Joe's Important Opinion
Omg, guyz, Indiana Jones is back but this time he's super old! Stunning.
"Mumble grumble..." (actual film dialogue)
This is not a particularly bad film, but it's far from being a good one as well. It's better than Temple of Doom, but that's not too hard to manage because a kissing fest with a rotting dog carcass is better than that movie. However, the unfortunate thing for this movie is that it's supposed to be part of the Indiana Jones series of films and two of those are really very good and this one is just a stupid action movie. If this movie was called National Treasure 3: We Got Alienz Now! it'd be easier to ignore the subparity of this thing, but it's called Indiana Jones and Knowledge Was Their Treasure so it seems a bit worse.
What's wrong with it exactly? Well, it largely does seem like it's trying to fit all the Indiana Jones criteria, but it doesn't try particularly hard at it; it's like how your mother has started hugging you because she's seen it done on daytime dramas but it's obvious neither of you are really into it. All of the "archaeological" stuff is handled in what I personally found to be a rather boring manner: mostly a lot of chatter and Indy looking in some books. Some of the action (especially in the beginning) isn't half bad, but some of it seems to be just thrown in to remind us it's an Indy film. Like when Indy and Mutt (yeah, there's a guy named Mutt) find the cave with the crystal skull and a couple of native-types with blowdart guns show up and start fucking around, before being quickly dispatched. First of all, who are those guys? Do they just hang out there to be pricks when people come around? Secondly, it barely qualifies as an action sequence because it's over in like half a minute. I can recall a few scenes like this, where we're given a taste of action and then it's done so we can get back to talkin' about alienz again. By the way, there isn't even really an action sequence near the end. Or nothing particularly satisfying or nerve-wracking, anyhow.
Other action scenes were ruined by the CGI, but, really, any moment there was CGI, it made that portion of the film, as CGI often does, a laugh. Apparently, Lucas and Spielbergo were all "Oh, we're keeping the CGI to a minimum, you guys," but clearly they differ from me on the concept of what a "minimum" is. The virtual prarie dogs were just sooooo necessary, were they? How about this? You get REAL prarie dogs, you set up some little dirt pen for them to play in and then you film the inside of that! Oh, but you want the prarie dog to approach Indy and look at him inquisitively? WELL! Use a more cooperative animal! Or, I know, rethink that part of your script! You know, like you goddamned used to have to?? Your computer monkeys and trees and gophers and crap just remind me of how fake everything is and make me feel like I'm watching a little kids movie. CASE IN POINT!!!
Look how much cuter they are irl.
The alien garbage in this film was not terrible for the most part, because it was usually only vaguely referenced. But when it was brought to the forefront it was something of a vomit soufflé. Perhaps this might be a bit of a spoiler fo you, but I dunno. Basically, you only get to see one live alien during the whole film and this is the worst thing in the movie, I'd say. Why? That's right, the alien is made out of 100% grade-A CGI. He's there for such a brief moment and all he does is make a little angry face that makes it appear as though he is squeezing out a fart. It's so goddamned cartoony and stupid it looks like they accidentally spliced in a few seconds of some new Pixar movie, Xytron the Angry Alien. Incidentally, I REALLY want an animated .gif of that alien's face, scowling over and over again. Preferably one I can use as some kind of supercool forum icon and such. Whoever makes one is my hero.
So, yeah, the biggest problem with this film is that it's not great, but it's an Indy film so you kind of expect it to be great. Also, as I said, it's basically better than Temple of Doom because of how resoundingly bad that film is, but, on the other hand, Temple of Doom has several really amazing action sequences that arguably trump the general unspectacularity of Crystal Skull as a whole. I've given you something to think about there.
I suppose this movie has all the elements of your average Indy film, it just doesn't do them well enough to feel like the better films in the series you'd want it to. And, yes, frankly, that was maybe too much to expect. Which is why, sure, I had an okay, if unmemorable time at the cinema with this, but, really, I think it would've been better if the validity of the title of the previous film had been retained. Simply, I didn't need this movie.
It was also a bit depressing for me to see Marion all old and stuff. She used to be so hot and it's nice to pretend she stayed that way. :(
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