Monday, June 30, 2008

Indy's Back

I finally saw Indiana Jones and The Crystal Skull last night. A little background: I am a HUGE fan of the series. I loved Raiders of The Lost Ark (1981). This may age me a bit, but I saw it the first week it was out and I bought the soundtrack. I had a copy of the screenplay, illustrated with storyboards from the film. I used to read it over and over, because it was like reliving the film. I was also, like most red-blooded film geeks at that time, a huge fan of both George Lucas and Steven Spielberg and I thought the film was a match made in heaven.

I was a little disappointed with Temple of Doom (1984) but I still liked it quite a bit, especially the wonderful coal car race at the end and the scene with the rope bridge. I missed Karen Allen, though. I thought Kate Capshaw was a weak substitute.

Although I liked Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989), it felt a little like a retread of the first two films. The thing that worked most for me was the casting of Sean Connery who's wonderful in the role of Indy's father.

Crystal Skull, I think had a brilliant opening by setting it in the government warehouse last shown at the end of Raiders. I thought Cate Blanchett's villainess was a lot of fun and a nice change of pace. In reading other blogs, the consensus seems to be that Shia LeBoeuf's Mutt is like the second coming of Jar Jar Binks. I disagree. I think the role is underwritten, but he does about a good job with it as could be expected.

There are many nice stunts and effects as well and a nice surprise at the end. I think my favorite scene is the one with the giant devouring ants.

When we first see Harrison Ford as Indy, I felt a little disappointed. He looked old to me. But as the film went on, I forgot about it, and it all made sense. My biggest criticism of the film would be that the structure of the screenplay seems slight jumpy and stop n' start, but I thought in the final analysis, it's enjoyable and a worthy entry into the series.

No comments: