Saturday, May 24, 2008

Movie Review - Indy & the Crystal Skull - Take 2 I posted my review of Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull yesterday. I went to see the movie again last night and watched with a little more critical eye...more interested in a 'less biased' opinion.

I still really enjoyed the movie, but I was taken aback more by the cheesy/corny/over-the-top aspect of some things. The 'tarzan' scene and Mutt's fighting prior to it are still ridiculous to me. The skull itself and the way that power element was resolved is still sitting a little funny with me. Yes, previous Indy adventures had elements of the supernatural, but this time was a bit more far fetched IMO. It also seemed that some of the 'booby traps' and other contraptions were a bit more contrived than in other films. Yes, the staff of Rah in the Map Room was over the top, but it could be conceived. Yes the invisible bridge and the spinning blades (which stayed working for hundreds of years) are a little far fetched, but still possible. Sadly, (*SPOILER*) the obelisk key near the end of the film was flawed in its design and just physically would not work as presented. Add to that the "treasure room" where they return the skull...and all of the excitement there, and it just pulled believability beyond the limit.

There was another thing that really struck me last night and I really am very unhappy with...the character of Indiana Jones seems to have made a significant moral change. In "Last Crusade", we're presented with Young Indiana Jones fighting for the Cross of Coronado and exclaiming that it doesn't belong to treasure hunters but that it belongs in a museum. This altruistic mantra is something that Indy maintained through the other 3 movies. I haven't yet watched through all of the Young Indy chronicles, but I would hope this moral stance is present through those as well.

Unfortunately, in Crystal Skull, I get the feeling that Indy has let his morals lapse somewhat in this arena. Firstly, he has a HUGE estate for a professor...even a long term tenured professor. Admittedly, he could probably get monetary bonuses for his various finds without having to curb his moral outlook. However, where he truly slipped up was in the burial chamber...he is actually prepared to STEAL the knife he finds buried with the body. It is actually Mutt who intervenes and tugs on his conscience to put it back. That simple act made me wonder if Indy was any better than Mac, the character scrambling for every trinket he can find and hopefully sell. What happened to the Indiana Jones who was out for the "treasure of knowledge" and the good of mankind?

Still, as I mentioned above, I enjoyed this film a lot and I'm sure I'll watch it again and again into the future. I'm lowering my rating down from 4 stars to 3 and a half though, based mainly on some of the bad tastes in my mouth from reviewing the cheesiness and the changes to Indy in general.

New rating.

3 1/2 stars

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