August 12th, 2009


Big Damn Ants

Or, Indiana Jones
and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

This film is, if you'll excuse the language, complete and utter crap.

Let's begin on a slightly more positive note. First up, Shia LaBeouf. 

He was AWESOME. Well acted, and the role fitted him to a T. He looked awesome - the greaser style fitted him and he added in some much needed humour. He seemed very much at home within the film, comfortable and realistic as far as realistic goes in a world when a college professor can is secretly a treasure hunter and carries a bullwhip and was a spy and all that crapola. In short, one of the best parts of the film.

Next, the music. I loved the score to this - and what a surprise, it was John Williams, who I believe also composed the score for Memoirs. Beautiful, creepy and just spot on.

Special effects and scenery was very good for the most part; though the pretty dust left a lot to be desired. But the scenes of the huge Mayan-esque pyramid was just spectacular and made me very happy~

Some more good parts included the black haired minor psychic. She was okay, fitted the role I suppose and made it look okay. Her voice sent me to sleep but the bad hairdo was live-able. She was good as an actor as well, if slightly stone faced.

The professor Oxley was just excellent. John Hurt played the role to perfection –gives snappy z-snap-. He was awesome because he just looked and played the part RIGHT, with the right amount of crazy and yet somehow rather deeper than that.

Now, we move into the bad territory. 

First, I dunno what's got into Harrison Ford, lately anyway, but his acting? Was fucking terrible in that film. Not good, not okay, not acceptable. At best, it was mediocre, just about rising from bloody awful. He didn't play the character right - he seemed very lacklustre and just like, "I'm here for the money. Not for the pleasure of the role.". His line delivery varied from 'I sound like I'm reading from a book'  through 'someone is prompting in my ear' into 'Speak. Like. This.' He was downright dire for 99.99999% percent of the film, and the very few parts he was good in, he didn't do any talking. Ain't that a surprise?


His wife/lover/ex-lover....his female compatriot was also crap. She varied from nagging fish wife, Mary-Sue and helpless imbecile with nary a warning. And she seemed slightly on drugs for much of the last twenty minutes to half an hour. [It could have been longer, but I spent much of the last half an hour examining the progress of a spider across the ceiling. It was more interesting...hell, watching paint dry would have been more interesting but it wasn’t my house and couldn’t therefore paint in order to watch it dry.] Her acting was slightly better than H.Ford’s but that’s not exactly saying much considering his acting was mediocre to fucking awful.

The Red Army guy with a Lurch personality. Creepy. Very creepy.

Extra large killer ants? Also creepy.

The triple agent? Awesome in his own right,  apart from right at the very end when he kind of… lost the plot? Something seemed a little wrong at that point,, for some reason. I couldn’t tell you exactly what, but it came across as a cross between a Lord of the Rings-eque moment when Gandalf fell into the depths of the Mines of Moria, and a Star Wars moment, where Luke fell into the hole thingy, (after the whole, “I AM YOUR FATHER!” bit). You know, “I’ll be fine/ YOU FOOLS!/NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!” One of those moments.

You know what?

It feels like they felt they had so many elements that they wanted to cover, so many subplots they had to fit in – it just ended up a mess.

Let’s see, you had the long lost child, the kidnapped parent, the nutty ol’ person who isn’t actually nuts, the spaceship, the romance, the double agent (well, the triple agent really but who’s counting), the nuclear bomb, the army of Reds, the car chases and I’m still not finished. There was a creepy graveyard, an army of resurrected people, aliens, the trek through the jungle, treasure hunters, gun fights, people being eaten alive by ants, secret messages left by a prisoner, the beautiful but deadly woman, the grudge…

You see my point?

And none of the at LEAST eighteen subplots were very well explored. On a scale of one to ten, ten being well explored and one being not at all most scored around a two. The best about a six, and the worst a negative three. It was honestly like the script writers had NO idea what the hell they were doing and then just threw it all together and hoped it worked.

Which it didn’t.

Nobody shot anybody. Nobody got threatened with a good ol’ fashioned death beyond waving a sword at them. Nobody died a glorious death beyond Butler Lurch Army man. Nobody was genuinely threatened by much at all. The army of resurrected people were driven off by a crazy ol’ guy with a crystal skull sans much effort. The spaceship created a whirlwind.


The aliens gave the black haired woman knowledge which made her explode into pretty dust. O.o? The amazingly unawesome happy ending involved a hideous bad wedding dress, a bad wedding service, random scenes of a man reaching for a bible and bang-y doors. The Red Army vanished and no explanation was further coming about that nor how the Joneses  came home or how they had reacted to Mutt’s going back to school. Mutt didn’t inherit the family business, though the infamous hat appeared to want it (and if I were that hat, after the performance Ford gave, I would WANT to have a new wearer). Indiana Jones went from an academic professor to Assistant Dean without lifting a finger except to put a ring on a finger – and yet about a month or so before hand, he was about to be fired or forcibly retired.

The plot holes, inadequate acting skills, and immense failures of the script, and direction cumulates in a big fat raspberry. The plot is stretched spider web thin over a myriad of the above and it fails to even attempt to conceal them.

I give it an unfortunate 3/10 from me. A point for Shia, a point for the nutty professor, and  half a point for the scary music and scenery respectively.   

And that was a big fat waste of an hour and a half of my time, plus four quid.