Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008)
Director: Steven Spielberg
Writers: David Koepp (screenplay)
George Lucas (story)
Starring: Harrison Ford, Shia the Beef, Cate Blanchette, Karen Allen, and the dude who has the alien pop out of his stomach in "alien"
Synopsis: ummmm. aging awesomeness in nuclear age= lame alien story told in a way that not only doesn't make any sense, but the characters don't even believe what is going on. ok. for serious, this is the best i can do: henry jones jr. fights the commies and the red fear, sending him, for some reason, to central america to find a kidnapped friend, and figure out where el dorado is to return an alien skull because......um... george lucas says so? he discovers he has a son with former tough lady friend karen allen, who barely speaks through out the movie, and can only be found if you look for the woman clinging to old indiana's arm. jungles, alien skull, alien skull, jungle, primitive central american hostiles, alien skull, commies, skull, skull, skull, temple, aliens, the amazon river. the end
MOster I am quite confident that numerous multimillionaires congratulated each other upon the completion of this production; and unfortunately it netted a half a billion dollars globally. That means that there are some hundred million people who were bilked out of their money.
Pre-production of this film must have been like an elaborate game of telephone in which five (drunk) people watched other, more original movies and told anecdotes to ten other (high) people who turned those misremembered snippets into this crap. What little variation from earlier incarnations of the franchise consisted of answers to questions nobody ever asked (e.g. Indy was a decorated soldier and spy (when?!), his parents were having problems, he slept with a lot of girls in his day). Neither was Spielberg immune to this hackery, treating what are probably two of the ten most telegraphed reveals of all time with the gravity of "I am your father," and entire shots and setups taken from everywhere you can imagine from himself and Lucas, through Peter Jackson, and back to Rob Reiner.
Aliens in Mayan times; McCarthyism with no point other than to move the plot (when a couple of lines would have saved us the pain of watching Beef motorcycle next to a moving train); the old guy feeling his oats; the betrayal of an old friend (usually in the third act but here coming in 10:00, out at 70:00, and back at 100:00); greed leading to death; and the ENTIRE FUCKING SPEEDER BIKE SCENE are on a list of vague--or blatant--ripoffs which would be even longer if I wasn't nodding off near the middle. Indy even said, "I've got a bad feeling about this."
In a movie such as this normal questions of physics must give way to the suspension of disbelief, but normal questions of common sense don't have to. I don't know how many times I had to tell Leila that whatever alien artifact was around was bending spacetime to allow (e.g.) people who were half a mile apart to immediately be next to each other. But that turned out to be correct, because these were INTERDIMENSIONAL aliens, you see.
With the exception of William Hurt, whose performance as a fellow archeologist driven crazy by the aliens was better than Ford's, the cast was B- at best. Karen Allen stood out as that chick from that other Indiana Jones movie who forgot how to act while she was working as a cashier (which is understandable). I guess I could say that and James Broadbent and the guy who plays Charles Widmore did a good job of reading their three lines each.
This movie was like a community college improv group doing a parody of a generic action/adventure script. Seriously, "Phantom Menace" was better than this.
[ETA: I totally forgot about Cate Blanchett until I read Leila's review. Her intermittent accent was the bomb. Not da bomb; the bomb.]
The Woman: i might have given away my opinion of this steaming pile of sith in the synopsis. i think from here after i might pretend that this movie doesn't exist to preserve my admiration of the other installments of indiana jones. the characters still, by the end of the movie don't know what aliens are, after two and a half? hours of "wait, what is this?" WE GET IT. THE SKULL IS AN ALIEN SKULL. THE MAYANS THOUGHT ALIENS WERE THE GODS. jeebus. george lucas needs electro-shock therapy to regain his creative process. maybe the first star wars movies were just a fluke. rehashing old story lines and scenes, i.e. the chase scene in the amazon, which resembled so much a certain chase scene on endor, and was also pretty much the only scene reminiscent of a real indiana jones movie, just doesn't cut it for anyone anymore. what the heck does that say!?! even cate blanchette who could do no wrong before this, fails at a decent russian accent. i mean just in the first sequence being blown up in a nuclear explosion....indiana jones has escaped death before, but not in such a tom and jerry way. even if the refrigerator was not incinerated and was somehow miraculously blown free of the radioactive dust that once was the house, a human body inside would be either (i can't decide) liquified, or baked like a cake. i can't continue. it hurt my soul to watch this. like if someone took your dog raped it, and lit it on fire in front of you. it's exactly like south park said it would be. i can't figure out what audience this was made for. a bunch of cryogenically frozen 12-14 year old boys, from the late 80's/ early 90's, who suffered immense brain damage in the thawing process, remembering only details from the other indiana jones movies, so they would get all the in jokes, and yet not care the level at which this was a mockery of the former. also they would have an infantile sense of humor, so they would laugh at all the children's humor to be found in this over budgeted, over worked poo fest. my final impression is a movie made entirely of plot devices and meaningless conversation to propagate said plot devices, and the pay off is given away in the first 15 minutes.
dear spielberg and lucas, stop trying to re release your former glory. either retire and live off of your ridiculous savings, or kill yourselves so people will remember your legend, and think of you fondly. wait, it's about ten years too late for that. never mind. squander your means until there is nothing left, and live out the rest of your days destitute old, senile and smelly. you can't continuously piss off your audience and expect them to come back forever. sooner or later even the most idiotic of us will get hip to your game.