Wednesday, May 28, 2008

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

I realized that I needed to start taking vacation days, since the year is close to half over -- and how did that happen? -- so I declared last Friday a personal holiday. Since the kids were in school, The Wife and I went off to the megalithic and slightly frightening Palisades Center to see Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull and have lunch at Dave & Busters. (She'd called the place "Chuck E. Cheese for adults," which is quite true -- it has lots of games, many of them very vaguely skill-based, mediocre food, a full bar, and a room full of junk you can "buy" with the tickets you "win" on the overpriced games.)

Do you need me to tell you about Indy 4? I don't think so. I might be a guy who saw it at 10:35 AM on the day it opened, but I'm not the guy who did that because he's a huge fan -- I'm the guy who did that because we were out of the house, without the kids, so BY GOD we were going to see a movie for adults. (Well, more or less.)

If you're actually looking for a review of this review-proof movie, Locus has a decent one from a genre point of view, and Roger Ebert has an appreciative review in a less staccato style. But the vast majority of the country has either seen it or is never going to see it, so it's more message-board fodder than something to review.

Parts of it were purely enjoyable, like Harrison Ford and Karen Allen (whom we've seen far too little of for far too long); parts of it were a little too much, like the atom-bomb test, most of Shia LeBeouf's fake-Brando character, and the moments when the enemies wander away because that scene is over; and parts of it were just this side of hooey, like everything to do with the aliens. All in all, it worked, but Indiana Jones stories work best when the big supernatural thing is kept quiet until the big finale, not dragged out in reel two. (The title, also, is longer and more cumbersome than the other three movies.)

And I certainly hope we don't get a series of "Indy Jr." movies, with LeBeouf as a '60s swinging archaeologist. Some things just shouldn't be.

But, as a big summer movie, Crystal Skull delivers in the ways it needs to. I look forward to seeing it again, with my sons, when it hits video. (But they have to see Temple of Doom first -- maybe Last Crusade, if they want, but that one's not mandatory.)

1 comment:

RobB said...

Fair review and similar to my thoughts with the exception that I thought LeBeouf wasn't all that bad. Then again, I watched him in the execrable Transformers movie recently on cable.

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