Thursday, June 12, 2008

Indiana Pants and the Temple of O.A.P.'s

Turn away now if you don't want to read spoilers for the Indy IV movie - or indeed you grew up with the whip cracking archaeologist adventurer and cherish memories of raiding tombs and unearthing holy relics.

Went to see Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull last night with fellow compadres - kept away from reviews despite internet mutterings of pantness. The movie opened with their classic fade from logo to similar shaped gopher mound - and then we begin!

And within ten minutes I was clawing at the seat hoping and wishing and praying it wasn't true. But yep - Indy IV is about aliens. Oh - darn it. First a foray into Area 57 to unearth an alien corpse with a bunch of characterless Ruskies (even the chick boss falls flat) - where Indy gets betrayed, goes rocket powered, survives a nuclear blast (indications that we just ain't in Indy territory anymore) to end up with that guy from neighbours saving Indy from FBI interrogation - that we never get to see again.

From 'racing' around his college campus on the back of a jallopy to creaking thru a peruvian mini-tomb to trundling thru the Brazilian jungle in a three car fight scene - the action sequences are pedestrian, slow, awkward, timeline skewy and just plain dull. A few 'amusing' sequences with Mutt astride two vehicles, swinging thru the jungle with his troupe of monkeys, or just setting up a plot device to escape then get captured again. Doh!

Rick O'Connell and the Mummy crew did the 'Valley and pyramid' sequence a whole lot better - with their undead pygmies fun and savage (as opposed to the bola swinging tribe who burst out of clay hiding places). The Ruskies resorted to dancing like cossacks to remind us that they were actually ruskie - and the fight scene 'tween Indy and the semi-big ruskie was charmless and and boring.

The set pieces were crap. The plot was crap. The chase from one location to the other was crap. And this is before we start on the 3-step waterfall antics!

And then there is the aliens. Oh please, god, NO! The alien crystal skull, the alien autopsies, the alien 'put my head back on' ending. The whole adventure was X-files in a fedora - and it just doesn't sit well with the Indy Mythos! Makes a travesty of the Holy Grail (an alien douche?) or the Lost Ark of the Covenant (an alien prada bag?).

The actors were aged and drawing a pension as they made this film. And I sooooooo wanted to enjoy it, to love it, to purchase a blue-ray player specifically to buy the disc on its release. Sheesh - pants.

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