May 22, 2008

Nano Film Review #12 -- Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Lost Skull



So I went to the midnight show. For Narnia, I felt old. I did not go to the MIDNIGHT show, I went to the NOON show. Weak!

This time I powered through. I'd never seen Indy on the big screen. This was my chance.

My thoughts on the film? It was good. It was a good Indiana Jones movie. Lots of action. Funny one liners. A few references to George Lucas movies (American Graffiti and Star Wars both come to mind -- watch for a classic Harrison Ford line). Absurd getaways. Classic cliffhanger serial style. Fun. It was by the numbers. If I were to rate all the Indiana Jones movies (like a good geek does), this would come third.

Shia Lebeouf wasn't bad. His character actually had some genuine emotional moments, and while he wasn't a buffoon he was impulsive and caused problems. That worked for me. It was fun to see Karen Allen return as Indy's old flame from the first movie, and it seemed like she had more to do in this one. Marcus Brody gets in a good shot at stopping the bad guys without even really being in the film. And Harrison Ford, well, I've never not liked him in a movie.

But overall, the movie felt flat. And I can't place my finger on why. I don't think it was the climax (for those haters of the climax, remember that a 500 year old knight showed up at the end of the third movie). It might have been the exposition that was horribly spelled out at the end (really, that was the best you could do to explain things to the audience that they'd mostly figured out already?). It just felt like they were going through the motions.

So . . . overall, a fun movie. But little more than that.

Ah, but . . . the denouement got me worried for a moment. It was a nice moment, and then something happened that you just about cringe for, but in true Indiana Jones fashion, at the last second Indy swoops in and saves the day. Or moment. Or whatever.

~ Ben

SPOILER (although if you know anything about the movie, you already know about this):

Indiana Jones and Han Solo are now part of the same universe. My theory about the movie linking the two was correct.

Kingdom of the lost Skull features aliens who look like the aliens in Close Encounters of the Third Kind.

Close Encounters of the Third Kind was followed by a "sort of" sequel in E.T. (To me, E.T. was the sequel to Close Encounters, if not literally than "spiritually".)

E.T.-like creatures were in Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace.

And Han Solo is in the Star Wars universe.

A stretch? Heck yeah! But a little fun, if lame.

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