Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2nd Viewing)

Wow, it looks like George Lucas/anal rape jokes are really in the zeitgeist of late.

True, I slummed it up a notch (or down a notch - probably down) with a joke similar to South Park's overreaction to Crystal Skull, but I was attempting to make fun of fanboyism run amok, while last week's episode of South Park was fanboyism run amok. Liked Parker and Stone riffing on that scene from The Accused, though - if that's wrong, then I don't want to be right.

I'm a fanboy - I got no problem admitting that. And I think Trey Parker and Matt Stone are, too. I mean, can you think of anyone else who has repeatedly used the Klingon word "K'plah!" as a joke in a TV show (that wasn't Trek, of course)? I'm not offended by anything in that episode, or the insinuation that fans who liked Skull are as dumb and gullible as Butters, but I was a bit bummed to see them, along with many older fans, convince themselves that the previous Indy movies were much better - and important - than they truly were.

Was Skull perfect? No. The first half-hour is a little creaky and the final scenes are so underdeveloped that the ending barely makes sense, but it's several orders of magnitude better than Temple of Doom - better story, better McGuffin, better villains, better sidekicks, better love interest, better jokes, and a feint but sustained emotional pulse throughout the film. And this is Harrison Ford's best performance as Indiana Jones yet. The character is more of a cynic and a romantic than ever before, and it's obvious that Ford is enjoying every moment of this film. His joy is infectious.

Crystal Skull, like Hellboy II, was the most fun I've had in a movie theater in years - and that's all the Indy films were ever supposed to be: fun.

That's all I want to say on the subject, except one last thing: the fridge bit was completely ridiculous and unbelievable. I wish they'd go back to the realism of the previous movies - like that scene in Temple of Doom where Indy and company jumped out of a plane in high altitude without parachutes and survived the fall by inflating a life raft.

Now, that was believable...

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