(No spoilers in this review.)
You have no idea how much it pains me to say that I saw Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull last night (and was first in line for the 9:45 PM show... arriving nearly 2 hours in advance, for that matter), and it was awful. So much so that I sat--stunned--in my seat at the end of the movie and felt extreme bitterness welling up inside of me. So much so that I stayed awake in bed last night, going over the movie in my head and getting upset all over again. So much so that I am even more angry about it today. How could they take TWENTY YEARS to come up with the idea for this movie and still have all of the same big names as in the past attached to its creation and have it be so horrible? I'm at a loss for an explanation.
So what was so bad? Where do I begin? Since I don't want to give anything away as I know tons of people are going to see it no matter what, I will have to be a little bit vague here. At a high-level, here's what I hated:
- The overall storyline. It was very convoluted and not well thought-out. The movie was two hours long, and at no point did I feel any tension or excitement. About half-way through, I was bored--and remained that way. They could've cut out almost all of the scenes at the very beginning--we didn't need that much set-up. In fact, one whole part where Indy is in a "fake town" seemed, in retrospect, totally pointless.
- The special effects. I will say that some of them were OK, but then others were just so unbelievably bad that I had a hard time believing I was watching an Indiana Jones movie released in the year 2008.
- The extra-ridiculous scenes. And how many of them there were. I knew there was no saving the movie after witnessing the "Shia of the Jungle" sequence, as my friend CM called it. I was seriously embarrassed by what I saw, but even more embarrassed for the actors. And the climactic scene at the end did not belong in this movie. It belonged in another movie that I am greatly looking forward to this summer (that's a hint), but NOT in this movie. The several animal scenes didn't belong, either. In fact, some of them were straight-up stolen from Caddyshack.
- The bad acting. Shia was by far the best actor in the movie (yes, I'm biased), but even he didn't do that well. Harrison Ford--well, it was like he was playing a different character 75% of the time. Cate Blanchett? Umm, let's just say that Galadriel cannot pull off a Russian accent.
- Shia's haircut. On top of everything else, I didn't even get to indulge my Shia crush, because he looked like The Fonz, and it was just not right.
I blame George Lucas for this monstrosity. Spielberg has enough other movies in his roster that you can be pretty sure that he wasn't behind the horribleness of this movie (though he must have signed off on it). But George Lucas? Besides American Graffiti... the man is kind of known for cheesiness and not-so-great films.
What? you say. What about Star Wars? Well, I do love the Star Wars franchise, but the cold hard fact is that if you saw those movies for the first time as an adult, there's a good chance you would think they were crap and wouldn't understand what all the fuss was about. Like it or not, a big reason why those movies were so successful is because they were geared toward a younger audience who could deal with a lot of goofiness, bad dialogue and sub-par acting. They came to us from the same man who made Howard the Duck and Captain EO, need I remind you.
So I blame Lucas for Indy's downfall. As my husband said, "They were just trying to do too much" in it, and it was "over-the-top." My husband didn't hate it as much as I did, but then again, he's not as big of a nerd as I am, either. He felt that the movie was simply meant for younger audiences... not jaded thirty-somethings. (And while many of the reviews I have seen have been mediocre to overly kind, here is one that I agree with, though it contains spoilers.)
I will end by saying this... the theater wasn't even sold out (though I know the movie is still going to do well and rule the box office for a while), and there were like two people who clapped weakly at the end. I think most people left the theater just as highly disturbed as I was.
If nothing else, I hope my scathing review of this movie has sufficiently lowered the expectations of those of you who have not yet seen it, so that you will perhaps be pleasantly surprised after you check it out. But as for me, well... I wish I never saw Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, because now my memories of Indy are tainted forever. (Yes, I'm being dramatic, but I'm still really mad, OK?!?)
(Comments for this post CAN and SHOULD include information about the movie, because I'm interested to hear from those of you who saw it. So if you don't want to be spoiled, don't read the comments.)
Friday, May 23, 2008
(No spoilers in this review.)