Join Date: Jan 2007
The Moderates Thread
Since we have a thread for KOTCS haters, I figured we'd have a thread for people who are moderate on the film (IE, people who recognize it's faults but enjoy it anyway).
My feelings on this one, like my feelings on the YIJC, jump back and forth between love and disappointment. I do get tired of hearing things like KOTCS was a horrible film or that it was the ''worst movie ever made" (yes, there are people out there who actually feel that way).
Yes, it may have been a "subpar entry"--depending on your expectations. It wasn't the utterly amazing, Fate of Atlantis-esque epic people thought/hoped it would be; It wasn't the second coming of Raiders that many hoped it would be--but could it ever have been?
Personally, I feel it and LC are very similar. Let's be honest, if not for Sean Connery's presence, LC would be on the same level as KOTCS. It's very similar--Less of an anti-hero Indy, jokey moments, no really frightening enemies, femme fatale, an older Harrison, etc, plus it's a retread plotwise/thematically of Raiders (Christian artifact, Nazis, similar villain death, Marcus, Sallah, Desert setting, Indy jumping onto Nazi vehicle)
Two major qualms I have with KOTCS are overall the lack of violence as compared to the first three, and Indy being kinder and gentler. Yes, as sociopathic as it may sound, I wanted Indy to be a killer like he was in the first three. I wanted him to be ruthless. I wanted him to outshine his son in terms of being a kickass fighter. He only uses his whip in the beginning if I recall correctly and he never even fires his gun. He could've AT LEAST fired it. I missed the gunfights. I missed the whip play. I missed Indy being rogue-ish and merciless.
Indy yells during the University chase to Mutt, "This is crazy, someone's gonna get hurt!". The Indy of 1935 didn't seem to care if anyone got hurt as he and Short Round raced through the streets of Shanghai and he shot his gun out the back window. I miss that Indy, the devil may care Indy. The Indy who laughed when he defeated the Nazis in the motorcycle chase in LC. Just because he's older doesn't mean he automatically needs to be gentler and nicer. Even the Indy of the YIJC era was more violent--He was just as ruthless in some ways as his later self. I hate that he cooperates with the enemy in the Jungle Camp--Indy would NEVER have cooperated with the Thuggees or Nazis so willingly. I also missed the gritty, mysteriousness which pervaded Indy's character in Raiders and TOD--He's presented as an edgy, mysterious, tough guy. Not here.
I also don't like Shia, but he's on par with Short Round IMO. Shia was totally miscast, but Short Round's character is kind of cheesy (albeit in a cute kind of way), so it balances out. Marion was underused, but then again, she wasn't annoying like Willie. But I reiterate that she was criminally underused, and she should've been introduced into the film earlier. In fact, I think it shouldn't have been made a mystery that the quest was to rescue Marion. If Indy knew from the diner scene on that the Russians had his old gal, Marion, he'd have been MUCH more pissed off, and it might've brought out the Indy of old.
The aliens really don't bother me so much, in fact I actually liked the idea. I don't see what the big deal about having aliens in Indy is, to be honest. I'd actually have preferred it to go in a dark, eerie total Sci Fi direction--think TOD meets HP Lovecraft. Aliens and the like are not a problem for me, and I think they were mishandled, because it felt like they were being overly cautious with the alien element. And calling them "inter-dimensional beings" felt very cheap and rushed. They could've played this angle a lot better and made it really creepy and cool.
The whole Area 51 scene is just pure awesomeness (the rest of the film should've had this feel), as are the Diner scenes/fight and the University chase and the Graveyard. The Graveyard actually reminded me of the best parts of TOD, in the dark and gloomy cave, and Indy's interaction with Mutt reminded me of him and Short Round--"Don't touch anything."
When watching Indy and Mutt make their way through the Graveyard cave with the traps and darkness, I almost get the feeling that memories of the TOD cave were going through Indy's head too. One thing I wished was more emphasized was that Indy is a grizzled veteran of this sort of stuff--I wanted him to look like a big badass to Mutt, who prides himself on his supposed "toughness."
The Jungle chase was rollicking fun,, but I HATE that Indy took a backseat in it. I wanted to see Indy kicking ass, not Shia swordfighting. If I want to see a guy with slicked back hair sword fighting, I'll watch Zorro. I hate that in many of the action-y sequences (like the University chase), Indy takes a backseat to Shia. This was supposed to be INDY's big return. Shia could've handled more of the action in Indy V if they really wanted to show him off.
However, seeing Indy actually legitimately WIN against the obligatory BIG SCARY INDY VILLAIN (tm) for once was awesome. In Raiders against the Nazi Mechanic, he gets his ass kicked and only 'wins' through sheer luck; In TOD, he gets his ass kicked (due to the voodoo) but wins when he goes into an animalistic rage; In this one, he just flat out wins--no insane rage or blind luck required. Between him winning the fight with the Russian, and him whipping from the top of the truck to the roof in the Area 51 chase, Indy at age 58 actually seems STRONGER than he was in the 1930s. Maybe drinking from the Grail did have some effect after all.
Doomtown was unnecessary, it was pointless plotwise and really was just Lucas & Spielberg seeing what they wanted to see on film, without regard for the fans. It's a very filler moment, and I believe without it, the film would've been MUCH better received. I think Doomtown, moreso than the Aliens, is what drives a lot of the hatred, and it gave ammo to the people who hated the film before it came out (like the Batman fans) who swayed public opinion.
Having him be in the OSS during WWII was a REALLY cool touch, and a nice call back to the fact that Indy partially began as Spielberg wanting to make a James Bond film, plus the nod to the YIJC was cool as it makes the YIJC undeniably canon. I only wish, when talking about the Crystal Skull, that the Indy novels could've been subtly referenced--Making them completely canon would've greatly pleased me.
The wedding was OK, handled pretty well for an adventure film, but I wish we had been told HOW Indy got his reputation back. Having him made Associate Dean of the College was a bit too much--especially the "Make the letters bigger!"--Cringeworthy. It's made up for by having Indy grab HIS hat back from Mutt. They were definitely thinking of the fans there, and I love it--he's still the Man with the Hat at the end, and it implies that marriage doesn't end his career as a "obtainer of rare antiquities." In that subtle way, the door is left open for a sequel, because he hasn't hung up or passed on the hat just yet.
Bringing back the gray travel fedora from Raiders was a really nice touch, and does show the Beards were conscious of even little elements of the past films. Bear in mind that LC and TOD totally disregarded the gray fedora. It was a nice call back to Raiders.
The hot rod chase to Hound Dog was AWESOME--A nice way of telling us we're in a new era. It reminds me a lot of Anything Goes--A great, fun way of establishing the setting/time period. Indy's introduction, with the shadow of the hat--excellent.
One thing which bugs me is Indy being called Henry so much. This is Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, not Henry Jones, Jr and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. I've never understood why they kept emphasizing his real name. Yeah, we get it, he's Henry Jones, Jr. We know. Stop it, he's Indy. He and Ox went to College together, but everyone who knew Indy in college (as shown in the YIJC) called him Indy or Jonesy--No one from that era of his life called him by his real name, even his enemies. Bear in mind that the last time he and Ox talked was in 1937--before he patched things up with Jones, Sr. So in 1937, EVERYONE was calling him Indy except his Dad. No one who respected him was calling him Henry Jones, Jr. I really hope if Indy V is made that he's just called Indy.
Speaking of which, having Indy call Mutt "Junior" was just cheesy. It doesn't work with Harrison saying it. He doesn't have that rascally Scottish accent or the condescension in his voice that Connery did when saying it. His little line about knowledge being the Ugha people's treasure could've been better and felt like a rehash of the ending of LC. We don't need to know what the characters learned from their quest at the end--this trend only started with LC. Hopefully it ends here.
I also don't like the cinematography. It feels too washed out, too, well, '50s. Too well lit, which makes it look kind of fake. I loved the almost technicolor look of LC, and the gritty look of LC and Raiders.
The musical score was weak--too much rehashing and not a lot of pep. It seems John Williams has kind of lost his luster as of late--In the SW prequels he lazily recycled themes too. It's a shame, because his music was as much a part of what made the originals great as anything else.
All in all, I give the film a B- or C. It's not a horrible film, it's not a nightmare, it's not the worst film ever made. It's just an average Indy movie--A mindless fun sort of adventure flick, on par with the first two (Brendan Fraiser) Mummy movies.
Last edited by Raiders112390 : 04-22-2011 at 11:44 PM.