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Saturday, May 31, 2008

Indiana Jones 4

Went to see Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. I didn't expect very much so I was pleased by the outcome. Lucas did a good job threading the history of Indie and coming full circle.

It's not to say I didn't take issue with the plot logic and some gross errors in Mesoamerican history and geography. I'm not a Mesoamerican expert, but I am fairly certain Lucas mixed up Incan and Mayan history, language and geography. He also took immense liberties with the Nazca lines, the huge stylized pictographs that can be seen only from the sky. If I'm not mistaken those etchings are located much further south.

I realize most people tend to lump Mesoamerica in one Latin heap, but I think filmmakers do the public a disservice when they fudge on the facts. It would have helped far more than hindered had he gotten that right.

The story was in the usual Lucas style--not strong on dialog, but interesting and full of mazes. Shia LeBoeuf who starred as Mutt, (a young Indie in the making) was pretty good and convincing. And it was nice to see Marion, (Karen Allen) again. She and Ford had great chemistry. It was as if they'd never parted.

After talking to other people who had seen this movie, I think what you get out of it will depend entirely on how old you are. This Indiana Jones movie was set in 1957. You'll be hard pressed to find any young person who understands the era. It comes across like a curiosity, fabulist and made up. The cold war (especially the cold war of the 1950s) is such a foreign concept that I am certain anyone younger than 40 would not understand.

Older people might look on it fondly. Despite the lunacy of the commie hunt of the era, it was a more innocent age too; one I remember fondly.

Indie was good, despite the inaccuracies and despite the lame dialog. Go for the nostalgia. It was enjoyable.