There has been a lot of handwringing this week over the newest Indiana Jones movie - the reviews have been decidedly mixed. One of my favorite sources, Entertainment Weekly, has weighed in by giving Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skulls a B-minus. Look - this movie is bulletproof. It's going to earn 160 million dollars this weekend, and clear 300 million by Labor day, and by any measure is going to be a phenomenal commercial success.
Let me tell you how great it is to have Indiana Jones back on the big screen after 20 years. This is proving to be a great family bonding experience. Both my sons saw a good amount of the original Indy trilogy over the weekend, and they were captivated by the rich action and settings... Younger son Spencer is dying to collect all of the Indiana Jones Lego crap, and older son Brad can't wait to see movie number four, which we will likely see together as a family. You know how frequently THAT happens? Never. Mom is not a movie-goer, but Indiana Jones transcends normal habits.
Today's teenagers have been spoon-fed computer-generated blue screen movies that have perhaps been big on "wow" factor, but small on impact... These films are enjoyed, then tossed in the collective cultural trash can, never to be remembered again. Just look at the disaster that is "Speed Racer", for example... Steven Spielberg has the big sets and the big drama and the big soundtrack... and an icon that will stand up to the test of time forever. We could watch Indiana Jones taking a crap, and people would still enjoy it!
Let's see... Big action scenes? check. Nasty villain (albeit a commie instead of a Nazi)? check. Rats and snakes? check. Big John Williams score? check. Whips and chains(oooh, kinky!)? check.
Bring it on!