Okay, so it's been out a week, so I figure it's safe to post a blog about this film. BUT, if you haven't seen it and still want to STOP READING.
I wasn't sure of my reaction to this new Indiana Jones movie, because I'd had plans to meet up with some friends before hand and our wires got crossed, so I wasn't in a great mood going in. But after a week of thinking about it, this film didn't work for me.
Many things felt really indulgent. Like the filmmakers were including unnecessary elements--like the greaser vs the preppy kids fight in the diner--just because they're nostalgic for the 50's. And I'm sorry. Putting animatronic gophers into the scene, doesn't make an atomic bomb blast funny.
And while it's not a storytelling problem, per se, I think the over the top stunts in this film made my eyes roll just a little too often and a little to wildly. Thinking back to the first Indiana Jones film--it's been a while since I saw it--sure, the stunts were over-the-top. But while they would have taken super-strength or super-speed and timing and luck, you could understand what he'd done in each of the stunts and almost believe it was possible.
Starting with the second film and that absurd being-tossed-out-of-an-airplane-and-getting-into-an-inflatable-raft
-mid-air stunt... This franchise started to lose me a bit. And there were so many stunts like that in this film. My favorite (least favorite) was the refrigerator in the atomic bomb test thing. Even if you believe he'd survive the heat and radiation because of the "lead lining" they made sure you'd notice, ridiculous in itself, even if you believe the blast blew the fridge miles away, while no other debris seemed to have gone that far, tell me every bone in his body wouldn't have broken when that fridge hit down.
But on a storytelling level, I think the problem with this film is that we never ever understood what the heck he was trying to prevent the evil Russian chick from getting her hands on, or what she hoped to do with it if she got it. I mean... Once they did have it, no one got any great power from it. I do get that the stories around it were "just a legend", but I don't think you can build a compelling story around preventing something that's really not that dangerous or terrible to begin with. In the end, it was just ET wanting to go home. And how come ET only took the bad people with him into the portal or spaceship or whatever it was, and let all the good people be?
I wanted to love this film, I really did. But in the end, I'm not sure I even liked it.
Am I just a big Indy Grinch?