I Am the Last Man on Earth…to See Indy 4

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Saw it last night, and man, what a snooze. I almost would have preferred a Temple of Doom-style catastrophe — this wasn’t even bad, it was just dull. Since not a single other person on the Internet has blogged about Indy 4, I will now enrich world culture by posting my whining complaints (spoilers follow):

— Where’s the cruelty? The old movies had a whiff of sadism about them — somebody was always getting their palm permanently scarred, or poisoning a monkey, or backing into a spinning propeller, or getting their head melted off. I never got that edge of danger from Crystal Skull. I mean, I know Cate Blanchett got sort of vaporized, or whatever, and that Russian guy got eaten by ants. I just wanted more.

— Weird science. So to find a magnetic object in a warehouse Indy chucks a bunch of gunpowder into the air? Please.

— The titular skull. Did it bother anybody else that the prop just didn’t look heavy enough to be solid crystal? Watching John Hurt wave that thing around, it looked like the kind of injection-moulded plastic one-off they used to sell in Spencer Gifts.

— The bomb. The greatest shot in the movie was, undoubtedly, Indiana Jones staring at that rising, glowing, beautifully rendered mushroom cloud.That was the moment when I really felt, here’s a 1930’s action hero who’s survived so long that he’s outlived his moment in history. There was pathos there. But that stuff never got followed up — you never again got that melancholy sense that Indy had lived too long, that time was passing him by. It was just window dressing. (And by the way, Spielberg was all braggy about how little CGI he used in this movie, but honestly, I felt like that stuff was in my face the whole time. Or maybe those were real ants.)

— The chemistry. Marion and Indy: now that was no atomic blast. They squabbled for like 10 seconds, then they were in mushy mushy love. Where was the spark, the love-hate thing? They looked like they were about to go open a bed and breakfast in Connecticut and never have sex again in their lives.

— The dialogue. I know Indiana Jones movies don’t really have plots. But if I remember right they did used to have banter. “Dance on your own time, will ya?” “What are you, like, 80?” I think I got the biggest laugh of the night out of “I like Ike.” (And I don’t get what Indy was supposed to have been doing in the period between the films. It sure did seem like he was involved in a lot of wet ops for a tenured professor. The way that FBI guy was talking, it was like he’d morphed into Solid Snake.)

And so on. I left feeling depressed and $12 poorer. I went straight to the restroom and wiped off my LOVE YOU eyeshadow. Feel free to whine along with me in comments.