Thursday, May 29, 2008

Over-Thinking Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of Crystal Skull.

Let me just start by saying that I loved this movie. I did. It was adorable. If you consider adorable to be a good quality of cinema then there you go. Since I don’t need every movie to be Eastern Promises, that is ok by me.

I loved the outlandish fight scenes; which were really no sillier than other scenes in the previous films. This film, however was extremely cute. They’ve all been cute, but the obvious reveal of The Mother Fuck'n LaBeouf as his son, the late wedding ceremony, the greaser fight; the whole thing was just cute-tastic. That being said, I enjoyed the cute. I do not expect realism from movies about a sexy archaeologist who carries a whip and fights Nazis.

There was something different in the feeling of the movie however, and I think it was the stakes did not seem as high. In previous movies I had felt (not great, but some) anxiety about what was going to happen next. The consequences and steps required to fulfill evil deeds were pretty much laid out for me. Get the book = get the Holy Grail= Immortal Nazis = oh noes! Not so in the current film. Not only did I not know what the Russians would achieve by attaining the skull, for some of the movie, I was a little unclear as to what they were doing in the attempt to return the skull. For example, why were they racing in those cars, sword fighting for the skull, while racing to an unknown destination? I totally did not know, but OMG, you guys, Big Beef was totally kicking ass in his customary manner.

I think another reason I was indifferent was because like a burro under a fat man, I was distracted by carrying the weight of the enormous suspension of disbelief expected in this movie. I know it is crazy to say that ripping out a still beating heart is totally feasible, or that biblical artifacts actually have “magical” powers is more believable than aliens. But for me, the Indiana Jones universe is a universe where religious beliefs are true. It was just too far of a stretch for me to connect aliens to ancient religion to interdimensional flying saucer.

I think the kicker was Harrison Ford’s line about the treasure. The treasure was knowledge. Oh puke.

1. That is so lame. I’m thinking about that song where one group goes to war against another group to steal their treasure, only to find that the treasure is a rock that has the words “Peace on Earth” carved on it. Is there anything more hokey or cliché?

2. Furthermore, that is not what I got out of the whole alien thing. The treasure was not a treasure at all. The reward for returning the alien’s remains is being filled with such knowledge that you die/get transported to another dimension? I’m confused. Did the aliens have something against communism? I mean they’re a hive mind, right? So they should like that, right? Maybe I just didn’t get it. I think that they stretched the whole damn movie just to include the hokey line about knowledge.

However, like I have already stated, I loved this movie...

and it was well worth seeing, if only to see Big Beef riding a hog and playing with a switch blade.

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