Monday, July 14, 2008

Indiana Jones 4 - The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

Ok, I know it has been out a while now but with 2 kids, and one of them only being 6 months old it has been hard to get out of the house by ourselves.

*** WARNING: I will try to keep the spoilers to a minimum but I'm sure some stuff is going to spill out so read with caution if you haven't seen the movie yet ***

I went out to see Indiana Jones 4 this weekend with my wife. I had my doubts about it as I hadn't heard anyone around the office talking about it. You can usually tell if a movie is good based on water cooler conversation but nobody has been talking about it here. I have asked a few people and they all either say "no, I haven't seen it" or "my kids went to see it". Odd, it just look like anyone is driven to go see this movie.

I have been waiting for this for a long time but alas, I was left feeling a little bit like most of us after seeing Star Wars Episode 1.

Don't get me wrong, "The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" is a good movie but nowhere near "great". Yes, I will probably add it to my DVD Collection as I have the other 3 but it will not be something I rush out to get.

First off, let me just say that this just doesn't feel like one of the usual "Indiana Jones" movies. For one, it is way to bright, way too clean. It kind of feels like it could be "National Treasure 3" or "Tomb Raider 3" and Indiana Jones just happened to be there.

Not sure if that makes sense :)

When you watch "National Treasure 1" you will notice there are a lot of back story scenes that are in town, grass is green, there are trees and big buildings. Not very "Indy" like. However, that movie does end up moving in the vein of "Indiana Jones".

This fourth installment of the "Indiana Jones" movies feels about the same. It is bright. There is a lot of time spent in bright colored U.S. cities. Not quite the norm for "Indiana Jones". A lot of time is spent at the University Dr Jones teaches at. No problem with that, we have seen him at school before but this was a little excessive. Then, you mix in a little bit of the movie "Greese" for that 50's feel and some Communism propaganda (getting closer to that "Indy" feel) and then toss in Area 51 and the test of a nuclear bomb in a surreal 50's style community, you get a pretty weird mix.

Don't get me wrong, when they actually got "out in the field" it got interesting but I would have enjoyed more of that.

To add a little insult to injury with this movie, rather than keeping in line with spirituality and religion, "Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" moves more in the line of the "X-Files". Don't get me wrong, I like the X-Files but it was a bit odd for this movie.

I guess there was some tie in there. All of the other movies taught a lesson of respect for spirituality, worship and religion. "Indiana Jones 4" did this as well but in this case worshiping of "gods" from another world (or dimension).

Again, sorry for the spoilers but I just can't talk about the movie without mentioning this stuff.

Oh yeah, there was almost, maybe, just possibly a handing off of the torch in this movie to a "successor" but they left it open and not quite "done" as far as that matter is concerned.

Harrison Ford is getting old so hopefully they will do another movie soon before it is too late for him.

All in all, I would say it was a "decent" movie but definitely not on par with the other three. I have read where others equate it to the "2nd" movie in a series. I know there are some that love "Empire Strikes Back" but "Temple of Doom" is as much a "go between" film for the "Indiana Jones" franchise as "Empire" is for Star Wars. There I said it, now sue me :)

"Indian Jones 4" seems to be a "go between" movie... it is as if this was supposed to provide us with a little "filler" while they flush something better out. Hopefully we won't have to wait 20 (ish) years for another one.

Oh, and somebody please stop George Lucas. Please don't ever let him write a line of dialogue again. It is really weird, Star Wars 4-6 and Indiana Jones 1-3 had "decent" dialogue... albeit not great but "decent". Star Wars Episodes 1-3 were bloody awful and Indiana Jones 4 felt the same way. The dialogue and the scene choices were just horrible. Spielberg should have been more involved there... or maybe he was and that was the problem... not that he would have been better but come on, George Lucas has great ideas but he really, really needs to let go of the reigns and let someone write better dialogue around his "stories".

In the past Harrison Ford has stretched a little to adlib some of his dialogue and it was great. In this movie it seemed like he was just reading lines sometimes.

Ok, sorry if I spoiled the movie for you. If you don't want to waste money at the theater, at least rent it on DVD later, it is one of those movies you have to see if you are a fan but it won't blow your socks off like 1 and 2.

Sorry if this review seems a little erradict, I am doing this during my lunch break at work so I'm rushing it a bit :)

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