Saturday, May 24, 2008

Movie review: Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

Given what happened with the Star Wars prequels, I was a little nervous about the return of Indiana Jones after 19 years. But overall, Indy 4 is a good movie. Not as good as the original Raiders but on a par with Temple of Doom and Last Crusade.

I think one of the reasons it works despite after all of these years is that the movie acknowledges and incorporates that the fact that Indy and the world have all gotten older. Jones has a lot of grey and Commies have replaced Nazis as the "bad guys".

Fortunately Spielberg directed... but the movie isn't without Lucas' influence...

(Think Robot Chicken)
Spielberg (on phone): Yeah George, that's great but this is Indiana Jones, not Star Wars. There are no Ewoks. I know they're great for merchandising, but it's the wrong movie franchise. I'm sure your grandkids love them... (mutters) the little bastards loved Jar Jar too I bet. What? No, I was asking someone else here something. George, I let you have the CGI prairie dogs, but no Ewoks. George? Come on... George, don't cry. Ok, ok, we'll have some Ewoks George. I'll take care of it. Bye George. (Hangs up, the makes another call) Frankie, it's Steve. Yeah, we need to add a scene with monkeys. Yes monkeys... I just got off the phone with George and he had one of his muppet meltdowns. No, just make them monkeys, I'll tell George that they're primitive pygmy Ewoks living in secret."

But overall the movie was the popcorn-munching fun we've come to expect from the Indiana Jones movie. The addition of "Mutt" wasn't annoying, though it helped he was an adult and not another Short-Round. It's a shame that the spoilerific deluge of media will ruin any "reveals" for the movie, and Blanchett bordered on cartoony as the villian, but the movie is definitely worth the price of admission.

My rating: 3.5 tomb-raiding whip-cracking flying monkeys.



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