SPOILER ALERT: THE FOLLOWING CONTAINS PLOT POINTS FROM INDIANA JONES 4 IMMEDIATELY FOLLOWING THE PICTURE BELOW
photo courtesy of people.com
Aliens? Honestly, aliens? After 19 years, the latest adventure through pyramids and ancient ruins ends with the revelation that the Crystal Skull is nothing but an alien that beams itself up in to a spaceship and takes off? They should have just saved some money by borrowing footage from Spielberg's own Close Encounters of the Third Kind.
Sure I understand it doesn't really matter what I say since audiences will turn out in droves to see Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull. And hey, I was one of those who made it appointment viewing on Sunday May 18th when I turned up on the Paramount lot to see the adventures of my beloved Indy.
Well, my beloved Indy was fine. It's just that a few other things were not. We all know that in an action adventure movie like this you are expected to suspend belief in certain things so that the hero can do some things that mere mortals can't. However, when it starts ripping up the rules of physics on the non-fantastical elements, wondrous awe turns in to unintended laughs.
Let's take the visually wonderful waterfall scene. After Indy and the gang drop down not one, but three, steep waterfalls on par with Niagara Falls, several preposterous things happen:
a) they all land within close proximity of each other and climb back in the car/boat within three seconds each and every time,
b) nobody is bruised, scratched or has any water in their lungs and...
c) This is the worst offense -- the crazy old professor never once -- not once! -- lets go of the bag containing the Crystal Skull during the drops. This thing is heavier than a bowling ball and John Hurt looks like he would have a hard time holding onto it in a stiff breeze. But later, when they tumble a mere five feet down into knee deep water that's when the professor accidentally loses his grip and ... oops! There goes the bag! And oops! There goes the skull! Really? Come on!!!!!!
I can forgive the fact that every cave and tunnel had so much ambient light you'd think there were giant chandeliers hanging from the ceilings. But am I to assume that if the U.S. were to ever be struck by an atomic bomb, I could just climb into a lead-lined fridge like Indy and totally survive? That mushroom cloud would have melted the hinges right off the door and the last we'd see of Indy is his face bubbling and melting off.
A quick aside here: Why would two legendary and acclaimed filmmakers like Mr. Spielberg and Mr. Lucas so blatantly rip off 1954's The Atomic Kid? Mickey Rooney already did that same scene where a guy walks in to a house complete with a mannequin family before realizing that a bomb was going to go off. Except in that movie, Mickey Rooney's Barnaby becomes radioactive. I guess Indy is just ... immune?
Listen, I can suspend disbelief, no problem. I did with Temple of Doom when Indy and his gang jumped out of a plane in an inflatable raft, landed on a mountain, slid all the way down before going off a cliff and landing in a river. But I simply did not buy Shia LeBoeuf swinging with monkeys. What was that? A Tarzan screen test?
Lastly, what's up with the groundhogs? I felt like it was a totally different movie. I was expecting those chipmunks Alvin, Simon and Theodore to join them and break into a song.
But really, guys -- aliens? Come on!
On that note, may Indy enjoy his opening weekend. Let the record shattering begin.