Saturday, May 24, 2008

On Indy 4: It Was a Major Disappointment.

The lovely Mrs. Jib has been looking forward to seeing Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull for months. This last week, the prospect of seeing it tonight has had a very buoyant effect on her mood as the excitement built. Tonight finally arrived, and we headed down to the local drive in early so we would be sure to get "our spot." Getting our spot was about the only fulfilling part of our evening because, unfortunately, the movie was not good.

We both came into this movie from very different perspectives. For her, this was the culmination of a lot of waiting. For me, I was heading into the movie with muted expectations because of what I had read about the storyline. Despite the different perspectives, as Indiana Jones fans we were both prepared to cut this movie quite a bit of slack. It still was a disappointment.

I don't want to say too much about the plot of the movie and spoil it for those of you still waiting to see it. I do want to touch on a couple of things, though. When I read that this movie had a component about the red scare and a component about aliens, I became concerned, and not for the reasons you'd expect. Those two components indicated to me that this fourth installment of the Indiana Jones series was not about the Indiana Jones legacy, and it certainly wasn't about the fans. It was about George Lucas and Steven Spielberg making a movie for themselves. As I watched it tonight, I feel validated in that preconception because these movie felt like it was a Lucas-Spielberg ego stroke.

The action was good, but it engendered absolutely no excitement, and at times the action actually drags on. The story...well, the story was not very good. It could have been, but it wasn't. The fact that the plot ultimately revolves around aliens is a distraction that completely destroys the 'feel' of an Indiana Jones movie. Overall, the movie was very flat, and if it weren't drawing off of the good will of the previous Indiana Jones movies, it would deserve to be a box office bomb.

If you are a fan of the Indiana Jones movies and you are excitedly awaiting your chance to see it, by all means buy a ticket. Just temper your expectations ahead of time. If you aren't in that boat, I'd suggest waiting until you can rent it.

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