Let me tell you something loyal readers. I am sick to death of the hordes of cynical movie geeks out there who seem to look for and find every possible reason to not like a movie. It seems they take special pride in shitting on things they used to love like Star Wars and Indiana Jones. I just got done reading a bunch of talkbackers rambling on and on about how David Koepp "ruined" Indy 4 and how superior Frank Darabount's script was to his rewrite. Geuss what assholes? George Fucking Lucas owns Indiana Jones, not Frank Darabount, not David Koepp, and definitely not you! OK, to hell with all this alternating itallics and bold. Seriously, the script that was shot was the one Lucas, Spielberg, and Ford all agreed to. So get the fuck over it. Not to mention, like outlaw critic Vern (ok so I put his name in bold, sue me) said, normal people just go see movies as they are presented. They haven't read every version of the script and go in looking for what isn't there. I bet if you did this to any beloved classic you would come out drinking the same amount of hatorade.
By the way, I enjoyed the hell out of Indy 4. Harrison Ford was really born to play Indy. Even moreso, I think, than Han Solo. The minute he comes on screen it is magic. The thing that really made this movie work for me was the Indy/Marion relationship. What fan's heart doesn't melt when Indy tells her "they weren't you baby" when she asks him why his other relationships never lasted. They have a chemistry together that rivals Golden Era Hollywood couples.
I also love how they included so many aspects of 50's movie culture in this one. You've got hot rods, Elvis music, greasers, college preppies, Russians, McCarthyism, the bomb, government secrets, and flying saucer aliens. It's really interesting to see Indy, who is so clearly identified with the WWII era, living in the Eisenhower era. Hell, he even says "I Like Ike." I was wondering if I would like Indy as much without Nazis and the 40's but this one had me hooked from the opening drag race.
The action and chase scenes are also a lot of fun. Like Vern said, it was great to see an action sequence cut together that you could actually follow. Spielberg actually lets the audience see what's going on so they can enjoy it. I hope when he retires he can teach at a film school so that kids will learn to stop the shaky camera/quick cut "action" scenes we have been getting in recent years. I thought the chase through the jungle was cool as hell and gave the audience a great rush without inducing any seizures.
So yes, the movie worked for me. And no, it was not because of "nostalgia." I am also sick to fucking death of people saying that anytime you like something that is older than five years or so it is all "nostalgia." Fuck you and the horse you rode in on. I know how I like my movies and it just so happens that this one was made in the style I like. Is it an older style? Yes. But, it's only older because sometime in the 90's people forgot how to make movies like this. Hell, even Spielberg forgot for a while. Thankfully he remembered this time.
So nitpick it all you want. Hate on it to your heart's content. In the end, it's not your movie and it's not your story. I like Indy and I think this was a great way to end the series. I actually think it is better than Last Crusade. Also, I remember hating on Temple of Doom for years but now I love it. Remember how much we all loved Raiders and Temple of Doom when we were kids? You know why it was more magical? We weren't adult dickheads reading scripts on the internet and spending our time looking for what was wrong with the movies. We maybe saw a trailer, most of the time only a poster, and went to see a movie. We enjoyed it for what it was and guess what? We had fun! Indy 4 is a lot of fun . . . and very well crafted. So please, just go have a good time.
Read Vern's review at http://www.geocities.com/outlawvern/