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