Monday, May 26, 2008

Dear Steven Spielberg

***Spoiler alert for Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008) ***

Dear Steven Spielberg,

Overall I think you did a good job on the new Indiana Jones film if you accept that it is a sentimental nod towards an 80's childhood when the first three films came out.

However, I can't help thinking that the film could be improved upon, it has the potential to be the blockbuster it should have been but there were some key aspects that could be brushed up.

Firstly, it was very nice to see that Harrison Ford still has it, I was getting worried in the first half hour as he looked more like he needed a walking stick than a whip but once the bullets started flying he was off like a whippet. What was nice was that he had matured gracefully since the original films, his humour had got a bit sharper and he had grown softer with age.

If I am honest after watching the whole film I found the first 20-30 minutes of the film pointless. It was too slow, a bit unrealistic and was just a mediocre start to the film. If you go for a directors cut my advice would be to start the film where Dean Charles Stanforth has to resign because of the communist witch hunt. Perhaps a two minute intro of news headlines and video footage for the era could set the scene for Indiana being suspected of being communist.

That way you also get straight into the action, the car and motorbike chases were pure Indy territory. Although it was a bit odd that they needed a big chopping machine to get through the jungle, yet when that was destroyed there was basically a three lane jungle motorway to drive along and the road surface was so good that the characters could have a stand up sword fight between vehicles where they were busy worrying about their stance. However, Indiana Jones movies are about suspending disbelief up to a point so I was prepared to let that slip.

What was also odd was that Indy's whip was not ever present. Stuck in a sand pit sinking down with over hanging trees what should the hatted adventurer reach for. His whip clearly, but no he has to wait for his son to throw him an obviously rubber snake. Steven are you really saying that was the only way you could get a snake into the film.

Finally I should move onto the plot. An Indiana Jones film doesn't have a complicated plot, you need good guys, bad guys, an object which everyone is after, a love interest and then some natives.

You went for a poor plot involving aliens. I cant help thinking you were confusing mysticism and legend with science fiction. Indy does mysticism and legend but not science fiction. The alien plot was just pointless and lead to a slightly unbelievable ending.

The love interest was definitely missing, ok so having indy's old flame was good but you could have given the son a love interest.

The natives did not really have any plot connections, they just seemed to be there as an extra obstacle for the adventurers. Where was the human interest aspect of the plot, another part sadly missing.

Other lame aspects of the plot included the Russian villian wanting to know everything, the double / triple agent rubbish, the valley within waterfalls, the surviving the nuclear explosion in a fridge and the swinging through the forest.

The basic concept of the plot is where you have a formulaic plot, in the new film you need to follow the formula.

I could go on but think I will leave it there. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull has the makings of a good film but it could have been so much more.

Yours Sincerely,


PS If you need an executive director for the next new Indy Trilogy please do not hesitate to drop me a line.

1 comment:

Bobbicus said...

Agree, largely, but did think that the Mysterious Artefact needed to be something with a little more gravitas than a plastic paperweight.

Previously they've had the Ark of the Covenant, the Cup of Christ, and now they have this clear plastic head. Surely they could have had, oh I don't know, the Staff of Moses (conveniently turning into a snake as in the biblical tale), or the Sword of Damocles, or the Hammer of Thor, or just something ingrained in existing human legend and myth to inspire a little awe and reverence.