Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Bollocks

Hey kids, I’m back! Didja miss me? ‘course you did. So, my internet problems are all sorted out now and I’m once again ready to bring you the very best in mediocrity. While I was gone I saw Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Previously I mentioned my trepidation about this one. I went into that theatre scared, but hoping for the best. I really wanted to love this movie, and I was willing to forgive it a lot. Sadly, there isn’t enough forgiveness in the collective hearts of the world to cover this steaming load.

Settle in and get comfy, I’m gonna tear this movie several new ones. Spoilers ahead, turn back now if you don’t want to have everything ruined for you. Not that it’s truly possible to ruin this waste celluloid.

The movie starts out just like every Indy movie, the Paramount logo fading into a live action analogue. This film fucks it up, BIG TIME. The analogue in this movie is a mound of dirt, and it erupts into a prairie dog. No shit, for some reason this movie has a hard on for prairie dogs in the first 15 minutes. Yeah, When I think Indiana Jones I know I’m thinking horrible CG prairie dogs.

But that’s a nit-pick. Lets get into the meat of things. The opening of this film is pretty lame. It starts with a military convoy heading to AREA 51! Oh wow, where do you guys get your ideas! that’s SO fresh! Okay, so Area 51 is a groaner, but it gets worse because our introduction to Indy in this film is the shits. He gets pulled out of a trunk. Nice. There’s our hero and ain’t he cool. It’s just such a let down. Indy’s intro’s have always been COOL, but not this time.

This brings us to our next big problem, the villains. Who kidnapped our hero? The fucking Russians. You know what, that’s fine. It’s set in the 50s, the Red Scare is in full swing, the Nazis are gone, bring on the reds. But there’s a problem, their leader. Cate Blanchett is TERRIBLE. She’s so not intimidating or scary. I feel no menace from her. The best I can muster is pity for that utterly ridiculous wig she wears in this fucking film.

Okay, they’re in Area 51, which is apparently the warehouse where the ark was stored at the end of Raiders. Lame. We’re here to find… something. After some totally embarrassing dialogue and accents Indy says that the something we’re looking for is highly magnetic, so we’re going to find it by tossing gunpowder into the air and following it. Riiight. Magnetism does not work this way. So, we follow the dust to this pile of crates. We toss some shotgun pellets in there and then find the crate they stuck to. Once the wooden crate is open suddenly everything is attracted to this thing, the hanging lights, metal buckles on clothing, everything. Yeah, wood was blocking this magnetic field. Groan.

So, have you guessed what’s in the box yet? Yup, that’s right, an ALIEN corpse. Because that totally fits Indiana Jones, aliens. But whatever, let’s see where this goes. Well, this corpse is going nowhere. We never figure out why the Russians want this corpse, they apparently have several of their own. This smacks of George.

In the past decade George has become enamored with the idea of plot elements that are never explained. This can be an effective story telling tool when used properly, like the mystery briefcase in Pulp Fiction. The problem is George hasn’t the faintest idea of how to properly employ this convention. In The Phantom Menace George tried to do the same thing with the motivations and reasons behind the blockade of Naboo and the whole political situation surrounding the taxation of trade routes. The problem is that since it’s the central plot point the audience really needs to know in order to care. This alien corpse is forgotten within minutes of being introduced.

Indy isn’t going to just let those Ruskies get away with stealing an alien corpse, hells no, he springs into action. But what’s this! As soon as he turns the tables he’s betrayed by his new sidekick, for reasons that are ridiculously contrived. Big fight ensues, nothing special, and ti ends with Indy finding himself on the run trying to hide out from the reds in a simulated suburb which is about to have an atom bomb dropped on it.

At this point any reasonable person knows that Indy is dead. He’s fucked. But wait! No! He can hide out in a lead lined refrigerator! BULLSHIT! The reds are getting the hell out of dodge when they realize a bomb is about to drop, they have a good couple of miles from ground zero when the shock wave hits them and tears the car apart like tinfoil. But a fridge 3 blocks from the where the bomb hits survives the blast that reduced all the buildings to radioactive dust? And then Indy gets out of the fridge to look at the mushroom cloud? Yeah, even if Indy did somehow survive the blast, he’s now going to die of radiation poisoning. You know, that’s not a bad way to think of the rest of the movie. It’s just Indy’s fevered dream as he lays in a hospital bed dying. It’s probably the only way to explain this shit storm this movie is.

Indy gets pulled in by the feds who scrub him with brushes, which I guess cures radiation exposure. Then they give him all this grief about being involved with the reds. Yes they love to play up the Mccarthyism angle every so often i this flick. Not that it amounts to anything. I understand of course, but it just feels out of place. So, Indy is being interogated by 2 of the most stereotypical FBI agents ever when his get out of jail free card shows up in the form of ‘General buddy’. This is where we find out that Indy is some kinda fucking war hero. You know what I think of this? Lame. Indy isn’t interested in wars, he’s interested in artifacts. He did the war thing when he was young, he knows better now. But whatever, fine, yeah, Indy is a war hero. Now that this is established the generl can leave as quickly as he came, never to be seen again.

Indy goes back to school and is promptly fired for being a suspected commie collaborator, and the Dean resigns because of it. The dean who is new to the series but we’re supposed to think has been in the Indy universe all along. “I never should have doubted you my friend” is probably the worst and most painful line I’ve ever heard Indy deliver. Indiana Jones would never say that kind of drivle. That caliber of dialogue smacks of George once more.

So, Indy decides to move to England to teach, but before he can leave he’s tracked down by a third rate James Dean wanna be greaser named Mutt. You know it, I know it, he’s Indy’s son. And he’s the worst part of the movie. Annoying, useless, and unnecessarily ugly. One of the few good scenes in the film is about to happen when Mutt starts a brawl in a soda shop. It’s a good laugh, but this film deserved a lot more.

So Indy and son head off to find Mutt’s mentor Ox, played by John Hurt, who is hot on the trail of the crystal Skull. Guess what? it’s an ALIEN skull! I know, you’re blown away aren’t you. The whole journey is a tedious one and I’m getting sick of reliving it to be perfectly honest. There’s jungles, man eating ants (I shit you not), swinging from vines with monkeys a la Tarzan, sword fights, and Marion. When Marion arrived I was relly hoping the movie was about to pick up. But no, she just grins inanely throughout the rest of the fucking movie for no reason. You seriously get the impression that she’s a mental patient. Which is funny because John Hurt is the one playing the raving nutter.

So, long story short: They take the Skull to El Dorado, give it back to the aliens who grant Cate Blanchett a wish. She wants to know, they burn her mind and then leave to another dimension. And then Indy and Marion get married. No bullshit. And in the most infuriating moment of the film, Indy’s fedora blows across the floor of the church, landing at Mutt’s feet, giving the momentary impression that we’re supposed to think of him as Indy’s successor. Fuck you George, Mutt is a worthless and annoying character and if you even think about making a movie with him as the main character I will lead the class action suit that will pry all of those ill gotten movie gains from you. Indy scoops up the hat on his way out the door with Marion and the movie ends. Thank god.

This movie was so painful to watch. I’m not even a huge Indiana Jones fan. I mean, I love Indiana Jones, but I’m not an Indy fan boy. This movie should never have been made. I can only hope it’s a monumental bomb. There must be no incentive for them to make another film. I don’t think I could say anything more damning than this: Peter Travers gave this movie a poor review.

This was a crime against the world.

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~ by Pagz on May 29, 2008.

3 Responses to “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Bollocks”

  1. Well, I didn’t think it was quite that bad, but it was indeed quite bad. You know who was one of the dudes who was interrogating Indy after he gets the radiation scrubbed off? The janitor from Scrubs. That was my favourite part of the movie.

    See also: http://www.shortpacked.com/comics/20080528janitor.png

    Also, man, what the fuck with the prairie dogs. I was 99% certain for the first fifteen minutes that they were going to do the dramatic gopher thing. I’m still amazed that they didn’t.

    Anyway, I’m all broken and shit, but we should hang out sometime. I’m not going back to work til next Monday. Call me whenever, I’ll be around.

  2. i am glad you say that, now i don’t have to see it, which i wasn’t planning on anyway. were the effects totally shittily cg?

  3. Yeah, there was a lot of really shitty cg. Some of it was nicely done, but most of it was super noticeable.

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