Monday, May 26, 2008

Movie Review - Indiana Jones & the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

I went into seeing Indy IV expecting a good fun flick, but not a classic. I figured it would rank third among the other Indiana Jones films with Temple of Doom behind it, Last Crusade just above it, and the original waaaayyy above all. To that end, Indiana Jones & the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull did not disappoint. Now that I have seen it, that is exactly where I would rank it in the series. However, I have realized more than ever that my notion of the character of Indiana Jones seems to differ from that of George, Steven & company.

I don't have the nerve to proclaim that I am an expert on the Indiana Jones franchise, though it is no secret that Raider of the Lost Ark is my favorite movie of all-time. In fact, I would say that seeing it changed reaffirmed my life. Many folks from my generation point to Star Wars as the defining moviegoing experience of their lives, and I was wowed by it as well. However, Raiders opened the door to film, entertainment, and storytelling that inspired in me such purpose. It was as if I had seen the Holy Grail.

So yeah, I loved it. And I have followed the character of Indiana Jones through sequels, books, comics, and a television series. None have managed to recapture the same magic as the original, but I do not hold it against them. Moreover, what I have noticed is that I don't feel the character has been as consistent throughout the franchise. My biggest beef with the second movie is that it did not feel like the same Indy to me. There were moments I recognized the adventurer from the first film, but they were few and far between. The third was better and I particularly liked the interplay between father and son. However, I hardly could identify the character at all in the TV series no matter what age he was depicted.

I did see some real authentic Indy moments from the new movie and those are easily worth the price of admission. There are other moments that feel I'm watching the character from the TV show, but they overall did not detract too much from the experience. It was nice to have Indiana Jones back again, even if it was only for a moment.

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