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Here is a note-perfect Indiana Jones movie; with mind-boggling chases and stunts (all real stunts, and not CGI) and a grumpily perfect Harrison Ford matched up and against friends and foes old and new. It has dozens of things to love and scream and laugh about - just exactly what you want in an Indiana Jones movie.

And then the Lucas magic takes over in the last twenty minutes or so, rendering it stupid and unbelievable. The Ark of the Covenant melting nazis? Believable, within the continuity and context of the movie. But this one?

I'm left not knowing whether to love or hate it. Curse you, Lucas!

Comments

( 24 comments — Leave a comment )
daogre
May. 23rd, 2008 05:20 pm (UTC)
I did not love it. I also wasn't a huge fan of the 10 year bump. I'd rather just see indy punching out nazi's than commies I guess.
aghrivaine
May. 23rd, 2008 05:21 pm (UTC)
I didn't mind the time jump, you had to explain why Harrison Ford is 65 and still in the business of punching anyone, you know?

It was just that stupid ending.
maeris
May. 23rd, 2008 05:34 pm (UTC)
Oh, just love it. Just accept that maybe, just maybe, that sort of thing is possible if you have the knowledge to create it and that it doesn't matter, anyway, because it was a fun ride.
wickedthought
May. 23rd, 2008 06:04 pm (UTC)
Remember: Frank Darabont (The Mist, Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile) turned in a script that Spielburg called "the best script I've ever read." Not "the best Indy script," but "the best script I've ever read."

And Lucas turned it down, handing it over to one of the guys responsible for editing his prequels.

Spielburg eventually convinced Lucas to let a real screenwriter clean it up (and that would be the amazing David Keopp), but I'm certain Lucas went through it with his Suck and screwed everything up.

I'm in the same boat: I loved the movie all the way up to the end. It felt like a really great episode of the Young Indiana Jones Chronicles. Not as great as the movies, but still damn good.

Right up to the end. An ending Lucas has gone on record as insisting--or he wouldn't allow the movie to be made.

Edited at 2008-05-23 06:05 pm (UTC)
aghrivaine
May. 23rd, 2008 06:05 pm (UTC)
Yeah. Frickin' Lucas. What is it with his hatred of good scripts? Jeez.
elanya
May. 23rd, 2008 06:46 pm (UTC)
I thought the ending was hilarious - it was really just the sort of crack I was expecting from how things had been lined up in the movie earlier.

It's not gonna be my favourite, but it was fun. Fun is what matters in these things! It was, in fact, more fun than I'd feared it would be.
aghrivaine
May. 23rd, 2008 06:48 pm (UTC)
I was pleasantly delighted through the first 4/5 ths, and then had my worst fears confirmed at the end. So I have mixed feelings, you know?
elanya
May. 23rd, 2008 09:05 pm (UTC)
watch me as I try to be vague and non-specifically spoilery...
I thought it was an interesting way to deal with one of the more crackpot (and, incidentally, patronizing and paternalistic) ideas in archaeology. He used the idea, but desperately tried to redeem himself at the end ("they were archaeologists!").

What gets me (in a sense of 'amuses me') is that the made-for-tv MacGuyver movie where they find Atlantis did a very similar thing :)
aghrivaine
May. 23rd, 2008 09:08 pm (UTC)
Re: watch me as I try to be vague and non-specifically spoilery...
My date had a similar reaction to the theory you mention. In fact, her exact words were, "Fuck that in the ear with a big yellow dildo."
elanya
May. 23rd, 2008 09:16 pm (UTC)
Re: watch me as I try to be vague and non-specifically spoilery...
Yeah.... As I said, I saw it coming pretty early on, so i was able to mentally prepare myself for it. But hell, IJ has already used the Arc of the Covenant to kill Nazis, and drank from the Grail... And lets not forget about the Thugee cult and the Black Blood of Kali. Because that was culturally sensitive, right? It didn't seem particularly off-base for the franchise, all told, so I could swallow what might have otherwise been a more bitter pill. And hey! It was a still a fun trip!

I also confess that at the end, being a big giant dork, I leaned over to my friend to whisper that this was just when they needed to call in the *nautical* archaeologists...
aghrivaine
May. 23rd, 2008 09:19 pm (UTC)
Re: watch me as I try to be vague and non-specifically spoilery...
Haha! Giant broom indeed!

I get what you're saying about the Grail, the Ark, and the Shankara stones being as hard to swallow as the crystal skull ... but somehow it just felt different, and didn't seem to be consistent with the internal logic of the movies.

What can I say? I saw it coming too, and kept saying to myself, "Naaah..." with a sinking feeling of dread. And lo, it came to pass, that Lucas made it suck.
blanchemains
May. 23rd, 2008 09:42 pm (UTC)
Re: watch me as I try to be vague and non-specifically spoilery...
I read that Spielberg said one main difference was that the first three movies were based on adventure serials of the period and this one more rooted in the 50's sci-fi B movies. So it *is* different.
blanchemains
May. 23rd, 2008 09:39 pm (UTC)
Oh, just go ahead and love it. The ending? Not my favorite thing, but I found it was certainly in keeping with the Indiana Jones franchise in that it tapped into the perceived threats of the decade and mythologies of South America and then revealed that what seemed the most fantastic part of it was also true. As in, the Ark was exactly what it was cracked up to be, Kali is one pissy goddess and the Holy Grail was the real deal.

I loved that they didn't recast Indy, as the Bond franchise has done. I love that Indy romanced Karen Allen and not some starlet 40 years his junior. And I appreciate that Ford hasn't goe the way of Sylvester Stallone with the obvious facial work and growth hormones.
aghrivaine
May. 23rd, 2008 09:42 pm (UTC)
I loved Marion's return, and even ended up liking Shia LaBoeuf, and was particularly happy with Harrison Ford's athletic, but authentically creaky performance. The character has aged as gracefully as the actor, and his romance with Marion was 100% believable.

But... that ending. Just couldn't swallow it, it was outside the internal consistency of the previous films. Next stop: Indiana Jones vs. the Giant Irradiated Rabbits!
blanchemains
May. 23rd, 2008 09:49 pm (UTC)
But surely that was made up for by the sly bit with the monkeys? Remember Marion calling the monkey in Raiders their "child"? I thought that was a clever reference back to the first movie.
aghrivaine
May. 23rd, 2008 09:50 pm (UTC)
Monkeys punching commies is nearly as good as Captain American punching nazis. But not quite. There was a lot to love ...up until the end.
blanchemains
May. 23rd, 2008 09:54 pm (UTC)
You didn't get the parallel of the monkey in the first movie (their "child") and Mutt swinging through the trees in this one (also their child)?

I think I have said it before, but Spielberg is a much more subtle filmmaker than he is usually given credit for.
aghrivaine
May. 23rd, 2008 09:59 pm (UTC)
There were a bunch of little nods I did catch, and others that got by me - the greasers vs. soc's thing (American Graffiti),. the monkey being the same kind that was in the first movie, I'm forgetting some others.

I would probably think, "hey, those were cool!" except for that last ten minutes.
maeris
May. 23rd, 2008 11:45 pm (UTC)
I really don't get how a 700-year-old knight (sitting in a cave reading the SAME book for all those years, by the way) is more believable than something technically possible??
aghrivaine
May. 24th, 2008 12:53 am (UTC)
Technically possible? Get outta town! It's ALL fantasy. I think the difference is that one fantasy is based on religious traditions that 9/10ths of the planet buy into, and the other on something ascribed to nutcases and nerds.

maeris
May. 25th, 2008 01:14 am (UTC)
Right, one is religious. And the other IS technically possible. Personally, I ascribe the nutcases to the religious traditions. If you're an incredibly technologically advance society, which we know by our own accomplishments is possible, then it's not fantasy at all. It's futurism. Look at all the technology we have today that would have been fantasy 50 years.
aghrivaine
May. 25th, 2008 07:13 am (UTC)
From the film maker's perspective - which one does 9/10ths of the world's population believe to be factually true, and which is the one ascribed to conspiracy theorists?
maeris
May. 27th, 2008 04:46 am (UTC)
That is regardless to your point, which is that the ending of this movie is pure fantasy, which it is not. That, and I believe you to be more intelligent than 9/10ths of the world's population and it's your opinion of which we're speaking and not theirs.
aghrivaine
May. 27th, 2008 09:12 pm (UTC)
well, in my opinion the ending of the movie was fantasy, it certainly doesn't seem like anything in keeping with even fairly wild laws of physics.

So if we're saying "Ok, magic stuff happens" - for a movie about an archaeologist, magical artifacts with religious significance make more sense, are more internally consistent with the movie's story. Especially since there are three movies, all of which are about religious magic - and then a sudden switch, which to me felt jarring and not just unbelievable, but inconsistent, too.
( 24 comments — Leave a comment )

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