Mujubius (mujubius) wrote in dark_preachers,

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Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull *Spoilerfific Review*

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull... hmmm... what to say... well, let's start with the bad. I have three very major problems with the movie.

1. Okay, I'm going to put it out there. Shia La Beouf is shit. I don't like him. I liked him for precisely the length of one film - Holes. He had the advantage of one of the best youth theatre scripts out there for that one though. Shia was the worst thing about Indy IV at every moment. He was the thing that stopped me from accepting several of the scenes. Spielberg's slightly unhealthy obsession with the young man has seen him placed central to some set-pieces that would have done better without him.

Seriously - it was about the point where he was swinging through the trees like Tarzan, following a crowd of friendly monkeys that I thought "wow, I hope this little runt falls off and is devoured by flesh-eating ants". He made me angry, and the movie would have benefited greatly from less of his presence.

Oh - and the convenient plot devices utilised to make him more useful were pathetic as well. "Oh, I dropped out of school cos I'm a rebel but stayed just long enough to become awesome at fencing so now I can be in a big setpiece battle with Cate Blanchett before having a swing across some of the most conveniently places CGI vines of all time!" I'm sorry, but what? I bought him riding the motorbike, I bought him being a greaser, but it was about the point they left America that I stopped buying into the character and thought "Spielberg and Lucas, there's gotta be cheaper ways to make love to a young man".

And when that little bitch picked up the hat at the end, and Spielberg played that little moment where he started to put the hat on, as though taking on the mantle... I nearly vomited into my shoes and held my breath. Had he put it on his head and walked out wearing it, I would have sworn very loudly and angrily into the theatre. Thankfully, Indy reclaimed it. But it was very close for a moment there.

2. There was too much CGI. WAAAAAAAYYYY too much. This movie needed more practical effects. The thing with CGI is it looks glossed, not quite real, even at its best. That is why nothing ever feels very dangerous in CGI. The big car chase through the jungle was exhilarating, until the effects became too obvious, then it was just pantomime in front of a green-screen. The big fist fights between Indy and thug number one... well, it made me sad that the CGI surroundings took away the tension in their fight. I remember when Indy had the fist fight on top of the plane with the big Nazi in Raiders, and it was awesome because it was nasty - you could feel the punches. The fist fights here, I was never in doubt about the good guys' victory - and this in the film with an ageing hero where his mortality should have been even more emphasised! It did give a few iconic moments... the image of Indy standing in front of the mushroom cloud burned itself into my brain... but those moments were two few to really appreciate.

3. Finally... Aliens? The mystical artifact was an alien? This film felt like it was supposed to be named Indiana Jones and the Tardis of Doom. "Were they from outer-space?" "No, they were inter-dimensional beings - from the spaces between spaces." More like "was this exposition wank?" "No, it was friction-burn with wank - from the space tugging too much between wanks." Indiana has always encountered mystical artifacts from mythology and legend. The Ark, the Grail, the Shankhara stones... and to bring him back they used goddamn aliens??????? In the end, it sounded like a Dr Who and Indy crossover. This story belonged in fan-fiction, not on the screen. And that is far from a compliment.

I'm more indignant about this than maybe I should be, but I can't help it, it's made me annoyed! I used to want to be Indy, I very nearly studied History at Uni and worked towards becoming an Archaeologist all because of a life-long love of a hat and a whip (and making it up as I go). I've always loved the booby traps, the mysticism, the sense of lost civilisations and peoples. I was thrilled that Indy IV was going to South America, and was hoping for something exciting. INSTEAD they skimmed over the cool stuff to run with the silly stuff. Sigh.

Of course, all this implies that I hated it when I didn't. I actually enjoyed myself. Harrison Ford still has it, making the character all that I expected. Karen Allen was as sparky as I was hoping she would be, and seeing Indiana and Marianne back together again was great! Ray Winstone was ace (he always is) as was John Hurt (who also always is). SOME of the setpieces were very thrilling like the motorbike chase, and walking into the lost valley for the first time... and some of the character touches were also nice - shitty little Shia throwing a snake to Indy to use as a rope for instance was fantastic.

In the end, it was still a crowd-pleasing spectacle that referenced many of the right things, but was too in love with modern devices to really succeed as a return to the hey-day of the series. An objective score would be 6/10, but as I'm far from objective, and a lot of the nostalgia just worked for me I'm giving it...

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I love Shia LaBouf! Without him, I would have hated Transformers, and while I agree that his abilities were a bit random, I was cheering for him to pick up the hat at the end. :P
Really? He annoyed the shit out of me in Transformers, even more so the second time I saw it. I know for Jazz, he was the worst thing about that movie (in a movie full of disappointments). The trouble was that he was a sleazy, unlikeable idiot in that movie. At least in Indy there were likeable things about his character, but the filmmakers just gave him too many things to do in a movie that shouldn't have been about him. Shortround was a better sidekick than Mutt.

I can't fathom how you could cheer for him to actually pick up the hat! It's Indy's hat, Indy's icon. It could have been Jake Gyllenhaal (a young actor I actually like) picking up the hat and I'd have still been screaming in anger. Indy doesn't need a successor, and I severely dislike the inference that there should be one. There's a reason why they don't make a James Bond Junior movie*! Why would we want to see Indiana Jones Junior?

*Did you watch that show/read those comics as a kid? Fucking dreadful...
Ahhahahahaha I loved that cartoon for real, it was sooooooooooooo stupid it was good.

Yes, Shia LaBeouf annoys me. He annoys me so much I don't even know how to spell his name. I absolutely loved everything to do with Transformers- until I saw that movie with him in it. He made me sad :( why couldn't they of had Spike and his dad meet the Transformers like was supposed to happen instead of that little poo who only wanted to get it on with skank girl...

So I was scared when I heard he was in the new Indy...although I didn't hate him in it until the snakes bit either, and then I hated him some more when he tried to take Indy's hat. He needs his own quirks and image and costume, and I don't think stealing Indy's hat is going to work for him. I actually didn't mind him the rest of the time, because when he was annoying, he was actually supposed to be annoying, plus it meant Indy had some good yelling at him moments YAY!!

Best comment ever. heh.
Indy doesn't need a successor, and I severely dislike the inference that there should be one. There's a reason why they don't make a James Bond Junior movie!

But James Bond changed actors every couple of weeks. That's why a James Bond Junior is so unnecessary, because he did have a successor. Different actor, same role.