I can't express how cool it was to see Indiana Jones on film. I had a couple of old Indiana Jones books that I read as a kid and I loved the adventures; I think it's one of the things that drew me to gaming in the first place. Of course all this time I was expecting the movie to be called, you know, "Indiana Jones." The first Star Wars film is Star Wars, after all, and I'm sure when I get around to it the first James Bond movie will be James Bond. Thankfully, I'm getting smarter this week thanks to the mind-expanding experiences of the past... wow that's been six films now! and so it didn't take me long to figure out that I was seeing an already-enjoyed character on film.
This Indiana Jones is older than the one in the books, and it's been a long time since I read them so it's mostly broad strokes for me, but goddamn what an obsessive dink he is. If there's a right thing and an archeology thing to do, he always chooses the most brain-dead option. Fortunately, as chaotic neutral goes, he's absolutely excellent. "Let us sword!" "Let us not. POW." Strained my rib laughing at that one. Guys, you're torturing me sometimes, you really are. It hurts to laugh. Indiana Jones is just not on the ball, ever, and unlike when they sidelined Han, he's still in the middle of the action even when he's the universe's hockey puck.
He doesn't... do much... though. I definitely didn't notice during the film because it's a whirlwind so hard that I actually feel like I failed the first impressions from getting outpaced most of the time. There were so many times I wanted to say something and just got blown past. Most of the chase I was just sitting there with a dumb look on my face (shut up Lacy). In the end, he kind of doesn't contribute to the plot much at all. I mean, I suppose he found the Ark of the Covenant for the Nazis a bit quicker than they eventually would have (I remember a line about bulldozers being requested or something) but he loses it to them, fails to stop them from opening it, fails to stop them getting away with it... it just felt like a party getting railroaded.
Also from the start of the film I was really expecting a whole lot more of that sort of action and less of the fights and chases. Don't get me wrong, I liked the fights and chases, but I thought there was going to be a lot more dungeon delving and trap avoiding and so I think I kind of tired out on the more conventional action scenes faster than I would have if I was watching a lesser movie.
That this film was sparing with the special effects gave them a hell of a lot of punch, especially when they go from Ghostbusters-equse spirits straight into HEADS MELTING AND EXPLODING. WHERE DID THAT COME FROM? Also great, I'm told this was John Williams again, but I think I would have guessed even if I didn't know beforehand. There's only really three themes in the movie but they're all great and distinct and used with so much talent. Marian gets a lot more dynamic than female leads I've seen so far, and while they do have her roped up and hostage at the end, Jones gets no better.
There was passing mention of the idea that Belloq (thanks Rachel) is a sort of evil twin or dark reflection of Jones, and as I said in the first impressions, it would have been interesting to see them if I didn't have so obviously a side to root for. Nazis do tend to make the story a lot less ambiguous.
Anyway, that's enough from me. I wish the first impressions had been more reflective of all the things I was thinking, but Mr. Spielberg was too busy blowing me away with high voltage adventure. I can see what you all meant about him as a director; my brain was just getting smacked around like I chugged expresso and I was charged up for basically the whole movie. I gave him his own tag and I'm looking forward to putting more films on here with it.
This has been a really awesome week, folks. :D