Missed Opportunities in an Indy Movie?
Yeah, yeah, I can hear you all yelling, "What are you talking about... no way, it was a great movie." Hold on there, I enjoyed it, it took me on a ride, but all the time I was aboard, I felt something wasn’t quite right.
And please Mr. Lucas and Mr. Spielberg, don’t be mad...ha, like they even know I’m in the universe...but really, I worship these guys and would love to be a team member of theirs, basically their screenwriter, some day. Hope I’m not spoiling my chances with this blog.
Onward. I bet you’re thinking it was the aging Indy that was the first of many missed opportunities. While I did gasp the first time I saw my beloved Harrison Ford, wrinkles and all on the big screen, the fact that he was 19 years older didn’t really bother me. Hey I’M 19 years older, too and I’m sure I have a few wrinkles, somewhere ;) Harrison Ford still is Indy and never did I doubt that through the entire film.
Real Missed Opportunities. First Off, Cate Blanchett’s character, Soviet Agent Irina Spalko. Ms. Blanchett is an amazing actor with infinite range. She wasn’t given the opportunity in this film to be a really worthy adversary (and we all know a strong adversary makes for a stronger hero.) Sure she could wield a sword, but she needed more than strong moves and be clad in black leather to be someone I wasn’t sure Indy could beat. Believe me, Ms. Blanchett could’ve handled whatever they gave her. I wanted a lot more from her character.
Second, Karen Allen as Marion Ravenwood, Indy's first love in Raiders of the Lost Ark nearly stole the scenes with Indy in this film. (As an aside, none of Indy's love interests in the sequels had nearly the same chemistry.) Naturally I was excited to see what happened when they were paired again. No spoilers ahead, you gotta know that she’s still Indy’s love interest, but I wanted more screen time with her being in jeopardy and getting out of it, or at least fighting side by side with Indy.
Granted, that was Shia LeBeouf’s role this time around, but STILL, give me strong heroines. I loved Ms. Allen in this movie and wanted more, a lot more.
The chemistry between LeBeouf and Ford started rocky and became stronger as the movie progressed which I expected. There were some great scenes where I was being led one way, then a twist happened that left me delighted. Again if I tell you, they’d be spoilers, so we can talk about them in the comments if you want. I liked them together, and frankly I didn’t expect to, so I guess this isn’t a missed opportunity, but one that came together.
Mac, Indy’s compatriot turned...nope, I’m not telling. But his role was cliche. Sorry, but it was. Darn.
The ending of in the Kingdom was the biggest missed opportunity all around.
What happened? It went too fast and there wasn’t any thing I could pin down as a major culmination. All this angst and action and adventure for....Irina Spalko to fire spit out of her eyes? Ooops, that was a hint.
I wanted it all to mean something, I wanted to care that they’d found the crystal skulls and stopped the Soviets, and I didn’t. The Ark of the Covenant in Raiders was a deadly tool that could have been used against humanity, the Stones returned in The Temple of Doom saved a village and the children. And The Holy Grail’s power to give or take life was dramatic. This was...not dramatic. And worse, gulp, I didn’t like the CG effects.
I guess I wanted a ride that went flat out, characters who were fully played out and the plot satisfying and twisty. By all means, see the movie. There are wonderful parts, and I didn’t realize WHAT was missing until I left the theater, I just knew something was.
Go ahead, comment pro or con. I love them all.