We just spent a few days with friends in London – well, we actually weren’t in London the whole time, we also went to the Vegan Fayre in Bristol, which turned out to be a really nice event…
Either way, part of the time we spent in London, we actually spent in the cinema. Friday night we saw Iron Man, and saturday night we saw the latest Indiana Jones movie. Both movies were very enjoyable!
I don’t really want to go into a full review of either of these movies. Iron Man turned out to be pretty much what one expected from the trailers — it may be more grounded in reality than other superhero movies, but it actually turned out to be slightly lighter fare, because it takes a bit more of a tongue-in-cheek approach to portraying a rich guy who dons a metal suit and goes to fight crime. Story-wise it’s actually a bit blander than other, similar movies, but makes up for that with more humour.
Indiana Jones on the other hand was something I was very sceptical of. Lucas completely fucked up Star Wars for me with Episode I, and I was reluctant to have my view of Indiana Jones be similarly messed with. It’s probably partly because the guy learned from Star Wars, partially because Spielberg’s also involved, and partly because of my cautiousness that the latest archaeology-adventure turned out to be pretty good.
I’ll have to say that my fears in terms of special effects slash action scenes were fulfilled insofar, as Lucas really doesn’t know where to stop. Some of the things the characters survived were just way too out there. Fortunately, those things didn’t happen too often1, so they ended up being fairly ignorable. And I’ll also admit that the end was ever so slightly too much for me to truly enjoy, but the same can be said of the scene when Belloq opens the Ark of the Covenant. So keeping in mind that Indiana Jones stories have always conained elements of the supernatural, it can’t be said that this latest installment diverges from themes we know from Indy movies.
Other than that, the movie did an excellent job in portraying a slightly aged Dr. Jones. The times definitely have changed, and Indy has become just that little bit more thoughtful and premeditating that he comes across as very experienced rather than a lucky bastard. That latter quality shifts more to a particular supporting character…
It’s hard to be more specific without spoiling things, so I’d rather shut up. Overall, though, while it’s not the best Indiana Jones movie, it doesn’t have to hide in shame behind the others. It’s good fun, it’s chock-full of action and adventure, and it’s still the Indy we’ve come to love over the years. Can’t complain about that, can you?
- Die Hard 4.0, I’m looking at you. [↩]