Sometimes, waiting for a film to come out on video offers a chance to experience it without a lot of the hyped-up marketing baggage that might taint your theater-going experience of the movie. If you’ve seen the film in the theater, viewing it a second or third time with some distance from your initial impressions (and the impressions that come with marketing campaigns) might help you to develop some of your own ideas about how the film works (or doesn’t work) for you.
Such was the case for me with the 4th Indy film. Dare I say it? The National Treasure movies are more fun, more full of mystery and more exciting than this 4th Indy installment. I’ve seen Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull 2.5 times now. I caught it opening weekend: an enjoyable viewing made all the more enjoyable since I was able to catch it with my father. I saw it again in the theater with a friend, and the gaps in logic and the talkishness of the thing became more prominent. Even then, I really wanted to like it more than I actually did. The third time around, now on the small screen, I can’t bring myself to even try to apologize for it, or even watch it all the way through. My wife rolled her eyes and we turned it off in order to read books instead.
Stand up after multiple viewings, it doth not.
And I hear that Lucas is writing another one. And it may end up being fun to watch. Once. As long as you chase it down with popcorn. And Bonbons. And something sweet to drink.
But wait. My last blog post was a call to think a little deeper than a thumbs-up, thumbs-down analysis of the movies I watch.
So here is the beginning of a thought about Indiana Jones 4: The first film, The Raiders of the Lost Ark, took the rather shallow genre of 1930’s and 1940’s serials and gave us a fun, ironic, modern adventure story with a playfully flawed main character. In the shadow of the rest of the Indy franchise, Indy 4 has slid comfortably into the genre of entertainment that it used to whimsically transcend.