Sunday, May 25, 2008

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

This is a movie, not a film. Its purpose isn't to give you deep insights into the human condition or to probe the
psyches of its characters. It's here to thrill, surprise, and delight, and for me it succeeds on every level.

I suspect that most of the people who see the movie won't understand why I enjoyed it so much, but that's because they haven't had the same experiences I've had, didn't grow up when I did. Sure, they may have seen a Republic serial on DVD, but they don't know what it was like to be a kid and walk to the Palace Theater on Saturday afternoon where I'd sit through the western double feature with half the rowdy kids in town yelling and whistling and clapping, all the while anticipating the serial, which often got a bigger reception than the features. Because there's a little of that kid left in me, I tend to watch the Indiana Jones movies a bit differently from the whippersnappers, I think. Roger Ebert said something like "this isn't a Saturday afternoon serial. It's what those serials would have been if they could have." Exactly.

Be that as it may, I had a wonderful time at Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. The plot? Who cares? It doesn't matter. What matters is the action, the laughs, the fun. The Nasca Lines! Karen Allen! A bullwhip! Quicksand! (Okay, so it's not quicksand. Same difference.) And, of course, Harrison Ford! He might not be a great actor, but he's great in this role. Geezers rule. Don't believe me? You will after you see the movie. Shia LaBeouf? Gimme a break. He tries to come across like Marlon Brando in The Wild One, but instead he's Fonzie after the shark. If George Lucas thinks he can continue the series with LaBeouf, he's nuts. LaBeouf can't carry Harrison Ford's fedora.

Where does The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull rank in the Indiana Jones cycle? I'd say it's considerably better than The Temple of Doom and as good as The Last Crusade. Probably nobody will agree, but it's my blog, after all.

10 comments:

Mary Ann Melton said...

Henry and I thoroughly enjoyed this movie as well.
For me however, I liked the Last Crusade better. But I am looking forward to getting to see this one again.

Gerald So said...

I prefer SKULL to TEMPLE OF DOOM, too, Bill. LAST CRUSADE was enough closure for me. I took this fourth Indy as an unexpected treat.

Graham Powell said...

Did anyone else think that Ford's voice has changed quite a bit since CRUSADE? I caught that film on TV about a week before I was SKULL, and he just doesn't sound the same.

Gerald So said...

It sounds to me as if Ford's voice has gotten more gravel. For the first few minutes, it was almost as if another actor were playing Indy. I got used to it, though.

Karen Allen's voice isn't as husky as in RAIDERS or STARMAN. Again, I didn't mind much, but to hear those distinctive voices would have added a lot for me.

Brent McKee said...

I enjoyed it tremendously, but I have to say it had the feel of one of those TV reunion movies where they gather the cast of an old show together after ten or fifteen years and tell a new story that fills in the history of the characters. You could see that the "Oxley" character would have been replaced with Henry Sr. if Sean Connery would have been willing to come out of retirement. Still it was great to see Karen Allen again, and let's just say that she's aged better than Harrison Ford.

Cap'n Bob Napier said...

I saw a report on Karen Allen on one of those Sunday morning shows today and she doesn't look bad for her age. She's a textile artist, owns a store in New England that sells her goods, and seems pretty content with life.

Bill Crider said...

I thought Karen Allen looked great, and what a killer smile she has!

FixedXorBroken said...

George Lucas won't see one more dollar from me. He has repeatedly shown himself to be a hack.

Anyone who has spent money to see this film (synonym for movie) should be embarrassed for perpetuating hackery in pop culture.

Anonymous said...

I have a friend who loves Indiana Jones. He told me not to bother going to see this movie.

RJR

Bill Crider said...

Seems there are a lot of people who feel that way. I'm not one of them, though.