....I loved it! I saw the 7:00 showing here (Nacogdoches) in a packed theater last night (Thursday the 22nd). Not a perfect movie, by far, but I thought it was wonderful. There were a couple of moments I just wanted to clap with shear joy. I find it hard to understand the bile and hatred spewed towards it in some of the reviews I've read. The first reviews out there (at Ain't It Cool News) were negative. So I stopped reading the reviews. I decided that I wanted to enjoy it and not let anybody influence my perception of it, or effect my expectations. It pretty much worked, because I liked most of it. Harrison Ford was such a hero of mine when I was a kid (I mean, c'mon, he was Han Solo and Indiana Jones), that it was a strangely touching experience to see the "old guy" do it again.
Shia LaBeouf was perfect. I think he must have spent some time trying to replicate Harrison Ford's facial expressions. The first scene with Indiana Jones and Marion (Karen Allen) from Raiders of the Lost Ark is so special....I think you'd have to have been the age I was when I saw Raiders its opening weekend back in '81. I need to quote Ain't It Cool News here, because he has such a great way of putting such things into words:
Then there’s Indy’s reaction to seeing Marion for the first time. I couldn’t describe it to save my life. It’s about 40 different emotions all at once. And only Harrison Ford’s face could deliver that… effortlessly. And at the same time – there’s Marion’s reaction – and ya know… It’s a combination of relief & joy. When you’ve been captured by evil agents of the Soviet Empire and are threatened at Gunpoint… You want your life in the hands of someone that loves you like Indiana Jones.
Honestly at that moment – that second of connection between the two of them. I honestly haven’t had the emotional impact anything like it in years. That look shared between them… suddenly it wasn’t just the entirety of RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK – but suddenly it was a flood of what probably happened between that film and LAST CRUSADE. And you could tell that they fought… my god, it’s Indy and Marion.
I was relieved to see that George Lucas and Steven Spielberg didn't go overboard with CGI effects. In fact, when CGI was used, it wasn't noticeable until the final third of the film, when it was definitely noticeable. Cate Blanchett is awesome, but what else is new? It was maybe a tad bit long, and I do have to wonder about things in it. Like, why were Indians hiding in the walls of rock in the Mayan-type pyramid at the end? They literally come out of the walls at one point. Neat, but one does have to wonder why. And the conclusion is also a tad bit hard to swallow, but it is, after all, just a movie. I read somewhere that it was "Jar-Jar Binks bad." That's definitely not true. In fact, I think Lucas may earn back some of the good will he has irrevocably lost from the nerdy fanboy community so frustrated by him after the Star Wars prequels (like me). Maybe he tried harder on it because of what happened with the whole Star Wars prequel debacle. Some commenter somewhere felt Steven Spielberg "walked" through it like he did with The Lost World (1997). But that's also definitely not true. Steven Spielberg is still the top director out there, as far as I'm concerned, for this type of movie. The ending felt a little bit like the ceremony scene at the end of Star Wars, and that's a good thing! People have to go see it. If you didn't grow up with the Internet, you'll love it.