Sunday, October 26, 2008

WDYWFU Cinema: Indiana Jones and the Quest for a Suitable Ending

Well, Spielberg, I know you tried.
But after X number of drafts with more screenwriters than the legendary Flintstones movie, there was STILL too much to live up to. Kinda like what happened to Terminator 3. Indeed, how do you push the boundaries any more? The only way, really, is to spend decades making a film, shooting actors over a period of years so we can see how they age over the course of the film. And you'll have to take it a step further, running RenderMan and Massive on Cray supercomputers for months and months. Something like that. If nothing else, there's more to re-watch here than Lethal Weapon 4.
In the meantime, not that I didn't enjoy myself, but I'm afraid I have to join that category of critics who say ... what do they say? The series ends with a whimper? That's it. Apparently, even Temple of Doom's standing has risen! Oh, that's not good. For me, it's the plot holes. Even though there's the old jokes and all ("What are you, like, 80?" Priceless!), Indy at 62 can STILL trade punches with the baddest bad-ass. And the atomic refrigerator, I'm sorry, I think that's where you first lost me. Or maybe the warehouse. I think Indy was a little slow dodging all those bullets. Thank goodness the Russkies are lousy shots.
Also, the film doesn't go far enough in conflating McCarthyism with our current civil rights dilemma. Or too far, one or the other. Let's face it, the powers that be just get lazy, and find that spreading fear is the easiest way to maintain control over the populace. I did like the magnet effects, though! Those were good! And John Hurt was funny. One of my viewing companions complained that the script was too complicated. Okay, maybe not Batman Begins complicated, but still complicated. I guess I agree, but that's what the plot holes are for: to air out an otherwise complicated script. But I think I got the gist of it the first go-round myself.
So, as the film's second most staunch defender, I hereby declare I'm going to lay low for a while. But for those of you who question the monkeys, let me just say that a) it just brings the series on home, and b) it's funny! Shia and the monkey have the same hairdo! Duh! Yes, with the CGI revolution leaving us all behind, the best you can say about the final Indiana Jones is that it stays true to itself, its old bookish dorky self. Lots of puzzle-solving, lots of aiding and abetting the enemy in search of the treasure... I dunno! He helps the Russkies find the crate, interprets the Akator map for them, I'm just saying. And I must say I kinda felt sorry for Cate Blanchett, I don't know why. Not fatale enough of a femme, I guess. She does what she can, though. Has she made it onto any Maxim top 100 lists? If not, good.
Okay, I think I've trashed the movie all I care to. Just remember, kids. No matter what happens, marriage is the ultimate adventure. ...right?

-so sayeth the Movie Hooligan

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