Thursday, May 22, 2008

Indy 4 Gripe (Spoilers)



No, do not tell me that frickin' aliens show up at the end of "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull" like "Close Encounters of the Third Kind."

No. No way. C'mon, people!

The Indy mythos to me always seemed wrapped up in a pre-atomic age world of movie serials and pseudo-religious supernaturalism. I think introducing aliens and stuff -- especially to that blatant extent -- really waters down the brand.

It's like Star Wars/ET meets Indiana Jones -- which, given the persons involved, would be appropriate, but still rather self-referential and unnecessary.

Oh, man.

Also, I don't think I've ever seen such a huge collection of lukewarm positive reviews for a movie. It's all like: "Well, there was no need for the film, and it really wasn't that great, but you know Indy is a cultural institution and I'm not the one who is going to pee in the punch."

But still looking great for her age:


  1. I was so happy to see Karen Allen cast again as Marion. I thought she was the strongest Indy girl and was sad to not see her in the sequels.

    Want to see, but just slightly meh. This sequel would have been more relevant ten years ago. Now? Aliens? Really? The meh grows stronger.

  2. I've yet to see it, but I love the Indy mythos and hope that the E.T. ending doesn't spoil it for me. Don't tell me the aliens look like Yoda or Chewbacca...

    I think I'm more excited to see Marion back in action though, I agree Karen Allen looks great for the years.

  3. The Boston Globe's reviewer said it's the second-best of the series, which really pissed me off. Temple of Doom gets swept under the rug because it has a cute kid in it and is an exercise in ego masturbation by all parties involved, but it's still 10 times better than that terd sandwich I had to choke down last night. I took the greatest offense to the audience being expected to accept that Indy could survive an atomic explosion by hiding inside a lead-lined refridgerator. That's the kinda garbage you see in comic books. ;-)

  4. "Indy could survive an atomic explosion by hiding inside a lead-lined refridgerator"


  5. Anonymous11:57 AM

    It was one of those 'fun romp' movies for me. I was hoping that the alien aspect was going to be the starter story that didn't do more than introduce a few characters---but no. erg.

    In the end though, my biggest complaint is that I didn't get to hear my name screamed at the top of somebody's lungs. ;)

  6. Yeah, Karen Allen is purdy. She's definitely a holdover from a misspent adolescence. *sigh*

  7. Although I haven't yet seen it, the concept of having aliens in Indy 4 doesn't bother me. After all, the 50's were full of that type of movie, and the Indy franchise HAS moved the character forward into that timeframe to reflect Ford's age.

  8. There is no way for me to say this without sounding like an appoligist but...
    The first three movies were very much of the time the stories took place in. They were made in the style of those films. So, if this one takes place in the 50's... then aliens make perefect sense.
    (But yeah, I'd rather something like that be implied than show up on the screen. We didn't need God, Moses and a host of angels to show up at the end of Raiders to make the point.)

  9. Aliens as opposed to the psuedo spiritual - that's EXACTLY what I've been thinking. I'm surprised I haven't seen more people putting it the same way (especially with all the shared-universe/continuity junkies out there...)

    BUT - at the risk of sounding like a sniveling, "prequel"-style apologist - I've been holding out hope that just MAYBE they can pull this off. After all, the Indyverse is a place where Judeo-Christian and Hindu mystical forces exist side-by-side... why not mix in some Maya-cosmogenisis style woo woo?

    If I 'member correctly, the first two sequels didn't go over too well w/ the critics, either. (Siskel and Ebert did an episode of "At the Movies" where they were calling Speilberg the greatest filmmaker EVA, only to return the following week with "thumbs down" for "Temple of Doom")

    My expectations have been low - HOPEFULLY I'll be surprised.

  10. The sight of Indy looking upon a newborn mushroom cloud was chilling though, despite the humor of the situation.

    I loved the movie, and not merely as a nostalgia trip or the like. It was a perfect piece of pulp. By the 1950s the zeitgeist had moved from the supernaturlist slant of the pulps to the extraterrestrial (no pun intended) films of the 1950s. The move from the adventure serial feel of the trilogy to the B-movie feel of this film was a natural move.

    At no point does the film wink at you, or treat the subject matter with any less seriousness than the Ark of the Covenant or the Shankara stones.

    Is it as good as Raiders? No. Nothing will ever be as good as Raiders of the Lost Ark, that movie was the cinematic version of a comet, to be seen but once in our lifetime. But it is an Indiana Jones movie, and ranks up there with Temple of Doom and Last Crusade. If you liked those films you'll have a good time with this one.

    I liked it even more than Iron Man.

    But that's me. Your mileage may vary.


  11. I've had a crush on Karen Allen since Animal House, and yes I saw it the theater. I may have to see the movie just because she's in it.

  12. Personally I rather liked the movie. And as for Karen Allen? To hell with for her age. She's incredibly sweet, sexy and wonderfully funny and spirited at any age. And honestly I find her more attractive now than when she was in the first Indy.

  13. What do you mean, "for her age"?

  14. I just saw it earlier today, and had a great time! I was definitely a bit dubious going into the film, given all the talk of aliens and whatnot, but ultimately I think it worked. I don't think it's quite as good as the original Indy films, but 19 years of nostalgia probably has a bit to do with it.

    I especially enjoyed the little touches that refered back to the earlier films. Of course, the one that everyone talks about is the appearance of a certain object in the opening twenty minutes of the film, but I actually enjoyed the photos of Marcus and Indy's father on his desk more. The exchange between Indy and the Dean regarding those two was actually very touching.

    As far as nitpicking the details, sure you can do that. Surving an atomic blast in a fridge? Yeah, probably wouldn't work. But you know what? Those moments are there in every one of the Indy films. A half full bag of sand weighing more than a gold idol? Absurd. The mine cart chase? Preposterous. The elaborate temple death traps in all of the films? Yeah right. Hey, if such things bother you, fine, that's totally valid. But don't let your affection for the original films make you think that such outrageous bits weren't part of the franchise all along.

    Anyway, I think it's a great film. Go see it, enjoy it, have a great time!

  15. The flick was awesome, get over it

  16. I stand by the atomic bomb incedent as being the worst Indy stunt evar! I do roll my eyes when he jumps out of that plane in Temple of Doom, inflates a raft, and magicially lands on a mountain without anyone getting hurt. Mythbusters showed that they would survive falling through those overhangs and into the car when jumping out of Club Obi Wan, but Indy and Willie should both have broken bones. And I've watched that tank roll off that cliff frame by frame in Last Crusade and there's no way he got off that tank.

    That said, though, to survive the bomb blast we have to assume the fridge doesn't disintigrate like everything else in the blast radius, that the shockwave would send the fridge hurtling over a half mile without turning Indy into jelly, and that there would be no heat cooking him alive in that thing. Also, weren't the three waterfalls a bit tedious?

    Those stunts in the other movies serve the plot in some way: Indy has to bail out of that plane to end up in the jungle. I'm not saying the movie wasn't fun, but it doesn't gel like the others. There's no real warning or indication that the big reveal will be aliens, who the hell are those weird jungle native guys who attack them in the cemetary and at the temple, the villains are also fairly flat, just loyal communists.

    It's just that, in the end, they're going to get my money one way or another. I'll buy Indy 4when it comes out on DVD, but I'm still pissed that with the best resources Spielberg, Lucas, and Ford could ever have, they turned out the most inferior product they've ever made together.