Now that Ann has joined Megan in reviewing, I am obligated to write a post about Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull.
I’m not going to talk about why it wasn’t great (there are lots of posts out there that cover the artistic or editorial decisions that resulted, really, in a movie that doesn’t pass my default quality standards for Ford/Spielberg).
I’m not going to talk about why it was still fun (there are lots of posts out there that explain why people thought the movie was still entertaining and worth the price of admission, and it certainly was).
I’m just going to say this: I have seen the original Raiders of the Lost Ark, in its entirety, more times that I can measure. I’ve seen at least a majority of the film over 100 times (I lost count at 113, anytime I watched more than an hour I counted it on the tally until it became embarrassing). The only lines I don’t have embedded into my brain are the lines in Spanish at the very beginning of the movie… although some of the bits of German dialog are probably encoded hilariously incorrectly. I’ve been a huge fan of pulp 30’s adventure stories (and films) since I saw the first movie, and for this reason I understand a lot about why the second and third movies are better than lots of people think.
I liked it. I didn’t love it. I am glad they made it, for the same reasons I’m glad that The Police reunited and toured again. They made a movie that was fun to watch without damaging my memories of why I loved the original, which is a hell of a lot more than I can say for George’s willful destruction of Star Wars (which should *not* have been made). It didn’t need to be great. It just needed to be good enough to make me remember why I thought the original was (and still is) one of the greatest movies ever made.
Megan described it best, I think. If you weren’t entertained by this movie, then you’re (sadly) not part of the target -> this movie wasn’t made for you. It was made for me, and guys like me.
Guys that saw the first one in 1981. Guys that read The Hardy Boys and Tom Swift and his Amazing Something Or Other under the covers with a flashlight as early as second grade. Books about teenagers fighting bad guys, oftentimes laced with espionage or intrigue. We had seen Gunga Din, The Perils of Pauline, The Shadow. Our grandfathers had fought Nazis. Martial arts weren’t popular among kids yet (at least, not outside the context of giant robot monsters). Our heroes might know some of the “mysterious” jujitsu, but generally relied upon a trusty sidearm, a good right cross, and a jaw of granite to overcome the bad guys.
Indy was for us. And now that we’re getting gray, and feeling the aches and pains that come with not being in our twenties anymore, the older Indy is still for us. He’s not the same as he was when we were younger… but neither are we. Here’s to you, Dr. Jones.