Monday, July 7, 2008

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

I suppose I should be happy that Karen Allen (age 56) is back on screen with Harrison Ford (age 68)... but I kept remembering untalented Kate Capshaw (age 54) from the second Indy movie, and wondering why it took em so long to bring back our homegirl.


Well, Indy doesn't have much wit this time around. Too old to be witty? He had one funny line, at the beginning. The rest relied on basic "Indiana Jones attitude" to amuse, and that didn't impress (or amuse) me much.

The real female lead went to Cate Blanchett, who understood the comic-book nature of her role as Irina Spalko, a sword-fighting KGB-dominatrix, and plays it to the hilt. Her Russian accent seems to have been (deliberately) borrowed from the NATASHA character on the old Bullwinkle cartoons. Her sword fight atop moving jeeps is spectacular, the highlight of the movie. Spielberg can do dazzling special effects in his sleep. The end seemed a replay of the first Indiana Jones movie, as the aliens come to life when the skull is replaced, poor Irina's eyes catch on fire as she joins in some weird psychic congress with the crystal-skull aliens, and the space ship (same one from CLOSE ENCOUNTERS?) takes off, spinning into galaxies far, far away.

And am I the only person who thought the Crystal Skull looked like a plastic skull stuffed with plastic wrap/aluminum foil? Honestly, my kid's science projects looked better than that. The cheap skull stuck out like the proverbial sore thumb in a very, very pricey movie.

It's great to see the charming, likable Karen Allen again. And it's BLOODY AMAZING to see a woman on screen who looks her age, and seems as if she has lived a real life, her face not preserved in botoxed amber. But the tacked-on happy ending, in which Indy makes an honest woman of her? Meh.

PS: Did anyone catch the "I've got a very bad feeling about this" line, from STAR WARS? I am a real sucker for inside-jokes like that.

Listening to: Teenage Fanclub - I Need Direction
via FoxyTunes


Brad hansen said...

Speaking of Karen Allen, I wrote an unsolicited script for a Starman sequel back in 1998. It was my first script and I quit college to finish it. It’s been gathering dust ever since. I sent it to Jeff Bridges and John carpenter, although I would prefer if Carpenter didn’t direct a sequel. I wrote some good f/x sequences and some interesting characters. I’m pretty sure I’ll never be involved, but I’d to see the f/x scene from the beach being incorporated, (Jeff’s manager Neil will know the one, totally plagiarised from another movie, but it would look great on film today). If anyone has any questions, email me at and I’ll answer them. (Although I won’t give away any plot points. And yes there is a son and indeed, I actually have the perfect casting suggestion!!

shadocat said...

I'm just glad Karen was there; AND she looked her age. Did you think the happy ending was Speilberg's way of ending old Indy's (Ford) storyline, and introducing the "new" Indy? (Shia LeBouf (sp?)) Cuz if it was, I wish thy would pass the hat to someone else. Where's Short Round when you need him?

shadocat said...

And thet "crystal skull" was whack!

JoJo said...

Haven't seen it yet, but I hear that if you are a hardcore Indy fan, you'll like it. Me, not so much. I loved the first movie...didn't like the 2nd, and the 3rd was cute.

Good to know Karen Allen is a normal woman instead of a plasticine version of her former self (think Joan Rivers)