This is my little review on KOTCS.
For starters, I don't hate it. Let's be clear on that one but it doesn't live up to Raiders, Temple or LC. Can't say I love it but I like it to certain extend. I've done some reading and I've read the things that bothered me as well. And I have to admit the movie starts with a blast and is well paced for at least half of the time, maybe even 60% of the movie. But the last half hour, forty minutes, the movie starts to sputter terribly and just can't recover. From the moment Indy and Mutt are captured and brought deeper into the jungle, the movie takes a nosedive.
The whole scene in the camp when we finally reunite with Marion and Ox was pretty good. One greatly missed opportunity for a nod to Raiders was that I expected Marion would hit Indy. As a nod to Raiders and to show that Marion was still as feisty as she was in Raiders.
I liked the fact that Indy was working with the Russians no matter how that may have seemed in the 50's. There seemed to be a certain respect between him and Spalko which we can't deny. And despite his capture Indy didn't seem worried at all. Maybe this is just the age and experience from all his adventures. I just can't help but think everything was more exciting during the 30's and 40's and that if you survived World War II, you're not easily impressed anymore. Things just looked a little darker in the first three movies when he was captured. Nazis opening the ark, not knowing what to expect. Mola Ram making him drink blood after he saw the sacrifice and abused children or Elsa's betrayal. After all the Russians were dancing at the campfire. I can't see Nazis or Thuggees doing the same. Anyway, I think Mutt ruins the scene with an unnecessary escape attempt which fails fantastically. A little highlight was Marion saying Mutt's name was Henry and that Indy thought it was a good name. And I'm sure there was a better way to bring in Indy's slithering friend into a scene.
The jungle chase... honestly. The truck chase, the mine carts, the tank, those were the days. The jungle chase doesn't even get to the heels of those scenes. The tank battle has great minor humoristic moments. I think it's a lot funnier to shoot three guys with one bullet and have this WTF moment than trying to balance between two cars and getting bushes and branches in your nuts. Marion also seem to get branches in her face for no reason at all. It's not funny, sorry. And I'm not getting started on Mutt's monkey swing. If they kept out that and the 'funny' moments and really tried to make this scene as exciting as the truck chase or the mine carts or the tank, the movie would've been better. And I can understand that great vehicle scene was shorter, the track hardly last 4,5 minutes compared to the 8-10 minutes of the truck or the tank scenes, because it might be too physically demanding for Ford. I did notice a certain absense first time I saw it.
I'm actually really glad there was the final fight between Indy and Dovchenko. It was a great highlight in the suffering last part of the movie. And to be honest, despite Harrison's aging, I like to address something here. As long he can do fight scenes, I'm good with an older Indy. I'd rather see him engage in a fight than in long foot chases. And yes, Dovchenko has a cool death moment.
Than the movie sputters to the next great scene when they reach the top of the pyramid and find their way in. The whole alien (interdimensional being) thing was well maybe a little anti-climatic. But I can understand the interest in it. It were the 50's after all and sci-fi was getting popular in the movies at the time. Maybe it was the next step, I don't know. I always had the idea, people learned their lessons after World War II. Before that, the occult or Biblical matters seemed to reign at the time. It's just this thing that I always wondered that once the war was over everything seemed to calm down and adventures like Raiders or ToD and LC just seemed like wild stories. Even in Indy's world. People who die horrible deaths; melting faces, aging rapidly over fortune and glory and that evil forces like the Third Reich would take over the world because they're meddling with powers beyond their imagination... Maybe there was just more mystery to the world before and during the war.
Now if they at least skipped the unnecessary escape attempt and took out the humor in the jungle chase the movie would've been a lot better. Just one more thing... Mac constantly switching sides didn't do the movie any good either. Either he's a good guy turned bad or he's just a bad guy. But the constant switching was distracting and didn't help the movie either. Or he should've switched back to good in the tent as double agent but, triple agent is a little much.
Conclusion: despite a poor last half hour to forty minutes the movie is enjoyable. I do admit I watched the movie twice at the theatres during the release. And yes, I would watch it again but for a whole other reason than Indy and that is Cate Blanchett, because in the last part of the movie I had the idea she was the only one who kept the movie going in my opinion. That's what I understand why Irina Spalko seems so intriguing as a villain. It's still a little hard to give a her a place in the top 4. But as far as I'm concerned she and the movie deserves a well deserved fourth place.