Monday, May 26, 2008

It's not the years, honey, it's the mileage...

Truer words were never spoken...

Anyone else underwhelmed by the new Indiana Jones flick? I'm still a little cloudy as to why exactly the felt obligated to crank out another one. Understandably, Harrison Ford isn't getting any younger, and maybe they wanted to test the water for some type of spin off (Mutt, anyone?), but it just felt thrown together. Seemed like just about every scribe in the business had at one time or another worked on the script, yet this was the best they could come up with? No beef with the move from supernatural to extraterrestrial, but the whole thing felt rushed. The momentum from the opening 40 minutes is completely lost the moment they leave the cemetery.

After watching them last week, neither Temple of Doom or Last Crusade are that much better than the recent addition.
I remember seeing the original at the old Bannister Mall theater when I was 9 (anyone else remember the corny paintings of Burt Reynolds, Dolly Parton and John Wayne in the lobby?). As with most 9 year old boys, I was left breathless and begging for more (as was my aunt, but for different reasons...). There definitely hadn't been anything like it in my short movie watching life. Intentional or not, the bar had been set for the genre forever known as the summer action blockbuster (OK, there was Jaws and the Star Wars movies), and action movies would struggle too keep up with Dr. Jones for years to come. Genres came and went... The One Man Wrecking Crew (Stallone and Schwarzenegger mowing thru hundreds of faceless bad guys), The Buddy Flick (Lethal Weapon and Tango and Cash), High End suspense action (Die Hard, although I think it was released around Christmas '88), The Genius Serial Killer (Silence of the Lambs) and then finally the Sharon Stone "erotic thriller" of the week. None of these could kill of the passion for Indiana Jones, the way grunge killed glam rock. As CGI reared it's ugly head, scripts took a back seat to "blowin' up a bunch of shit". So... maybe Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull is the end result of exploding national landmarks, giant asteroids, dinosaurs and Agent Smith? A soulless mishmash of a dozen different stories by 2 dozen writers.

Much to my delight, Mr. Ford seems to have held up quite well since he last cracked the whip, but it's the genre that has aged the most.

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