5/21/08

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull: Yeah, I'm Old, So What?

Why It's a Geek Movie
I'm trying to work on an all-inclusive definition of the term "Geek Movie." Whatever it ends up being, it's definitely going to have within it something about imaginative stories and nostalgia. This movie definitely has both. Geeks have an uncanny ability to be more imaginative than most. Find the most creative people on the planet and they'll usually turn out to be the biggest geeks. And they would be able to go on for hours about their favorite movie or TV show that they first saw when they were a little kid. Imaginative stories and nostalgia - this is at the heart of the newest installment of the Indiana Jones legacy.

What's it About?
Henry Jones Jr. has grown older and wiser from the adventures in his younger years. Part of those adventures includes an unseen foray into World War II where he evidently fought as, at one point, a double-agent. The movie opens, however, with him in the trunk of a car. The evil Russian Irina Spalko (Cate Blanchett) has abducted him in order to find something that she believes is in Area 51. She brings him to an awfully familiar-looking huge storage facility filled to the brim with wooden boxes. Both Irina and the audience both find what they're looking for. Irina exits the facility with her alien corpse and during the action sequence that brings Indy out of this mess, a box breaks open revealing what the audience is looking for: the Ark of the Covenant. But don't worry, the Ark has nothing to do with the rest of the story. We're just acknowledging that it is, indeed, the same place.

When Indy is fired from the university because of possible communist ties, he meets up with a boy who says his mother told him that Indy can help him find his beloved archeologist friend who was also Indy's friend. When Indy agrees, he's thrust into a another wild adventure the likes of which not even the great Indiana Jones has ever seen before.

How to Appreciate It
Watch it.

Is it Worth It?
In short, yes. It doesn't matter what your take on movies is, when you watch an Indiana Jones movie it is pure entertainment, and this is no exception. It's probably the funniest movie out of the four, of course this time it has the other three to which to refer back in its comedy. That's not to say it's dependent on the others, but knowing the others sure helps. Aside from the comedy is the relentless action that we've come to expect from Harrison's most beloved character. (Ooo... that's tough... Indy or Han?)

The story is what has me thinking, though. If you didn't catch it from the "alien corpse" thing above, there's a lot of stuff going on that is quite new to Indiana Jones. Sure, Indy has always dealt with the supernatural. He has uncovered the Ark of the Covenant, he drank from the Holy Grail, he even almost got his heart ripped out non-surgically... But aliens? Never aliens... Time will tell if aliens were a good addition to the saga. I personally think it was handled beautifully, though. Some people may differ, but I ask them to take the movie for the movie's sake. Just because there haven't been aliens in previous Indy movies, does that make it a bad movie as a whole? Not at all. The Indiana Jones saga is all about an archeologist whipping communist butt while making hilarious, dry quips about his situation. And that's exactly what he did.