Friday, May 23, 2008

At Least it Didn't Suck Like PHANTOM MENACE

I'm guessing that my lowered expectations probably prevented me from disliking INDIANA JONES AND THE KINGDOM OF THE CRYSTAL SKULL (that's a mouthful!) more than I should have.

Admittedly, I'm not what you'd call a huge fan of the series. While RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK ranks in my All-Time Top 10 I can't watch the second and third films in the series without wincing, groaning and (eventually) flipping the dial.

So the return of Indiana Jones didn't have the same emotional build-up for me as, say, a new Batman flick. In other words, as long as it wasn't sub-TEMPLE OF DOOM I was probably gonna be okay.

And something slightly superior to DOOM is pretty much what Spielberg, Lucas, Ford and Co. delivered. It's not horrible like that film, you definitely have an upgrade in the heroine department with the return of Karen Allen, and Shia LeBouf certainly comes off better than the poor kid who played Short Round. (Monkey scene excepted.)

All those sorta-pluses aside CRYSTAL SKULL still feels bloated (even at a mere two hours), character motivation will leave you scratching your head, the villains are among the stupidest ever seen on the big-screen, and there are moments that will leave you going "oh, come on". Scratch that. There are many, many moments that will leave you going "oh, come on".

In reading other comments and reviews this morning it seems that the drive-in may have been the perfect environment in which to see the film. I've read several complaints about the CGI work (especially the groundhogs or prairie dogs during the opening segment), but looking at a giant screen hundreds of yards away through the windshield of our car didn't really take away from my appreciation of the flick.

Plus, I got to have a Wawa hoagie, Diet Lemonade Tea and a bag of Cheese Curls before the movie.

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