2008.05.25


Never has shark-jumping been more punctuated. The new Indiana Jones movie is impressive until you see Shia LeBeouf straddling moving jeeps whilst sword fighting - looking very much like he's on water skis. From this scene on Lucas and Spielberg work their hardest to wreck the film.

Two particular action sequences are simply painful to watch - ostensibly on account of George Lucas's fascination with infusing humor into scenes of high drama. For a few moments you'll see a great deal of Star Wars prequel in the film.
Spielberg also had a 1977 film he has now forced into the Indy series. And it's too bad. The plot point is obvious from the opening scene but throughout the movie you wonder if they can pull it off. Nope.

Other than that the movie is fantastic. The humor is clever and light-handed, the dialog circumvents the cheesy lines that seem impending. Oftentimes film cinematography makes too many concessions to appear either realistic or comic booky, not so here and it is a fine accomplishment.

If you're expecting the Ford-LeBeouf interaction to resemble Ewan McGregor and Hayden Christenson, thankfully that is not the case. The two play off each other very well and there aren't many 'omg they're so alike!!!' scenes.

The movie carries the adventure elements that define the Indy series. But there are two new themes that add complexity to the story. They're executed very well. The first and obvious one is age. It's not dismissed or cg-ed over. It's a prominent theme until Indy returns to his world- treasure hunting in the Amazon. The second element is injecting the 1930s adventurer into a world twenty years newer. These themes add humanity to the character who was always so surly and confident. It serves as a great denouement to the series by illustrating that he is the last and greatest of his kind.

And then Shia jumps the shark.