Jun 3rd, 2008, 06:58 AM
Bang on review sir, well done!
There's so much about this film which makes my blood boil, so I've had to narrow it down to three big gripes (SPOILER ALERT!)
IF there is one good thing about the film, it was the last scene, and although a bit of a death by CGI, it was simply breathtaking. A triumph of Industrial Light and Magic. Anyway, on with the fun:
The first scene in the warehouse was a BIG mistake. It totally removes the air of mystery and ambiguity from the end of Raiders. Now when you watch Raiders again, you'll no longer be thinking "where is that warehouse? Is it the Pentagon? Are there others? Just what is in those other crates?" You won't be thinking any of those things anymore, because Cate Blanchett completely ruined the mystery for you in the first five minutes of the film. And besides, Area 51 just isn't that cool any more.
The Jungle Chase:
Apart from the fact it went on for about 45 minutes, it was CGI'd to hell. I got so bored watching Cate Blanchett and Shia LaBeouf trading blows at 100mph I found myself trying to spot the edges where the characters had been shoddily greenscreened in. And yeah, I don't remember Indy doing very much at all in that segment - now compare that to the epic "getting the Ark back from the Nazi truck" scene from Raiders, with the death-defying action sequences, but still much more believable because they were done with stuntmen.
Just too many of them, not enough time to develop their characters. Oh yes, you need to cover your bases (Main villain and tough guy henchman, love interest, action sidekick). But was there any real need for Ray Winstone and the legendary John Hurt? Sounds like Lucas saying "hey, the audience love an English guy. Cool. But wanna know what's better than an English guy? Yeah... TWO English guys! The toughguy Russian was a wasted opportunity, and Cate Blanchetts motivation was confusing - was it for Mother Russia or a personal quest for knowledge?
My Two Cents:
Screw it, they should have made Fate of Atlantis into a film instead. And in 1992, not 2008. You've got all your bases covered - historical myth, exotic locales, love interest and sidekick, villain and henchman, Monte Carlo, Nazis, U-boats, dungeon crawls and an epic ending. Hell, even if they made it in 2008 they could have adapted the plot to Russians searching for Orichalcum to make bigger nukes, far easier to relate to than the whole throwaway mind control plot thing.