Ok, now that the movie’s finally out, it’s probably finally safe to talk about this…..
Although Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull features all sorts of Cold War triple agent spy-jinks and McCarthy-esque witch-hunts for hidden Reds, it would appear that most feared were those who might have tried to steal the movie’s secrets. The final credits even include a Confidentiality Co-ordinator, for heaven’s sake.
But check out this story from the New Haven Independent from May 2007 on the planned filming of the motorbike chase through the university, and you’ve basically got an entire run-down of what audiences would see on screen two years later. It’s bizarre. But it is actually a fairly typical Film Commission dilemma; oh so often, enthusiastic local journalists overwhelmed by the big stars and the Hollywood machine suddenly in their backyard, blurt out significant plot spoilers to the local community at time of filming. It’s even problematic with tv commercials, and it’s made so much worse when it’s the Film Commission that has facilitated the introduction.
Bearing in mind that bit-part actor Tyler Nelson was sued for revealing a couple of Indie plotlines to his hometown newspaper, Oklahoma’s Edmond Sun, I’m surprised Lucasfilm didn’t jump on this one like, well…..Bad Guys.
Anyway, is the movie any good? Well, it certainly means to be; it’s light hearted, quick witted, self-referential fun. On the plus side, Shia Laboeuf is snake-hipped (Yes, he IS Indie’s kid)and Cate Blanchett is curiously sympathetic for a baddie, and the action leaps from location to location with typical gusto (New Mexico and Hawaii, as well as Conneticut). On the minus – though it doesn’t ever try to hide the fact that it’s nineteen years since Indie’s last outing – the producers chose to surround him with a lot of really OLD people, it’s kind of odd. Maybe youth wasn’t actually the target demographic??
At the bottom of it, the plot is pretty thin too. Basically, Indiana is asked to help a colleague in distress who has apparently found El Dorado, the fabled Amazonian City of Gold. He’s chased there by a Russian psychic with Louise Brooks hair, several angry natives and some extremely hungry ants. And that’s about it. Oh, and did I mention the aliens?
Still, there’s always the theme tune; I challenge you NOT to be humming it on the way out of the theatre.