And now we come to this one, the ones that the fanboys love to bash for not being true Indy. This one is my third favourite. For clarification, the order of my favourite Indy films is: Last Crusade, Raiders, Kingdom Of Teh Crystal Skullage and Temple Of Oh-God-No-Why-Did-They-Make-This?
Let me start by saying that this film has the same flaws as Temple Of Doom (I’m not going there again…), such as the annoying sidekick (who is obviously not Indiana Jones’ son at all), the not very familiar mythology behind it (except to certain people), and the lack of Nazis, which I know shouldn’t be a flaw, but both the better ones had them.
I have a problem with trailers for films. They inevitably get overexposed (as is their job), and of course, all of the best bits of the movie are generally in them. Therefore, when I saw the trailer for this film, it spoiled a good gag (“damn, I thought that was closer”). If I hadn’t seen the trailer, I would’ve laughed at it, but as it goes, I just got pissed at the trailer for spoiling it. It was around that point that I stopped watching trailers, incidentally.
It takes a bit of a weird turn about an hour in, but it all works together somehow. I mean, extra-dimensional aliens are no weirder than the Wrath Of God melting people’s faces off, plus the flying fridge is typical slightly-impossible-for-anyone-except-Indy fare. I remarked earlier that the lack of Nazis was a flaw, but really if they were going to move it 19 years ahead, to the time of the Rotten Reds, it was good that they got rid of them, because Nazis just would not have made sense in the film’s timeline. And they had to move it ahead, both because it had been 19 years since the last movie, and Harrison Ford does not look as good as he used to, I’ll be honest. He looks like he has been adversely affected by the Grail from the last one. And in spite of this (or perhaps because of), he still makes a good leading man, giving off the feeling that he could get this adventure done so much easier on his own, just like most of the others (although I’ll admit Last Crusade would’ve been a bitch without his dad).
This film can be a bit corny and slightly annoying in places, with the Marion-Indy romance yet again (except this time it works), and Mutt (I swear to God, that’s his self-chosen name) Williams being the typical biker kid of the 50’s, presumably in a homage to Rebel Without A Cause. I’m not really a big fan of romance in films, mainly because of the aforementioned cheesiness. And yet, I am a horribly cheesy and corny guy in real life. Weird, huh?
I know this film isn’t perceived as being that good and slightly weird in places but God dammit, I like it. It has stunts, comedy, action and romance for the cornier person among us. It doesn’t have everything you need to make a great Indy movie, but it makes a good one, and one that’s worth seeing in any case. This film even makes me tolerate Shia Labeouf* (or whatever the hell his name is), and that’s an achievement any film can be proud of!
*Scott Varnham being a perfectly normal name, of course.