After almost twenty years Indiana Jones(Harrison Ford) has finally returned to the big screen for another non-stop action adventure. The last time we saw Dr. Jones he was riding into the sunset after stopping the Nazis from stealing the Holy Grail. This time around a few years have passed and it’s the late 50’s, America is at war with the Soviets. Indiana Jones, much older now, is still a part time teacher/ treasure hunter. The Soviets lead by Irina Spalko (Blanchett) are in search of the crystal skull and the mysterious powers it possesses.
I had been looking forward to this movie for a long time. It had been at the top of my list of movies to see this summer. Its been something like 27 years since the very first Indiana Jones movie first appeared on the big screen, I wasn’t even born yet. And I was only four when The Last Crusade was released. It was kind of funny cause I went to see this movie with my father who was the same age I am when Raiders of the Lost Ark came to the theaters.
When the film was being made I tried to ignore any little leaked info that was being released about the plot. Luckily the makers of the film were tight lipped as it was about any little details getting out all at once. But then I heard one rumor that I just couldn’t ignore, that the plot may center around aliens. WHAT!!!…..no this cannot be!! If I want to watch a sci-fi movie made by Spielberg or Lucas I’ll watch E.T or Star Wars. I want a good old action adventure movie just like the last three movies were. But to my dismay when I went into the theater after about 20 minutes into the film I realized that the movie very well indeed had to do with some sort of alien lifeforms.
First, let me start off by listing what I did like about the movie. Number one would have to be all the action. Out of all the previous movies this one contains the most out of all three combined. From beginning to end thats all you get is non-stop action sequences. Sure a few were a little over the top, (LaBeouf swinging through on vines like George of the Jungle was a little ridiculous and cheesy) but what do you expect out of an Indiana Jones film. The car chase in the jungle, warehouse fight, the three water falls, and the killer ants were all memorable action moments in the film that everyone will enjoy. Some were skeptic that Ford in the age that he is would even be able to live up to the same Indy expectations. Yes, Ford has aged a bit from the last Indy movie but for a guy who is in his mid-60’s he’s in pretty good shape. There is a scene where he is shirtless that proves my point. So I was able to believe that a 60 something year old in tip top shape could still get away with kicking some ass and getting his own ass kicked at the same time without dropping over dead. The filmmakers reference several times about the time that has passed and the old age. So the characters aren’t delusional about time and what they can and cannot still do. Now that you have all the good point in the movie, lets go on with what I didn’t care for. When did Spielberg get so lazy as a film maker that he decided to do some of the simplest scenes in the movie with green screens and CGI. What was so great about the previous films was the grittiness and realistic approach. That was sort of lost here in this movie. The producer Frank Marshall supposable had said previously before the film was made that their wasn’t going to be a bunch of special effects. Well I guess he lied cause there were a lot, and about 85% of the movie was filled with them. If a movie opens up with digital groundhogs and you know for a fact that they are CGI, I might just get a little worried. Even though the other previous movies were made before all the advances in special effects they are still good for todays standards. I understand that they want to pull out all the stops for an Indiana Jones movie made now, and there were some really great scenes that you just can’t do without SFX. But it was just a bit overwhelming to me. My other problem with the movie was obviously the storyline. Some, like my own father, will like it. I on the other hand was a little turned off by everything. And let me just make it clear it was the whole crystal skull origin and conclusion that I didn’t like. Everything involving Indy and his relationship with Marion (Allen) and Mutt (LaBeouf) I thought was fine and worked really well. I was really glad that they decided to bring back the Marion character, but she really didn’t have that big of a part that I wish she could have had. She really was there to move the storyline along and to be arm candy for Indy. LaBeouf character was ok as well, you kind of see where the storyline is going with his character after a few minutes of him interacting with Ford. He fit in nicely as the comic relief and sidekick which is always needed in every Indy movie. At the end of the movie there is a scene of almost the passing of the hat to his character. I hope that doesn’t happen, even though he was good in the movie he was good in a sidekick manner. Ford is Indiana Jones and thats what people want to see not somebody else. I wouldn’t mind if they just leave this as the last film, it ends in a appropriate manner that I could deal with. Plus I just could believe that Ford could do some of the stuff at the age of 65. I don’t think he can be fighting and whip swinging around at the age of 70. For a summer blockbuster this is a perfect movie to kick everything off. And Indy fans will still enjoy it either way.