Ready for my WGA card

I saw Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull last night. To my great surprise, I was entertained throughout! I expected it to suck badly, and now, in the cold light of day and outside the excitement of actually watching the film, I agree with the many substantive screenwriting complaints that Mystery Man is collecting on his website. (Warning: spoilers galore on that site.) I think what happened is that The Phantom Menace (et al.) set the bar so low for George Lucas movies, and Firewall (et al.) set it so low for Harrison Ford movies, that with Steven Spielberg’s countervailing, still-pretty-good filmmaking sense, the new movie vaulted those bars easily.

Of course I already knew from the trailer that the film alludes to the 1947 Roswell UFO incident, just as my own speculative Indy IV story did more than a year ago — but I had a tiny moment of amazement when Indiana Jones actually uttered the word “Etruscan,” which also figures in my story. What are the odds? And where’s my royalty check?

Update 26 May: Mystery Man has a new post up that comprehensively itemizes the serious flaws in the Indy IV script. I agree with almost all of it, and like commenter Kevin Lehane I like the movie less the more I think about it.

One thought on “Ready for my WGA card”

  1. I also enjoyed the movie, but I’m a Harrison Ford fan and while this incarnation of Indiana Jones is perhaps slightly more lackluster than the previous 3, one has to consider the script and direction roles in his performance. I’m also a nit picker and had to remind myself to suspend disbelief at the quirky ways the laws of physics were also suspended and if they were to be superimposed on REALITY the resulting mashup would tend to make the movie impossible to enjoy. So never mind the eclectic magnetic attraction of the interdimensional artifacts – gunpowder, lead, some (but not all) pieces of gold, and many ferrous items such as swords were eschewed by the presumably conscious field (”It told me to”) or the convenient dual lane jungle track in the upper Amazon and scads of improbable at best situations. Indy’s insouciance is worth the price of admission ($11 – Fandango) as you just don’t get such nonchalance in Harrison’s other (serious) roles – save (less serious) Han Solo. It was that and the inside references that made it enjoyable for me and let’s not forget that this isn’t great literature nor should it attempt to be. I could carp about loads of discontinuities and inconsistencies but why? I could bemoan the multitudinous lost opportunities for plot thickening, such as Spalko using her well known Soviet Sexual Blackmail Training feminine wiles to seduce Mutt forcing a choice between blood and lust. I’ll probably see it again at least once but it’s for Harrison’s mystique and little else.

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