Thursday, May 22, 2008
Kinda Can't Go Home Again
I pretty much ran the gauntlet of movie fan emotions when it came to the new Indiana Jones flick, 'Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull'. When it was announced, I wasn't interested, largely because George Lucas hasn't had a good story idea in decades and Harrison Ford has been a constipated curmudgeon onscreen for the last fifteen years.
Then I saw a photo for the film and Ford looked right, and I started having a bit more interest mixed with anticipation. Then I saw the poster, a great illustration by Drew Stuzman, and I started getting excited. Saw the trailer and it felt right. I thought to myself, 'well, I enjoyed Rocky Balboa and had a great time with Live Free or Die Hard, so I applied the same logic to 'Indy'. Unfortunately, Indy was a huge disappointment. I left the film feeling insulted and disrespected by the filmmakers.
The story is too convoluted to delve into, but the biggest crime is that it was an expensive example of lazy filmmaking. Nothing about it was inspired, the special effects looked about 25 years old and it just laid flat. There's a great deal of exposition, which I'd imagine will have kids squirming in their seats looking for more action.
Ford was fine, nothing was wrong with Shia LaBoute, and it was nice to see Karen Allen back on the scene. But to see them just go through the motions was painful. It feels like time has just passed Indy by, but it really didn't have to. New blood a' la 'Live Free or Die Hard', could have approached the franchise with fresh eyes and new energy, resulting in a film for a new generation.
Sad to say, while it was incredibly flawed, I had a much better time watching Speed Racer. The movie was a mess, but it was inspired and never boring, the exact opposite of 'Crystal Skull'. Here's hoping Lucas, Ford and Spielberg will see the sour taste they've left in moviegoers mouths and leave bad enough alone.