Monday, May 26, 2008

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

“The waste in the human existence is waiting.”

So spake Dr. Oxley from the most recent Indiana Jones film. Not a verbatim quote, dammit, I tried to remember it all the way home, but sadly I’ve lost it. So the above was the best I could do. Contrary to some of the more prominent reviews I’ve read I really enjoyed it. There was a lot to enjoy!

We were treated to numerous shout outs to the earlier films; greeted as usual in the beginning of the “Paramount Mountain”; the iconic Indiana Jones “shadow”, a classroom at “Marshall College”, snakes, and the lovely lovely Karen Allen (yeah yeah, I know, she was only in the first movie, but she was my favorite female partner for Jones and I couldn’t wait to see her again) I was touched to see Dr. Marcus Brody’s image featured a few times in the film – once as a statue and I could have sworn I saw a painting in his likeness early on in a hallway at university. I might be wrong on that one. Oh, but I missed Sean Connery. He was my favorite pairing for Indy, male or female, of all time.

Cate Blanchett – fabulous.

I kept waiting for a break in the action, but didn’t get one. We went right from one chase scene and can’t-possibly-get-out-of-this-situation-alive to another. Guys may like that, I like to take the occasional breather. Missed the use of the whip more…and they are obviously going to put a sword in LaBeouf’s hands if they make a fifth in the series.

I particularly liked that they didn’t pander to the younger Shia LaBeouf audience…seems to be the fashion in movie making these days to make the younger generation appear wiser than the bumbling older generation – a la “Transformers” and “Disturbia” – the other two LaBeouf movies I’ve seen recently. The kid had moxie and gumption but he was not the world weary archaeologist who has seen more destruction and pounded more faces in with his fist than the kid had opportunities to comb his hair. No. They pandered to me…the audience who first cheered Indy on in 1981.

What am I saying, they made the adults look like idiots when I was a kid and I loved it. Because adults were idiots when I was a kid. We are much smarter these days.

Anyway, I’m not giving out any spoilers, just telling you that if you loved the first three, you will enjoy the next in the series. It was delightful; the premise was a little hinky for me and without doubt the ending ripped right out of the back of the 1998 XFiles movie script, but I’m a forgiving person.

But yeah, “The waste in the human existence is the waiting.” I couldn't help thinking that that was Lucas, Spielberg and Ford nodding to us again, thanking us for waiting. We waited for a long time. Glad he’s back.


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