Thursday, May 22, 2008


Like Michael Jackson, I'm a lover, not a fighter, so I'm going to start by telling you about all the cool stuff in the new Indiana Jones movie. All the stuff we know and love is there in spades: Indy's hat and whip; nods to Marcus and Henry Jones Senior; cosy University lecture theatres; and that little red line running across the map when Indy gets into a plane. Better still, the writers have done absolutely the right thing in acknowledging Indy's age: there are lots of great jokes about how he's not as young as he used to be, and lots of dialogue filling in the gaps between Holy Grail and Crystal Skull. Turns out Indy was a wartime spy, and since then he has spied on the Communists. I also love that they brought back Indy's feisty sweetheart from Raiders - Marion Ravenwood. And credit where it's due, Shia LaBoeuf brings his A-game as their son, Mutt. Shia and Harrison Ford make a great comedy double-act, and beyond that, when Shia needs to convey vulnerability and emotion, he does really well.

Now to the hater stuff. The problem with Indy 4 is neither the acting, nor the dialogue but the MacGuffin - the crazy-cool doo-dad that provokes all the running around in jungles and whatnot. In Raiders, Temple and Grail the MacGuffin always had a spiritual, mythical dimension, but Spielberg wisely kept that stuff to a minimum. The MacGuffins were enigmatic - had a touch of glamour - but didn't swamp the more earth-bound action adventure. In other words, we only had to stretch our credulity in the final reel. By contrast, Crystal Skull is incredible, ludicrous, absurd from the get-go. It's all Area 51, Aliens, paranormal nonsense and Cate Blanchett in a silly wig and a terrible accent camping it up. Basically, Indy has jumped the shark. He's jumped from action-adventure with a dash of pizazz to sci-fi idiocy with a few car chases (And don't even get me started on the obvious CGI in the car chases. The one with Indy and Mutt early on with the motorcycles through campus - old school fun and japes. The one with Mutt sword-fighting with a Communist standing on the edge of a moving truck while cactuses belt him in the crotch - ludicrous, fake, annoying....)

So, yes, I left twenty minutes before the end. So those twenty minutes may have been so unbelievably amazing as to compensate for the tame action sequences, thin humour and stupid plot concept.......Somehow, I doubt it.

INDIANA JONES AND THE KINGDOM OF THE CRYSTAL SKULL is released this weekend in Belgium, Egypt, France, Morocco, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, Indonesia, Israel, Mexico, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, the UK, the US, Venezuela, Bulgaria, Finland, Italy, Latvia and Turkey. It opens on June 21st in Japan.


  1. Wait wait you left before the even more retarded ending?!? Haha! Seriously, the movie was so horrible. I blame George Lucas and his apparent borderline retardation and obsession with Aliens. As a fan of Indy and the last three films, it's a huge kick to the nuts to see it go out this way.

  2. I will see it anyway, but I suspect this review is too accurate for comfort. Really, what happened to Ford and Spielberg to let Luke-ass eff it up like this? Old age?

    Can't wait until Bina reviews this:

  3. Seriously, I thought all of the stuff you saw was retarded, too, until I saw the ending.

    Trust me, nothing is as retarded as the ending.

  4. all of this makes me so curious,almost curious enough to actually go out and see the movie.


    So Good!

  6. Well, I finally saw it, and it wasn't bad. Temple of Doomish, I'd say - not Ark or Crusade. Shame you missed the last 20 minutes, because those most reminded me of the old Indy feeling.