Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Indiana Jones

There are no two ways about it Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull is a damn fine movie. It's not Raiders but in some respects it comes closer than the other two movies. Raiders felt like a combination of period pulp and real world concerns. Temple of Doom was pure pulp and despite its secondary story of parental relationships The Last Crusade rarely rose above its pulp beginnings. Kingdom was again born out of the pulp fiction of the day, this time the science fiction of the 50's rather than the slightly occult adventure fiction so popular in the 30's. In addition though it touched on the generational problems that came up in Last Crusade, the problems that come with aging, McCarthyite red baiting, the difficulties in managing a relationship. It may not have gone into them in great depth but they grounded it in the real world and it was a better film for it. As an old time Indy fan who's no longer the callow youth he was at the time of Raiders I appreciated the recognition of the fact Indy had aged some in the last 20 years and everything was still possible but much harder.

It was a well written movie, sensibly keeping George Lucas away from the scripting, with some excellent stunt work, a very funny snake scene and some funny and touching scenes with Marion Ravenwood, who still looked pretty hot. The scenes with Mutt worked well apart from the Marlon Brando impersonation that made up his first appearance. If you recognised Brando's Wild One persona it set up your expectations of what Mutt would be like and Shia LaBeouf isn't actor enough to pull it off. Fortunately LaBeouf's Wild One act is soon shown to be just that and the character becomes more likable for it. There is a worry that Indy is going to hand over the mantle to Mutt which the movie really plays up to at the end before putting your mind at rest.

There were occasional complaints in reviews that Harrison Ford was to old to play Indy at 65 but my only reply to that is "What a load of bollocks". At 70 my old man was capable of doing most of the things we saw Indy do so no way he was too old.

1 comment:

Andrew Glazebrook said...

Sorry Peter, I thought Indy 4 was dreadful !!