372 of 471 people found the following review helpful
on August 18, 2008
I love the first three Indy films. Like so many others I was greatly looking forward to seeing a new one. I thought (or hoped) that the very long time they took to come up with a script meant they were polishing it to a brilliant shine. After seeing the movie, I conclude it was really a long negotiation between Lucas, Spielberg, and Ford, with some of them eager to make a crappy movie, and some of them not, with the end result being crappy, but perhaps not as crappy as it might have been.
The movie started with a bit of promise (other than the infantile CGI prairie dog). I'm not as offended by the nuclear fridge scene as many are, because I know those mock towns weren't built at Ground Zero (or they would have been vaporized). They were built at a distance to judge the effect of the blast on places some miles from the explosion. So while it's not credible for Indy to survive being tossed around that much, he didn't exactly survive a nuclear explosion. Some of the other early scenes, such as those where Indy is actually discovering something, are also good.
About halfway through the movie, despite my fervent desire to like it, I realized it just wasn't working for me. No suspense. No real sense of urgency or danger. Low stakes. Too many marginal or pointless characters. Too much cartoon nonsense going on, far less believable than anything from the previous films (the stupid monkey vine swinging, Marian's idiotic tree-driving stunt, the multiple waterfall drops...none of it scary, none of it remotely convincing, or even fun). Marian's long-awaited big reveal was one of the biggest, flattest duds in film history. She shows up and spends most of the rest of the movie just tagging along with a dazed grin on her face like she was just grateful to be there, a flaccid dishrag compared to the character from the first film. Not Karen Allen's fault...she was just thrown in for nostalgia's sake, and was poorly written. Mutt was actually not a bad character, but I don't need or want him to be Indy's son. Is there any worse cliche in fiction than the Son He Never Knew He Had? I realize Spielberg and Lucas are fascinated by father issues, but I'm not. And then there's the whole point of the movie...the skull and the aliens...ehhhh. Who cares? The finale was a muddled jumble of flashing lights and wind that meant nothing and evoked nothing but tedium. Remember at the end of the previous films, where the characters actually seem to notice that something extraordinary has happened, were even scared, or traumatized just a little bit (okay, not so much in Crusade, where they quickly shake off any aftereffects and devolve into slapstick and lose all interest in their surroundings). Not this time. The giant flying saucer takes off, and Indy and his massive crew of sidekicks start cracking jokes.
I'm inclined to blame Lucas for most of this mess. He's made a habit of lapses of taste and judgement since...hmm..."Howard the Duck"?
I don't want to see this movie again, and I don't want to own it. I hope they don't make another, because these guys have proven they no longer have what it takes.
16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on January 24, 2013
The only reason I can think of to watch this film is that you obtained the DVD for free, you have nothing else to watch, you're trapped indoors by inclement weather, it's too late at night to do anything else, you're resigned to the fact that George Lucas has become a fool, you've forgiven Spielberg because even a director of his caliber makes a bad film now and them, you have a bunch of friends over who want to watch something funny, and you've either downloaded the Rifftrax commentary or you're all planning to yell at the movie for being a steaming pile of alien-skulled poopie.
Otherwise, it's a 0 star experience.
254 of 341 people found the following review helpful
on October 11, 2008
Personal sadness and disappointment here: what a great franchise this was, what a lovable character, now destroyed by pure Lucasian incompetence. I'd really loved all the first three movies, because in my opinion, they were perfect examples for timeless adventure classics and movie magic extraordinaire, each in its own style. Indy himself was one of my childhood heroes ... heck, I even loved the TV series (well, mostly), but when I saw this one, I almost puked my guts out. Honestly, I wanted to like it badly, but this flick is so incredibly stupid, so inconsistent and amazingly badly written, it's plain unbearable. All things which made the other movies so great are missing: the excitement of discovery, the thrilling adventure, the enjoyable character relations, the sarcastic yet charming humor, the over-the-top but still believable action scenes - all gone. What remains is this brainless, soulless, uninspired load of junk that (sadly) will score at the box office anyway, just because it's Indy - sort of. But worst of all, as you can clearly see in almost every take, the love is gone from the franchise. Even Harrison Ford looks mostly like he's just going through the motions. For my part, I blame it all on the ABSOLUTELY CRAPPY AND THOROUGHLY DUMB SCRIPT that 1) DENIES THE ACTORS ALMOST EVERY POSSIBILITY TO ACT (Karen Allen being the worst example) and 2) has literally everything that also made the star wars prequels fail: the ham-fisted dialogue, the completely ridiculous "storytelling", forced character development and relations, plot holes one could fly the death star through, overused CGI effects, the lamest humor imaginable ... the list goes on and on. So thanks, George Lucas, for ruining just another childhood love of mine - you couldn't have made it worse by introducing Steven Seagal as Indys long lost brother. But probably, that's what you were up to anyway and Spielberg just talked you out of it.
Bottom line: 20 years of waiting in vain ... excuse me now, but I think I'll go hiding in the basement and cry a little.
18 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on November 14, 2008
I thought that "Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade" was pretty bad, but this is the ultimate stinker! Why did they do this? Harrison Ford is old and decrepit these days. The sound man probably had to edit out all his wheezing when he just bent down to pick up his hat. So I can imagine he was struggling a lot with some of the scenes where a stuntman wouldn't work. And that energetic "Indiana Jones" theme music was ridiculous to hear knowing that Harrison Ford was probably ready to pass out from running so much on the screen.
No, I won't be buying this DVD. God, I hope they don't do another "Indiana Jones", at least not with Harrison Ford. It's OK to get another younger actor. They do for James Bond and it seems to work.
"Indiana Jones" is a great saga to continue (perhaps with a better story writer), but Harrison Ford should move on to something else. How about "Grumpy Old Men III".
I hope I can convince my kids to watch "Raiders of the Lost Ark" and "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom" now that I've seen them put their fingers to their noses to this one. I can't blame them that they were disappointed watching this with me.
And one more thing; CGI is really killing the appeal of movie these days. It's like watching cartoons being put in the movie and we're suppose to take it seriously? The old-fashion visual effects and the lack of CGI is probably the reason why the original "Star Wars" trilogy was more visually believable and entertaining than the over-saturated CGI effects of the "Star Wars" prequel.
Does anyone else agree?
34 of 45 people found the following review helpful
on October 2, 2008
I went to see the new Indiana Jones movie. And I'm sorry, I had no idea that I was WATCHING STARGATE 2!!! Or maybe A.I. or E.T.'s GRANDPARENTS!!!!
I know the movie had something to do with Indiana Jones because I could have sworn I saw Harrison Ford in there somewhere. However, I kept waiting for the Stargate-SG1 team to appear because surely this was some SG1 movie I somehow didn't find out about. It had to be one of those adventures where they went back in time. A used but sometimes acceptable plot device.
At some points I thought I must have been watching Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow because of all the glowy effects they used in this movie to cover up the fake looking jeep/fencing scene. Remember when they actually blew stuff up in movies. Actually had stunt men fighting on actual ground. I'm pretty sure an ancient episode of MacGuyver had ants attacking a town that LOOKED REAL!
So it must have been every other movie I was watching except Indiana Jones. I see...that must be it. Because seriously!!?? Freaking aliens!?
Maybe I was watching another Star Wars movie that was all about Han Solo. Who started wearing a hat. And carrying a whip. Yeah that must be it.
You know, for an Indiana Jones movie, it just didn't cut it. I liked those movies for the fact that they were believable. I could see Indy running from tribesmen and giant boulders. Or stopping a mining cart with his boot heels. A stretch yes but within the realm. I watch those movies for adventure. They're fun and the archeology is based at least in some reality. Lending credit to the story.
I saw Close Encounters Of the Third Kind once. I just didn't know I was watching it's sequel.
And I'm starting to get tired of special effects. Granted the effects are fantastical, but they're fantastical for a cartoon. You have to let me know when I'm watching a cartoon or I feel a little robbed. Like when I realized Attack of the Clones was basically a giant cartoon.
Special effects are starting to look, at least to me, too artificial. I know movies are exactly that but they try to play at being real. There's too much use of the Green Screen. Actors and objects react differently with things in real life. Sun, wind, random movements - they add depth to movies that blue screens can't. Just sayin'.
And the plot was a bit disappointing. It's like Speilberg and Lucas had all the action shots mapped out but not the binding agent as to how they all fit together. And George Lucas must have been stumbling drunk because when Speilberg said let's string it all together by putting aliens in it, he had to have coerced Lucas into signing a cocktail napkin contract that he lamented when he sobered up. Because Speilberg is a sneaky one.
Lucas: "I don't know Steve, aliens? You think the fans'll go for it [hic]?"
Speilberg: "No! Dude! It'll work...cause see, man, by the time they're invested an hour in the movie, they can't leave cause they spent $10 bucks a ticket. Trust me mannnnn...has anotherz shot mannnn."
Lucas: "Mmmm tequila. But a deformed monkey skull thatz magnetic to glud...glod...gold! It's filled with bubble wrap dude, wherez the brain go!?"
Speilberg: "Screw the brain cavity man, they'll never notice becuase we'll make it glow! No! We'll fill it with tiny little galaxies and starz mannz. They'll never notize. Yeah!!"
Lucas: "Okay....here's you're napkin back by the way."
Speilberg: "Dude! Do me a wookie roar!"
Lucas: "Naw man. Don't be silly."
Speilberg: "C'mon man! For me dude! I love it when you do the wookie!"
Lucas: *some weird drunken gargling sound* "Howz?"--*crash*
Speilberg: "Aw dayyyymm. He passed out. Barkeep! Can I get another tequila? Thank aliens he signed my napkin!"
BECAUSE THAT'S THE ONLY WAY IT COULD POSSIBLY HAVE MADE SENSE TO PUT ALIENS IN AN INDIANA JONES MOVIE!!!
60 of 81 people found the following review helpful
on October 6, 2008
No wonder Brandon Frasier passed on this one.
Raiders is one of my favorite movies. The second one is okay, the third I enjoyed quite a bit.
But I don't remember any silly little CGI creatures in the originals. There was Indy's old flame, Marion - in Skull her character is abandoned - all you get is Karen Alen with a dumb smile on her face. When a jeep lands on a tree and springs off it into a river - she has a ridiculous smile the whole time. The original Indy flicks were fun but almost scary at times. This one is just plain silly. CGI ants, monkeys (the monkey scene is probably one of the lowest points in the flick), prairie dogs, etc. And yes, they're silly, too!
The dialog is so stiff at times, scenarios are so forced, all I could do was wait for the movie to end. And it took a long time for that wonderful moment to come.
There's not really much of a plot. There is a skull, they must get it and place it somewhere. That's it. And oh my, the last 20 minutes must have $30 million in CGI but not much really happens.
If you loved the over the top CGI from the first 3 Indy movies and the complete lack of an interesting story, then you'll LOVE this one.
I would rank this down as one of the worst movies I've seen in my life. Probably about halfway in I lost interest and spent more time examining my fingernails, noticing all the little details at my theater I'd never paid attention to. I didn't have a phone or Gameboy so there wasn't a lot to do.
I've spent more time discussing Crystal Skull than I had to. May the minutes wasted on Crystal Skull be a warning to those fortunate enough not to have scene the Mummy 4.
I'd really like it if George Lucas stopped producing films.
28 of 37 people found the following review helpful
on November 16, 2008
Now, I'm not a huge fan of the original films, but I always found them enjoyable. They're kind of comfort movies. Great fun with some witty dialog and believable action. So, when this newest installment hit the theaters, I didn't rush out to go see it. I knew I'd get around to it eventually. And thank goodness I skipped the theaters because this film is a verifiable mess from beginning to end.
From the laughable opening sequence I knew we were in trouble. Things only got worse from there with the introduction of "Mutt" who was essentially put into a Brando costume (what were they thinking?) and is given the most annoying dialog ever. The we meet Cate Blanchett's character. Now Blanchett is one of the best actresses around, but she obviously watched way too much Rocky & Bullwinkle as prep for this movie. She is so very much Natasha that I expected John Astin to come around the corner any minute as Boris. Over the top doesn't even describe her performance.
But what killed this for me the most was the absolutely insipid action sequences. While the other films always stretched the believability factor with the action, it always remained fun and somewhat rooted in reality. Here, it is all so unbelievable (falling over three waterfalls and no one is hurt?) and done so badly it ruins not only the film but the series. I wish someone would tell George Lucas that CGI is not he answer to everything and I certainly wished he hadn't convinced Spielberg that it was. He made a mess of the Star Wars films and now he got his computer generated claws into Indy. The CGI and green screen is shockingly bad in this film and ILM (if they are the ones who committed this atrocity) should be shamed of themselves.
It was nice to see Karen Allen again, but like everything else in this movie she is so far over the top it is laughable.
It is said that Sean Connery refused to reprise his role in this film and I absolutely understand why. And to show the height of laziness behind this picture, the writer and director weren't even smart enough to take out a line of dialog which clearly referenced Connery. "You brought a knife to a gunfight." Yeah, they'll say it was an homage, but it was just plain sloppy, like tis whole movie.
In the end, Indy should have hung up his fedora with movie #3 and left us with a good taste in our mouths rather than the bitter aftertaste of this horrible film.
47 of 63 people found the following review helpful
on October 22, 2008
After waiting so long to make this movie, you'd think that they would have had time to come up with a great idea and a great script. But apparently they spent the past 20 years looking for the worst idea and worst script they could find. This movie was made to make money. No real effort was put into it to make it live up to the previous movies. They knew that people would shell out money to see it regardless of whether it was good or bad. So why bother making it good? My advice? Don't give these people money for being too lazy to make a good Indiana Jones movie. Skip it. Don't even rent it, just pretend it never happened.
38 of 51 people found the following review helpful
on May 31, 2008
I love Indiana Jones and I wanted to love this movie, but it is so poorly written and so cheesy... I had heard the buzz that it wasn't great and I went in with low expectations... and for the first twenty minutes or so, I was pleasantly surprised... yes, there was way too much superfluous dialogue, but the tone was serious and I was hopeful... but then they're in South America and the pointless dialogue starts to bog down the action and I feel boredom creeping in... then they reach the Russian camp in the jungle which is where the wheels come off... boredom increases with the poor writing and then Karen Allen pops out of a tent, as a prisoner mind you, and may as well have waved at the camera... this sets the tone for the rest of the movie with stupid, bad sitcom dialogue, absolutely no suspense, no characterization, no character arch, and set pieces that give our hero nothing to do, but move around and wink at Shia. There's no emotional connection within this film at all, no danger, no pain, no wit... It's passing entertainment of the mediocre kind... the National Treasure movies are better then this... which isn't saying a whole lot, but they are better written and nothing can save a bad script... not hundreds of millons of dollars of amazing special effects, like some embarrassing prequel movies you might have seen...
This movie is such a wasted opportunity... a fantastic cast and Harrison Ford still looks amazing, but if he thinks this movie is good, he should retire. Lucas should have retired a long time ago and we (the generation that grew up loving his films and paying for his empire) will hate him for ruining are beloved heros and adventure films. Spielberg will be forgiven... where on earth was the man who made Minority Report, War of the Worlds and Munich? He obviously went along with George and he did like Last Crusade the best with it's cartoony action, undermining all suspense and coolness of our hero. At least Crusade had a decent script that didn't violate basic rules of screenwriting 101.
There are good ideas within in this film... It is a good premise and it could've been a great suspenseful tale about the missing link and aliens set in the atomic age of the fifties... but it never materializes... you'll here complaints that it shouldn't have been in the 50s and that there's too much CGI and that Shia is not Indy-like at all (he's quite good in this actually), but NOTHING will destroy a film more than bad writing. It took them 19 years to come up with this script, you think it would be note perfect, or perhaps at least fantastic, or maybe just good... but no, it's just bad... and it has you know who's hands all over it... Honestly, how stupid and untalented is George Lucas at this point? If you're going to make crappy films, please make them original and stop destroying past glories.
30 of 40 people found the following review helpful
on October 13, 2008
Look, we all knew it was unlikely to be better than those that came before it, but my GOD! This film was bad beyond all expectations! We're talking POD-RACE levels of stupidity. It's troubling and sad to see characters we grew up loving and caring about being manipulated and tortured in the hands of their insane creators. Look at the stunts in the recent Batman film. Look good, eh? I don't understand why Lucas & co. insist on not getting their hands dirty and CGI-ing this film beyond all recognition.
I'll be honest. At the start of the movie, CGI aside, it didn't seem THAT bad. I thought maybe there was a chance it was going to work out. Without giving spoilers, I can tell you that as soon as Indy and the gang hit the jungle things went terribly, terribly wrong. We have Shia swinging like tarzan from vines followed by an army of CGI monkeys and Marion defying all her natural maternal instincts by DRIVING THE JEEP CARRYING HERSELF AND HER SON NOT TO MENTION INDY OVER A FRIGGING CLIFF!!!!!! INTENTIONALLY!!!!!!!
Ridiculous. Absolutely ridiculous. There was no coming back from that for me. My brain turned to jelly as, much like the Star Wars prequels before it, the Indy show looked more like a video game than a film. I suppose there are plenty of gamer types out there who might enjoy this thing. Me? I'm interested in cinema, not all this baggage, so I have now severed my connection to anything with LucasArts seal of approval stamped on it. At least we can watch the old Indy films without a hassle. Try doing that with Star Wars, at least on a big screen tv. I better not go there.
Am I the only one who smells the Indy/Star Wars crossover potential? Was not a giant door kicked open toward the end of this film that will now allow Lucas and his sick imagination to run wild, culminating in the dreaded Han Solo/Indiana Jones handshake?
In summary - new Indy stinks. Terrible film making. Good effort from the actors, but the people behind the camera have apparently lost their sanity. Do what I do, and what I did for the Star Wars prequels - pretend it never happened. Let Indy and his daddy ride off into the sunset at the end of Indy III, a fitting and classy ending to a wonderfully entertaining franchise.