia LaBeouf, who performed superbly in the role. Indiana has his old barnstormer-style leather jacket, the second-skin of the wild adventurers of his generation, and Mutt in turn has his own generation's leather jacket. That is way cool. (So why didn't the 12-inch action figure of Mutt include that jacket?!)

- I like Mutt's sword-fighting, coached by his mom. It gives him his own oddball combat skill like Indiana's whip.

- I very much like that Roswell-style aliens were the subject of the big mystery of this film. What bigger mystery is there nowadays which would set the world on its ear if it were true? My brother, jRy6, said he'd heard people complain about the space alien story angle was too hard to believe. My little brother then keenly observed that in the previous movies, angels burst from a golden box that was a radio to God and melted the faces off Nazis, and a 1,000-year-old knight was guarding the Holy Grail, but those circumstances apparently were seen as perfectly feasible compared to space aliens. ... Riiiiight. We might refer you to Bill Maher on that one.

BIG SPOILER ALERT: - I loved the angle that the aliens were archeologists, and knowledge was the treasure they were after. Perfect! What a logic-affirming notion! It reminded me of the Predator being a big game hunter in space, which we all thought was very clever. The idea of interstellar archaeologists actually makes even more sense than trophy hunters, and we had no trouble at all with the idea of space-faring hunters using spears.

- I liked that Indiana married Marion in the end. Just as I was thinking how sad it was that they had wasted so much of their lives apart, Ox (John Hurt) echoes my own thought and remarks on it. It was a lovely bittersweet moment.

- My only minor quibbles with the film would be that the plot was a bit more disjointed than in previous movies, and the aliens would have been a little easier to believe if they had not been interdimensional, but so what. It's an Indiana Jones movie, so I went with it. It wasn't a pretentious bore like "Contact," that's for sure.

Now I wish I'd seen it in the theater.

1 comment:

Kenneth said...

I saw this in the theater and I enjoyed it. It's not the best, but it still outranks Temple of Doom. My main quibbles with it were a few OMG moments that took me out of the action. The "Tarzan" sequence being one of the biggies. The ending seemed to happen way to quickly which brought some confusion to the finale. The things you liked about it I also found enjoyable, especially the passing of the hat. Did you get the connection between Indy and his son? Indiana was his dog's name. His son's nickname? Mutt.