Friday, May 23, 2008

Indiana Jones

Last night, I took the family to see the new Indiana Jones movie. It was a social event for my company. We had two screens just for us and we were allowed to bring guests. There's something extra cool about a private screening. Not sure why, but there is. Here are my impressions of the movie. Worry not, I have not included any spoilers.

First, a six word review: Predictable and formulaic, but fun anyway.

Now the longer version: Dang. Harrison Ford got old. It took me a few minutes to get used to his voice. I had watched the original Raiders with the kids last weekend to prep them for last night. It's amazing how much his voice had changed. He looks older, too, and they haven't tried to hide that. This one takes place in 1957, so he is expected to be a bit older and slower.

There are no real surprises in the plot. It starts pretty much in the middle of things as Indy adventures usually do. We learn something about the crystal skull early on. From there it follows a pretty linear and unsurprising run through the elements of the last few movies. If you go in expecting shocking plot twists, you will be sorely disappointed. Nothing in the movie is outside the expectations of the reality, though. After all, in Temple of Doom, they jumped out of a plane in an inflatable raft. As I recall, they and the raft survived the fall and several terrain changes. Expect a similar level of the incredible here.

Acting wise, it is a little below average for the series. Shia Labouef is good, as is Karen Allen. I thought Harrison Ford looked a little tired and the Indy charm came off a little more smug than cocky. My main complaint was Cate Blanchett as Irina Spalko. Her Russian accent drifted a bit and she had as much depth and character as Natasha Fatale.

Flow wise it started a little bit slowly. I'm honestly not sure what they were trying to accomplish with the opening sequence. It felt a bit long to me. Once Indy gets on the trail of the Crystal Skull, though, it moves quite nicely. There is a good blend of action and silliness and only a slight amount of creepy. There was only one occasion when I actually said "Ewwwww!"

Overall, I'd say it would be fun if you had passes. Otherwise, wait for the rental.