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Thursday, July 03, 2008

I'm back and with a bone to pick

...but not about the holiday, which was very nice. Found it harder to relax on this holiday than on previous, which is unsurprising given the current goings-on.

Anyway, the bone I wish to pick is with all those critics of the latest Indiana Jones film. Not necessarily the official critics (like Roger Ebert) who often quite liked it, but all those whiny people on the street and the internet who have been complaining how awful it is and how typical of Lucas. These are probably the same people who hated the Star Wars prequels to an irrational level (Yes I concede Jar Jar Binks is an annoying character but have you considered how irritating the droids actually are without the haze of nostalgia blurring your vision?).

For the casual reader beware, there are large spoilers ahead.

I saw Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skulls on Tuesday night, long after most folks who care saw it.

I enjoyed it, perhaps not the same level of enjoyment as from Raiders or Last Crusade, but about as much as Temple of Doom (my least favourite).

It was very boys-own, pulp action story. I didn't even mind Indy surviving a nuclear explosion in a refridgerator. I got a little lump in my throat with the exceptionally affectionate references to Marcus Brody (the late, great Denholm Elliot) and Henry Jones Senior. I enjoyed the in-jokes that kept creeping in. I even remarked to my wife that Karen Allen still has a very nice bottom (assuming it wasn't a stunt woman in that scene).

I did not even mind about the McGuffin and the final reveal; it was faithful to the aura of the 1950s B-movie and action adventure story that it was trying to capture.

However, many so-called fans, have taken massive exception to this movie. There have been cries of too much CGI which might be justified. Although the prairie dogs and monkeys are clearly quite cool, they are hardly integral to the story.

What has really gotten my goat is the unbelievable amount of whining about the ending and the fact it involves aliens (or rather inter-dimensional beings) and that one of the characters claims to be psychic People are complaining that this is just silly and far-fetched.

That's right, the idea of aliens and psychics in an Indy film is silly and far-fetched.

Next thing you know they will have a man capable of pulling the beating heart from your chest while you can only watch in horror, and magical stones that lead to drought and starvation when removed from their place in a village.

Or, and imagine how silly this would be, there could be a 700 year old knight of the crusades guarding a magical cup that can heal mortal wounds and help you to live for ever as long as you stay hidden in a cave in the desert.

Better yet, what about a big box full of dust that can call down the power of God and melt people's faces? How stupid would that be?

So I have to wonder why none of these plit devices was considered silly, yet aliens hidden in a mysterious city of gold are? Is it just that we like our mythical mcguffins to be familiar to our culture? Is it an example that people are still wired to accept religious 'miracles' on some level even if they personally might scoff at the existence of a deity?

Who knows, but I wish they would just stop whining about it because I bloody well enjoyed it and I hope they make another one.

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