Indiana Jones and the storyline of stupidity

May 23, 2008

Saw Indy 4 and while it had some good moments, the overall film sucks a little bit and the plot smells like Jar Jar Binks’ socks. George Lucas supplied the story and David Koepp wrote the ‘screenplay’. The main problem is the story. While it has some scenes that spark up the imagination of the original, especially when it features direct references to the previous films, the new territory it explores is, unfortunately, stupid.

The main problem is Lucas adds Science Fiction into the Indy mix. Indiana Jones is about mythology and even has an odd religious sensibility that works for it. i.e. the religious truth behind myths. But this is all lost in the stupid alien crystal skull plot line. Its about as mysterious as Ray Winston’s toe and clearly bullshit. This manages to fuck the whole film up, basically.

Spielberg does a good job trying to make this work. He can be quite a good director of these kind of films, when he is on his game, and he is here. There is some good news. Lucas and crew do add an excellent chase through a University, with good lines, that is classic Indy. Also good are the subplot that brings Marion back into Indy’s life and the “I’m your son, Mutt” of the Shia Le Boufhead arc. Cate Blanchett does a pretty good semi comic villian as a Russian Stalinist, that I’m sure helped her at the 2020 conference. The Nuclear explosion scene is clever but unbelievable. The best stuff is at Indy’s classroom, the talk of mythology, in jokes about the cold war and the 50’s American Graffitti references, with swinging teen hipsters that keep popping into the movie. This stuff is all great.

The Tomb raiding stuff is a little lame and Temple Of Doomesque. The film is about as good as the second of the original trilogy, I’d say, which is my least favourite of the original films.

It basically needed a serious rewrite, these skulls could vibe on the whole Mayan mythology of Apocalypse, etc, not aliens! The film seems rushed, ala, cashing in for all concerned. The Harrison Ford age issue, is no biggie. He can do this stuff blindfolded and looks only about 55. He could do another one or two before he gets too ‘past it’. The jokes about his age counter intuitively remind us that actually Ford isn’t too old (yet) to do this shit. As to the hint of Shia Le Bouf becoming the new Indy, somebody save us! He’s ok in Disturbia, and could do similar light weight fare, but am I the only one that thinks this guy is a dick head? Give me Into the Wild, Speed Racer and Alpha Dog’s Amiel Hirsch any day over this boob.

3 Responses to “Indiana Jones and the storyline of stupidity”

  1. badMike said

    Saw the film last night myself and I mostly agree with your review. What I wanted to add is that what I thought buried the film was the scene after scene after scene of irritating exposition.

    So much of the film had this bland, convoluted story about aliens and Mayans and John Hurt taking the skull, then putting it back and it only talks to some people, blah blah blah. The first film had: ark, ten commandments, god. You “get” it in 2 seconds. You can’t explain the crystal skull’s backstory without a 20-minute exposition scene. And I was really hoping there was going to be some non-alien explanation at the end, but again the extra convolutions to explain the aliens was beyond ludicrous and dull.

    And I don’t agree about Emile Hirsch. I haven’t seen Into the Wild, but I thought Alpha Dog was dreadful and he was pretty bland as Speed Racer. I like Emile and he seems like a good kid, but I don’t think he’s the leading man, heroic type.

  2. richard777 said

    Yes, the exposition was absurd. In the old films the exposition was short, mythological, sweet and then onto the next swash buckling episode. John Hurt’s character may have worked, if the myth had been interesting, but aliens are just silly in an Indy context.

    Yeah, I agree I hoped for a non alien surprise ending. Its so ‘Deus Ex Machina’, having the aliens behind everything.

    RE: Emile Hirsch. You have to see Into the Wild, first, to get him. He starts off annoying you and then you just can’t help liking him as he slowly starves to death from his own folly. Haven’t seen Speed, but I think my notion of ‘Crack Cinema’ is a good one, that will hold up after seeing the film. Alpha Dog, I didn’t mind him, mainly because of Into The Wild, though. I liked Alpha Dog by the way, it had its flaws, but it was young, aggressive and nasty. What a fool that kid was to hang around with his kidnappers, when he could have escaped? Also dig the Jewish neo Nazi character with Hitler posters on his wall in AD. With Alpha Dog and The Believer, there’s a new sub trend of Jewish Neo-Nazi characters in cinema.

  3. Zapper said

    Somehow i missed the point. Probably lost in translation 🙂 Anyway … nice blog to visit.

    cheers, Zapper!!!

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