*Posted May 30, 2008*
After 20 years, Indy is back, but does he deliver the goods? You better believe it. After seeing Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull three times, my view of the movie hasn't changed. It's as much fun as you want it to be. There definitely are some ridiculous plot points. Indy surviving an atomic bomb by hiding in a fridge almost ruins the films awesome first act. A better suggestion? How bout Indy briefly fights one of the Russians looking for him in that town until the siren and countdown starts. Idiot Russian hides in the fridge and gets vaporized because it is a dumb idea, and Indy finds a bomb shelter (it makes sense, George Lucas, that if the military was testing the bomb's affects on an average town, why not build an average underground shelter and see if it could withstand it?) Indy hides below, takes the blast, then walks through a couple miles of tunnels to the military base where the Janitor from Scrubs can interrogate him. MUCH BETTER! But the film quickly rebounds with some strong scenes at the University (the only times Harrison Ford looks his age is without the hat) and some very welcome tributes to Marcus Brody and Henry Jones, Sr. Next we meet Mutt, who turns out a lot better than most of us hoped, and another gripping action sequence. The film gets better and better until the final act, with all the alien nonsense. Again, if you let that stuff bother you, you'll hate the movie. The ark, sankara stones, and Holy Grail are all farfetched, but aliens is a huuuuggge stretch made worse by the fact that George Lucas and Steven Spielberg love making movies with aliens. The final sequence with the saucer looks nice, but neither the audience nor Indy really cares by that point. The new characters were interesting (with Colonel Doctor Spalko being one of the best of the whole series), the music holds up, and the action was even better than the old movies. The only problem was how fake the movie looked at times. CG gophers, CG jeep chase, CG monkeys (the absolute worst part of the movie! Sympathetic, Russian-hating monkeys saving the day? REALLY?!?!?!? It makes David Koepp seem like an r-tard). After multiple viewings, the film holds up. The good scenes get better, and even the alien storyline improves (remember when Stargate mixed Egypt and aliens? That movie was good, and so is this). Nostalgia alone gives this movie a big boost, it really was worth the wait. You just wish it had a little bit of drama to go with the action/comedy bits. B
P.S. - Considering how this turned out, it could've been a lot worse. It would've been really easy for Lucas to explain why the Ark, Grail, and stones are magical in the first place (the Aliens, of course!). Or if you read the possible script ideas last week, you know how bad it could have been. That doesn't excuse it's dumb parts with nukes or monkeys, just be thankful it was this good.