Indy 4 Reviews are in, Knives are out
May 18th, 2008, posted by FofR | Digg This

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull got its first major screening today at Cannes,


And I think most of us want Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull to be good, which it, sadly, is not. If we love the first three Indiana Jones films, it’s because they had great action, mythic objects of wonder and great comedy touches within big, well-shaped stories; Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull feels like it was reverse-engineered from that blueprint, as if enough action and props and comedy would then make a story. Crystal Skull may bring back the faces and themes we remember, but it’s curiously bloated and malnourished, too much and not enough. It’ll make a bunch of money, sure, but even after 19 years of waiting, I can’t imagine it truly satisfying anyone’s jones for Jones.

The Telegraph:

Well, The Crystal Skull is certainly old-fashioned, though not necessarily in a good way. And many of its striking scenes — notably a climax that briefly recalls Close Encounters of the Third Kind — could only be computer-generated.

With a cast clearly pre-fabricated to appeal to all ages, an overstuffed plot and an ageing action hero, it feels born of commercial calculation rather than a story that needed to be told.

There’s a reason the previous Indy film 1989 was called The Last Crusade. Now it’s really time to entomb this elderly series once and for all.

The BBC:

For the hardcore Jones fans, this film was never going to live up to expectations.

One cinemagoer leaving the first press screening in Cannes said: “George Lucas, you gotta stop hurting us”.

The Guardian:

There are some nice moments, and everything is good-natured enough. But this is a moment for Harrison Ford to hang up the hat.

Hollywood Reporter

Whatever story there is, a murky journey to return a spectacular archeological find to its rightful home — an unusual goal of the old grave-robber — gets swamped in a sea of stunts and CGI that are relentless as the scenes and character relationships are charmless.

“Crystal Skull” will have its huge audience when it opens worldwide Thursday. Indeed it had that audience the day the project was announced. What is disappointing to those who fondly remember “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” lo those 27 years ago, is the loss of wit and romance. This film feels like work, whether it’s poor Harrison Ford straining to keep pace with his younger self or Spielberg and writer David Koepp piling on the thrill-ride acrobatics that have only scant connection to the plot.

If I paint a negative picture, it’s because you always enjoy a film more if you go in with fewer expectations - let your hopes be dashed to desperation, purchase your movie ticket and come out with a smile better than you could ever have expected. Or go in expecting the greatest film ever made and come out sorely disappointed.

7 Responses to “Indy 4 Reviews are in, Knives are out”

  1. DS Says:

    And P.S. Roger Ebert *loved* it!

  2. patrick Says:

    i keep imagining Cate Blanchett speaking English with a German accent in this new Indiana Jones flick

  3. Maria Says:

    I found myself thinking one thought over and over and over again ‘PLEASE LET THIS BE OVER WITH QUICKLY’. First time that I am enormously disappointed by Spielberg. You could easily point out all the blue screens scenes by how fake they looked..Harrison Ford’s intolerable overacting and I have no idea why they bothered with Allen. Thank God for Kate Blanchett and that the money is worth the stain this will place on her career. Shia is good and young enough to get over this catastrophe. As for the writer he is laughing all the way to the bank not a proud 2 hours for him.

  4. Sean Says:

    Where do I start? Would someone please explain to me why Indy has to wind up in a nuclear test site? Why Karen Allen was reprised in her role at all, why the film had to end with one of the cheesiest CGI effects I’ve seen in years, why young Marlon Brando had to make a cameo (no, wait, he was a major character… can we see the franchise going on now that Indy is really going to retire?), and why we had to endure a film that had everything thrown into it except the awkward product placement that now infests American Idol?

    I’m sure hard core Indie fans will love seeing their hero again. I grew up loving the Indie films (okay, the Temple of Doom was a stinker) and happily introduced my kids to them. Now I’m rethinking my love for the academic-adventurer because I can’t get away from the feeling that George Lucas is having a hard time making rent payments.

    Not to be uncharatable, but I hated this movie. From the awkward opening with the too-evil villains, to the ridiculous motor-bike race, the plane trip with the motorcyle to the reverse-poison-dart trick, and from the totally contrived and poorly written banter between Indie and Karen Allen’s character, to the ridiculous jungle-chase-sword-fight-Tarzan scene. It’s ad when an era ends. But it is even more sad when Hollywood sells out to make a buck. George, you should be ashamed!

  5. Jeff Says:

    I was really hoping for a great one and it started ok but was so canned, cheesy, and a copout. Can Stephen Speilberg stop making movies. In all the great ones he ruins the endings!!! Private Ryan-Hanks died-coward guy blows it! Lost World=crap. In this it was like lets talk to Harison ford as he plays Indy-i.e. “its not as easy as it used to be”. And who didn’t see the Temple of Doom raft hover parachute waterfall? Do we need to go over 3 water falls in a amphibicar? No one would live and very boring slapstick cheese-no sense of reality!!! I liked this series because it wasn’t The Mummy! Hello temple at the end blowing up?? Are these directors not fans of the genre-why copy this CG commonality? CG is a fix not a cure all! If I wanted to see Predator and The Mummy Returns I would have seen Alien VS. Predator. I am so bummed, at least I can watch the first third moto chase, hotrod offroading, and wharehouse scenes. Harrison was great in this kiddy flick but it should have been Last Crusade with the kid being um a believable man, like anyone over 15. And ensamble cast?-what is this Lethal weapon 4? I already own the IJ box set and that’s a done deal, library closed. Speilberg go away and nobody listen to him ever again. Oh and jurassic Park 4 I heard is coming out, what is this you got 6 months to live so lets ruin everything that was good. I loved Casino Royal and its realism, sure it had undoable parts but it was less of a stretch. Oh and the eyes burning thing, why-can’t think of anything better so lets cheapen the melting realness from Raiders. POINT TO GO HOME WITH - SUBTLE REFERENCES TO SEQUELS IS OK NOT “WHERE ARE THEY NOW” OR “LETS MAKE UP CRAP FOR THE LAST DECADE OR SO AND NEVER HEAR ANY MORE ABOUT IT!” AND NO MORE SPEILBERG FILMS-HEY HIS INITIALS ARE “SS”, HMMM FUNNY.

  6. irene Says:

    i thought the movie was bad. Spielberg went ET on Indiana. The small quirky Jokes were missing , lucas and his flying monkey was absurd. I was better of spending money on that stupid battleshitt t-shirt at than spending on the movie.
    Please make another one, a better one.

  7. David Miller Says:

    I actually haven’t seen the film myself yet, but upon viewing some of the comments and hearing a bit about it from my friend, apparently it seems the movie might be a bit boring. Yet, I bet it will still be viewed as a classic in time. Indiana Jones is still the greatest adventurer of his generation.

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