Thursday, May 22, 2008

The man in the hat is back


Pyschic Commies? Lost Amazonian Cities? Indy's a Dad?

The new Indiana Jones certainly isn't on par with Raiders by any stretch of the imagination. However, it doesn't leave the franchise a smoking ruin like Lucas did with Star Wars.

It starts off at a decent pace, then scared the crap out of me with this scene in which the lighting was so bad, the dialogue so wooden, it looked like they just threw it together on some mini sound stage. It was scary, 5 minutes into the movie and it seriously looked like something a bunch of fan boys threw together with some old guy that kind of looked like Harrison Ford. Thankfully once Indy enters the warehouse all of that disappears, but it was a nail biting 2 minutes. (The new Indiana Jones looks like this crap!!????)

Typical Indiana Jones running, whipping, punching action, it's nice to hear those gunshot punches again. The pyschic Commies are cool, over the top in the way you expect pyschic Commies would be.

The jokes about Indy being old stop after about 20 minutes and you'll appreciate that. He actually seems to get younger as the film continues. When the movie really speeds up its pure gold. The scene some reviewers are calling Doomtown is amazing (completely unbelievable but absolutely awesome). When the movie slows down it also is great. We learn some serious info about Indy's past. Fought in WWII, he did? He was in the OSS. He was? He was a colonel? Holy crap! Just some really cool stuff about him.

They get chased all over creation in typical Indy fashion, they grave rob and get caught and all sorts of typical Indy stuff. It honestly is a great ride.

Now, of course they still manage to throw in a few scenes that are just ridiculous. Not ridiculous like Doomtown (that's just plan amazingly super awesome) but ridiculous like, I'm embarrassed for them. The tarzan scene is one. Ugh. I mean, doesn't anyone realize how bad a scene like that looks? Just stupid. The fencing scene, just goes from mildly silly to downright stupid.

The first time Indy sees Marion? Absolutely amazing. It was like Harrison Ford was seeing Karen Allen for the first time in 19 years. Really really good shot.

Shia is good. Ray Winstone is tiresomely flat.

The one bummer is that the movie is really not that violent. All of the Indy movies have guys getting punched out of cars and boats and so on. But then there are those shock scenes were you see a rotting corpse shoot out of the wall and its face turns towards the camera its swollen rotting tongue protruding from its grinning maw. YIKES! And then you have the piece de resistance, in which someone gets their face melted or exploded or they rot at high speed. Yet in this film it is surprisingly lacking in this gory awesome moments. The big one at the end of every Indy flick is absent in this one. They kind of have one but totally drop the ball. Sirfrancisdrake and I could dream up about a hundred different ways to have that super gory end set piece and still keep the PG-13 rating. Remember when Belloq became a conduit for the wrath of God and blasted all those nazis? And then his head exploded? PG-13 and awesome. The gory death of IJatKotCS (Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull) not so gory not so awesome. It could have been great, oh man could it have been wild. Sir Francis get back to me and will chat about what it should have looked like.

Anyway, baddies could have been badder, natives could have actually done something, they could have concocted a better chase scene with the Commies. Maybe one over the falls and down the river! That would have been great!

It's just after the fight scenes of all the Bournes, video games with absolutely breathtaking vistas and amazing cave delving action that this Indy comes off as kind of quaint. The fights should still maintain their gunshot type of over the top stylings but they need to be grittier. Like Indy getting his face pressed against the tank tread gritty. All the fights are like a bunch of pugilists beating the snot out of each other but refusing to fall over. Indy needs to mix it up with Jason Bourne and John McClane.

The cave dwelling scenes need to be exploded so that they wander into massive fantastical panoramas! Huge forgotten temples and ancient fanes. And tribal indians that actually do something.

Del Toro and Jackson should do the next Indy.

Well go see it and get back to me.