Friday, May 23, 2008

Why I'm Skipping Indy

i09 has a great takedown of the new Indiana Jones movie in the form of a poll called What Scifi Plot Should Indiana Jones Steal Next? The most plausible-sounding choice was "Indiana Jones and the Lost Continent," but I voted for "Indiana Jones: A Space Odyssey." Have a visit yourself and leave your feedback!

Honestly, what were Spielberg and Lucas thinking making this into an X-Files movie? I'm sure the X-Files movie will be bad enough on its own, thanks, without you two goobers showing off just how big of has-beens you are in the process.

Ok, fair enough, I haven't been to see the film yet. And I say "yet" as though I eventually will - but this review has pretty much convinced me to avoid it like the plauge. Why? Funny you should ask, you know. I'll admit to being one of the few people who like Temple of Doom (another reason why I have a grudging appreciaton for Roger Ebert, in fact, in addition to his gutsy four-star review of "Halloween," for which I am eternally grateful, is that he was also one of the few critics who recognized Temple of Doom for the great film it is). I liked "Raiders" a lot better, but I also really liked "Temple." The series jumped the shark for me with Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade - not so much because the plot was bad, but because they'd sacrificed the larger-than-life, over-the-top, sense-of-wonder-meets-action-flick comic book style of the earlier two for cheap laughs and one-liners. I love a good one-liner as much as the next guy, but ... well, actually, to be honest, I really don't love a good one-liner as much as the next guy. Not anywhere near as much, in fact. A truly good one-liner is a once- or twice-a-movie kind of thing, and it's REALLY clever and a REAL takedown. Unfortunately, someone in Hollywood went out for a hotdog one day and heard people quoting "I'll be back" and thought, "Great! We don't have to write conversations anymore." And "Last Crusde" is a definite victim of this. Instead of breathtaking stunts and exotic locales we get ... a dad teasing his son. Fucking great - just what I always wanted in an Indiana Jones movie. An INDIANA JONES movie.

When I heard they were making a new Indy movie, I thought "Well, they can't redo 'Raiders,' because Hollywood stopped making good blockbusters some time ago. But what I can hope for is another Temple of Doom - you know, something with cool sets and atmosphere and violence - rather than another Last Crusade, which was all goofy family-values silliness. But how will I know which one I'm getting ahead of time? From the review:

As was true of the previous films, this one attempts to balance light comedy with action. The jokiness that occasionally damaged The Last Crusade is more pronounced here with one-liners punctuating the dialogue. There are some clever ones, to be sure, but most are perfunctory.

Crap. It's "Crusade."

But the film doesn't work on the most basic level where even The Temple of Doom succeeded: getting viewers on the edges of their seats. That's not to say the film is without action; it features a number of such sequences. But a key element is missing: excitement. There's no suspense and not a lot of energy.

Yep - no denying it now. Those were my two fears, and this reviewer helpfully confirmed them. They redid "Crusade," and skipped "Temple" entirely. So I will skip this movie entirely. Maybe someday, if it's on TV and I happen to have nothing better to do. But as much of an Indiana Jones fan as I once was, I think I'll invest the money I would have spent on an inflated box-office-priced ticket in a good book instead.