I don't get it. I really don't. I do not understand why producers who make millions on a certain franchise decide, 20 to 30 years later, to expand that franchise with really crappy additions to said franchise. The first example would be, of course, Star Wars. I love Star Wars. But I love Episodes IV, V and VI. Episodes I, II and III should, in my opinion, have never been made. The technology was not as revolutionary, the plot was dug up from the bottom of cracker jack boxes, and the acting was minimal, if present at all outside of Liam Neeson, who is pretty hot. Oh and cool, Yoda is.
The most recent example is Lucasfilm and Spielberg's attempt to expand on the Indiana Jones franchise. I'm not gonna lie. I had a good time. Ali and I sat there with a jumbo-size bowl of popcorn and laughed our asses off. But it was just not...good. I'll hand it to Shia LaBeouf. He's managed to become a better actor every time I see him. And that's wonderful for him. Fantastic for him. Harrison Ford thinks he's still got it, but he doesn't. All of the other little side characters...the Marcus replacement, the Dean...both of them were...eh. And poor Karen Allen--looks like she must have been hungry and sold her talent for a cheeseburger or two. That's kind of mean, but she's just not a good actress anymore. It's depressing. Cate Blanchett was also...fairly disappointing. The whole film just felt contrived and was upsetting from the viewpoint of someone who wanted to be surprised...nope! no surprises! it's about aliens. Yep. Whoopdeedoo.
What bothered me the most, I think, was that the previous installments all focused on some kind of religious iconography based in humanism, but focused on the unknown (or known) supreme being. Great. Fantastic. You wanna talk about The holy grail and the Arc of the Covenant...these are all man made things. The reason Temple of Doom was not as good, was that it tried to focus on something that had been "bestowed" upon man (those rocks with the diamonds in them). Now, in this new installment, we're focusing on no man made objects at all, but on an alien skull that just happens to be crystalline and therefore worth an archeologists' time. I don't get it. I don't get how this fits into the Indy theme. I get that the peoples they focus on (Mayans? Peruvians? They don't really clarify...) saw their faith in the alien beings as a religious faith. But...I mean....OKAY. I get WHY 20 years later, aliens would be the topic of conversation. I get why it was interesting at that point in time as compared to the whole christian artifact search for the Nazis....great. But it seems like such a cop-out to drag a bunch of Russians through the Peruvian jungle to check out some alien stuff. It's just WEIRD.
The ending was weird too. Expected, but weird. But still okay. I liked the whole last 5 minutes more than I liked the rest of the film. The rest of the film was....amusing.