12 June 2008

Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull(s)

No, that's not quite the official title, but it's easier to say. And I quite enjoyed it (which will probably horrify Matt). ^/^

I went in expecting it to be mediocre, based on the reviews. It was better than mediocre. Not awesomely great, but an enjoyable romp. A few minor spoilers below the fold.

If you've seen the first or third movies, you know the basic plot (I can't remember the second well enough to compare). There is a powerful semi-mystical artifact. Bad people want it. Good people (including our intrepid hero) are trying to stop them from getting it. The bad people in this movie are Russians, as the writers realized that WWII couldn't last forever. However, they act just like the Nazis in the other two films, just with Russian accents and the occasional Russian word. Cate Blanchett is quite fun as the head Russian.

The artifact, as you probably can guess from the title, is a crystal skull. For the record, I'm not a bit fan of skull imagery, so I was quite pleased that these skulls didn't look particularly human. There's a reason for that, probably tied up with why a lot of people didn't like the movie. I'm not sure why aliens are any less plausible than power-of-god-in-a-box or an immortality-chalice myself. *shrugs* Oh, wait, you mean cultural myths are more culturally acceptable than fringe-lunatic-myths? Sorry, but...why?

Yeah, the plot is kind of ludicrous, but no more so than any of the other Indiana Jones movies. But I definitely liked the character sub-plots, though the passing-of-the-torch gig was a bit heavy-handed. On the other hand, I did not see an incredibly obvious plot twist coming, and I kicked myself for not seeing it. Incidentally, you know that, any time one character alone takes time to grab up all the treasure that he can, particularly gold ones, he's pretty much a goner.

One part bugged me (no pun intended, and for a different reason than it bugged Matt). Okay, the one guy who can lead them to the Forbidden City Secret Temple is in the car containing the "good guys". The Russians are in another car, attempting to drive the other car off the road into a bottomless ravine. DOES NOT COMPUTE. They still need the guide. They didn't even bother to have a half-hearted "Ve need zem alife!" In fact, it was the head honchess herself driving the vehicle attempting to shove them off the road! Maybe she knew it was just a movie and so she knew she wouldn't be able to push them off the road ...? She was supposed to be psychic, after all. *mutters*

Anyway, if you go in expecting a light-hearted romp, you'll probably enjoy it. If you go in expecting a masterpiece, you'll wind up hating it.


IAMB said...

That's it. I'm revoking your friend card.

Qalmlea said...

There's a card? Oh dear. I've been doing the "friend" thing wrong all these years! `/^

John said...

There was a moment right near the beginning that almost killed my ability to suspend disbelief. The "lead-lined refrigerator". Not that it was there, but that Indy wasn't a gooey red paste afterwards. Once I got back into it, though, the movew was enjoyable.

I had an almost identical moment early in "Ironman"

Qalmlea said...

Yeah, that part (lead-lined fridge) was just...ridiculous. My thought was along the lines of "Wait... exactly how thick are the walls of that fridge? Er, not enough."