Thursday, May 22, 2008

Indiana Jones And How His Movie Went Down The Drain

I had sworn not to see the latest Indiana Jones movie. But since I got a chance to see it for free, I did. As long as I didn't have to contribute monetarily to the franchise.

The "why" is already clear; I've written about the Indiana Jones franchise and what's wrong with it. I really don't see the need to support a movie franchise that once featured a hero's sidekick who is the stereotypical subservient Asian who speaks funny, among other "wrongdoings."

So I went into Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull, with the knowledge that Spielberg had gone to great lengths to keep the plot a secret, and that critics at Cannes gave it a somewhat positive response. But guess what? The moment I saw Cate Blanchett in that ridiculous hairdo and sounding like Borat, all expectations of some semblance of enjoyment went right out the window.

You must admit, despite the franchise's grave faults, melting Nazis were fun to watch. But Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull is boring and too absurd. It seems like today, there are added regulations in the Filmmakers' Handbook. They seem to think creating excitement means piling on over-the-top, silly action sequences.

Action sequences used to be rooted in reality before the advent of CGI. But now, just because they can, they push the boundaries of believability way too far, like having two people sword-fighting on two high-speed vehicles. And how many times can one believe that the hero and his companions can avoid being shot by MULTIPLE MACHINE-GUNS?

But the biggest mistake of all is probably the main element of the plot, which I cannot mention here without giving away spoilers, so I won't. Suffice it to say, I rolled my eyes until they were almost staring at the back of my skull, which is not crystal, by the way.

Harrison Ford may be trying to recapture his glory days as Indiana Jones, but so it seems, is Spielberg trying to update himself to satisfy the audiences of today who do not believe in the "less is more" adage.

And now I have to really wonder why the Cannes critics let Spielberg off that easy.

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