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May 08, 2008

Ain't It Cool Sneak Review: Indiana Jones Is Woeful

Medium-level spoilers here, though I'm guessing that the basics of the plot revealed here are revealed fairly early in the movie, like in the first third or so.

Nevertheless, the actual plot has been kept out of the trailers, so be alerted to that.

I think if you read what the plot is about you're going to be disappointed. Let's just say that the Indiana Jones trilogy has featured one fantastical element -- magic and mysticism -- and that this film seems to introduce two more, hitherto unhinted to exist in the world of Indiana Jones. Maybe I'll end up buying them, but I liked the old rules of the trilogy better.

Here are some spoiler-free quotes:

The big problem with the movie is that the traps or perilous moments are completely ass-inine and ridiculous. From a quicksand trap that Indy has time to yack on about, to being saved from said trap by LeBeef using a snake as a rope.

BTW, this snake is as crappy as a Mad TV prop when they don't CG it up, and that is another failing of this movie. The fake stuff doesn't mix with the real stuff at all. In the opening scenes where they are outside of the warehouse and Indy is pulled out of the trunk of the car (you'll recall the previews), they go from a real outdoors set to a fake indoors soundstage (pretending to be still outside). The jungle chase in the duck amphibious vehicles (I wonder if those will go in water at one point or not?...) looks like the whole jungle was made of plastic.

And then we go with the actual acting and characters. Well, everyone will be pleased to hear that LeBeef was horrible....

Marion was actually really great when she was first introduced (about half way) and she and Indy have some good banter. But after that five minutes, she was sporting a big muggy smile as they continued on their adventure and she was never scared, worried, or nervous, even with the stupid moments that she tries to help (duck in a tree; you will cringe when you see it...).

...

And then we have Indy himself. He has a few lines that work and a million that don't. He just never shows signs of worry or distress. Again, no Tension. He also has a weird tendancy to help the bad guys figure out the clues; never figured out why.

Anyway, I don't want to rant on forever, as it doesn't matter what I say, you will see this movie regardless. And even though it's not as bad as Allan Quartermane, it's definitely not a good Indy Movie. But for those of you that feel that the new Star Wars Movies robbed your childhood, expect some molestations from Uncles' George and Steven...

I saw the trailer when I saw Iron Man.

I'm a huge Indiana Jones fan and have the DVD boxed set and have watched them all dozens of times (including the bonus making-of disk, which I love), but I didn't bother to watch most of the trailer, choosing instead to play with my cell phone. What I did see struck me as anemic and the sort of forced fun one attempts on New Year's Eve. And Harrison Ford is ancient; it comes through more in his voice than in his look.

They try to gin up enthusiasm by featuring The Whip (yes, capitals) a lot, and throw in a bonus whip-crack over the title shot, but for whatever reason, I had no interest. The magic just didn't seem to be there.

It doesn't build confidence that one of the Big Crowd-Pleasing Jokes they feature in the trailer is Indy poking between Marion and his son with a bazooka, saying "You may want to cover your ears." Is that a joke so much as simply sound advice? I dunno. But if that's the sort of cracklin' dialogue they're featuring as the movie's top-drawer stuff, I worry for the rest of it.

Ah, well. How much worse could it be than Temple of Doom? Sad estimate: Much worse.

Via Hot Air's Headlines.


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posted by Ace at 01:07 PM

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