Dir: Steven Spielberg
These days, it is not very often that I will actually go and see a movie in the theaters, let alone on opening day. The movie experience in LA/OC just is not what it used to be. It is over $10 to see a movie now in the theater and then you have to deal with punks that talk through the entire movie or the smell of the Subway sandwiches from the family in your row that has smuggled food in because a popcorn and soda costs $15. The lone exception is the El Capitan Theater in Hollywood where Disney shows its latest releases. I prefer seeing movies there because despite the high kid volume, they at least tend to sit there and watch the movie. So in order to get me out to the theater on opening day it has to be an event movie like the latest Indiana Jones movie.
Personally, I can’t believe they finally made an Indy 4 after 19 years. I remember so many times getting excited that they were actually going to do it, only to have my hopes dashed. But finally, it arrived here last night. In 19 years, I feel like I have missed so much in Indy’s life. In the movie, they allude to a secret World War 2 history as well as some other interesting tidbits that we never got to see, but they also make reference to Marcus Brody and Henry Sr who have passed away since the last film. No one ever mentions Sallah. I mean he was not only in two movies, but narrates the Indiana Jones Adventure at Disneyland, so you would think that he’d get a nod, but sadly not.
I think Lucas and Spielberg have created an (almost) perfect Indy Movie for the time in Indy’s life he is at. A bit retrospective, older, wiser, but still gonna punch the bad guys when he has to do so. I did feel that the movie needed one or two more action sequences to plus up the middle. The action sequences that were there were top notch. One thing that suffers is that you can clearly see when there is a stunt double in places for Harrison Ford. The good thing is that it is not very often, but for example, when Indy jumps on the back of Mutt’s Harley, it is clearly a thinner guy in a gray wig holding on for dear life. It was so jarring it reminded me of when Leslie Neilsen would do amazing cart wheels in The Naked Gun.
Nits aside, I am glad I saw it opening day. One more note – I was surprised at the number of empty seats in the theater in Huntington Beach. I wonder if our wacky weather is to blame? Could also have been an early-ish showtime, but I hope business picks up!