Review: Indiana Jones

There are a few movie franchises that have certain nostalgic value to me over the years. Star Wars (the originals of course), to name one, the other being Indiana Jones.

I remember when I was young and Raiders of the Lost Ark came out on VHS. My parents rented it along with a VCR machine (yeah, can you imagine renting a DVD player?), and we watched it at home. It was a pretty cool movie for a young kid, until the very end. Watching the bad guys' faces melt, explode, and vaporize wasn't a delightful affair, but all in all it was a cool movie. Temple of Doom wasn't too bad in that regard, but The Last Crusade was definitely more tame.

This time around Indy has aged quite a bit, the Reds have taken the Nazi's place as the government of doom, but I have to admit that the WMD this go around was a bit campy. Aliens? C'mon!  Indy isn't a SciFi any more than X-Files was about treasure hunting. And the hunt smelled too much of National Treasure (or is it the other way around?)

In the end, they could have made nearly the same movie, cut the alien crap, still criss-crossed the Amazon, gone to the same temple, and ended it quite differently with much more stunning results. But having some flying saucer unearth itself from the jungle and poof into another dimension was just a little too cheesy for me.

I loved the 1950's tie ins and the political turmoil from the Red Scare, but the bad guys never seemed too threatening. It seemed like Indy had too much upperhand time. I really liked RotLA because right when Indy got the upper hand, the Nazis got right back and vice versa. This time it seemed like he was in control the whole time.

But will I buy it on DVD?  Well, I'm going to have to watch it one more time. I wasn't too impressed the first time around. This movie 'jumped the shark' in more than one place.  The scene where Marion drives the boat off a cliff and safely into the water was just goofy.

Like my experience with the prequel Star Wars movies, maybe nostalgia played too much a part in my disappointment (I'm surprised that Jar-Jar didn't make cameo appearance, what with aliens and all), so maybe a second take would assuage my wounded fond memories of what was a great trilogy.

Posted on Jul 13
Written by Wayne Hartman