In 1981, director Steven Spielberg, producer George Lucas, and writer Lawrence Kasdan introduced us all to who would become one of the greatest heroes in cinematic history: Indiana Jones. The movie: Raiders of the Lost Ark. The premise: homage to action packed serials of yesteryear. The result: outstanding. Quickly-paced, yet somehow balanced in character, we went on a thrill ride not only genius in plot, but just plain genius.
Three years later we were again exposed to the adventures of Indiana Jones, this time in the ill-titled prequel, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. However, the charm was still there, as were the thrills, and despite disturbing much of the general public with its PG-13-creating antics, the film was still very much kin to the original.
A further five years and we witness what is arguably the best of the series, the still ill-titled Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. Here we get a built-in story (the Holy Grail), a return to our built-in bad guys (the Nazis), and an excellent built-in character-building device (Indy's father).
And then... nothing. Well, for 19 years, that is. Until Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull shows up. And resoundingly stinks up the cineplex.
Bad plot, bad script, bad cinematography, bad digital effects... bad idea, basically. And so overwrought with cliche, it makes the first three films look like Shakespearian theatre.
I mean... C'MON!
Seriously, we already knew that George Lucas lost his touch back in the early 80s, but this... this has to be the film that proves that even Mr. Spielberg is forgotting how to make a movie (he's already forgotten how to end one). How could he have possibly agreed with George that this was the best way to reintroduce us to our long-lost hero?
Why even listen to George, anyway? He already almost ruined Indiana Jones' legacy with The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles (an admittedly good show, albeit one that fit poorly with the established Indiana Jones franchise). And now we get this?
Ah, well. I was hoping to be a bit more insightful, but as I'm clearly devolving into straight-up ranting, I shall stop.
Hopefully, someone will convince George to do the same before he proceeds any further with his "Mutt Williams" sequels.
* This is the first part of what will hopefully be a nine-part entry in the River of Mnemosyne challenge that's happening over at The ...
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