Wednesday, June 28, 2023

The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull

I think it's mellowed over time.

Story time! I didn't start getting into Indiana Jones until after this movie came out but from all the contemporary word of mouth there was, you either despised it or liked it. Hell my mom tried to get me to watch it before any of the others and I just couldn't go for it yet, but I quickly loved the previous 3 movies and when I watched it the first go around it didn't strike me very much. I guess the line is drawn at do you think extraterrestrial life belongs in an Indiana Jones movie? My teenage self would say hell to the no, but nowadays I'm kinda on the fence. I mean it's Spielberg in conjunction with Lucas, they wanted to do a big throwback to film serials and adventure films of their youth in creating this character and you could argue the progression is sound, science fiction and alien movies were huge in the 1950s so they wanted to tip their hat to that genre as well, and I do feel Spielberg did fine work with all the elements here. So we basically follow Indy as he's being hounded by KGB agents where we meet his son Mutt Williams who enlists his help to find an old teacher and his mom as we piece together the puzzle, world hop, get into some action, and touch upon another religion albeit a less than common one. Now how they weave this story of the crystal skull for the most part works, bringing in conquistadors, the legend of El Dorado, and various bits of mesoamerican history I feel works well. You follow it, understand it, and can even be intrigued by it. It doesn't feel like an exposition dump and feels natural in this world, my only gripe is they introduce two crystal skulls and that can be a bit confusing because it just didn't need to be there and we only focus on one anyway. I don't really know why they chose to add another one in the mix for only one scene. My other more major gripe is I cannot grasp why the character of Mac even exists, he turns heel on Indy almost right from the word go but he doesn't contribute a goddamn thing and they keep yo-yoing between he's a double agent and he's actually a bastard helping the commies. Superflous. Fucking superflous. I'm not all that wild about our villains here either, I mean I get why, the time is 1957 and the movie actually does exceptional work setting you in that time frame! The cars (with a subtle nod to American Graffiti for the opening credits), the fashion, the Red Scare is rampant, all the details of the world help a lot, but I'm sorry the russian army doesn't have at all the menace and force of the natzis in any way whatsoever. But honestly those are my 3 main problems with this movie, I mean yeah sure it gets a little friggin' Looney Tunes and a bit too much CGI when they're in the Amazon jungle, but even then I kept my eyes peeled the whole movie to discern what they actually did and what was CG and I'm happy to report they did the majority of stuff for real! There may be a CG background but the sets are real, the stunts are real, it's not quite to the extent people would leave you to believe that it's very much a Star Wars prequels production. I've heard many a people say that Indiana Jones is too old, I heard it back then and I'm certainly damn well hearing it now He's not. Indy would adventure, preserve artifacts, and keep learning as much as he could until his last breath, that's why I'm not against The Dial Of Destiny. Harrison still fucking has it, he's great as always and this gives him a new angle when he learns he has a son. It's rock solid all the way through. It's nice to see Karen Allen back and I'm more curious as to what that will entail in the next movie with their relationship. Same goes for Mutt, is Shia LaBeouf gonna make an appearance? I felt he did okay here, I mean this was a point in time where he was a getting a huge push, remember Transformers came out the previous year, I'm not a fan but I'm not a hater either. Cate Blanchette, sorry hun I think you were way more intimidating even when you're just chilling in Lothlorien with your husband Celeborn, you did decent but I can't blame it on you. Poor John Hurt needed more material, I adore that actor but I feel he was more on the wasted potential side in this movie. But all the acting is good and serviceable so no major points deducted. Effects work again is primarily solid with a few bits that were off, but I'm just thrilled they did as much as they could in camera and I hope that tradition continues one last time. The story progression was good, I liked all the bits of history and trivia, even if I'm not fully on board with interdimemsional creatures. For a movie that got some bashing over the years, I think people are at the point where they can re-evaluate it and make peace with some grievances. Is it still at the bottom of the ranking list for me? Yeah, but I would not go so far as to say it is a bad movie. I give it 2.5 stars, 6.5/10. I really have zero clue as to how the next movie will go, cause I've seen young and old Harrison Ford, they made my sexy man an SS officer, and they tout this as Indy's last adventure. Can't wait until he gets blasted by missiles on an island saving his love and his child. I guess we'll see how it goes.

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