Saturday, May 24, 2008
Indiana Jones & the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
Spectacularly mediocre final installment of a series that has been going steadily downhill since Raiders of the Lost Ark. The franchise feels old and worn-out, not unlike Harrison Ford who seemingly can scarcely contain his boredom. The plot, such as it is, is molecule-thin, even by Indiana Jones standards, and riddled with holes, dead-ends and sheer silliness. Showing a hero facing old age is good idea, but other than one or two references to his age, Indy is exactly the same superhero he was in 1937, though he seems to have lost all common sense when it comes to reading his friends. He gets caught in a nuclear blast, tossed ten miles in a refrigerator that slams into the Earth at high speed and is able to get up and dust himself off! Which brings up another point: the stunts have gone WAY beyond thrilling and deep into ludicrous territory. The villains here (the godless Commies) are completely indistinguishable from the Nazis in the previous films, save only for the accents and the uniforms. And the last quarter is cringe-inducingly racist (not that the previous three installments were exactly enlightened), with Indians portrayed as screeching naked savages (and, apparently, some kind of ninja) and far too stupid to have invented anything on their own, instead being dependent on the "benevolent" von Daniken-ite aliens to instruct them. Overall, a disappointing end to an era.