Aliens would have fit with the Saturday matinee serial theme these flicks have but Lucas and Spielberg failed hard with their execution. The fact that there really are crystal skulls that started popping up in the 1800s makes it all the more sad that they couldn't come up with a decent story for them.
The shear amount of CG they used was disgusting. SS and GL had claimed in interviews they were going back to practical effects leading up to the release of the film. While they did use some they were blatantly full of shite when it came down to it b/c it was a giant CG orgy.
To me a real prop, no matter if its fake, is way more immersive than a CG alien reaching out with a dumb look on its face. If they had taken their cues from 50s alien flicks, used top puppeteers and practical effects people it would have been much better for it.
Not only that, but they did a terrible job of compositing the human actors with the CG. The lighting was god awful for most of the movie and made it very clear they were on an indoor set full of green screen.
The story itself was just a mess. The Mac character was a waste and it was obvious from the get go he was going to be a villain. We were told he was an old partner but we have never even seen the guy. Had they used Sallah or even a random buddy from the Young Indy series it would have helped make Indy's shock at his turn much more believable. Its not like John Rhys-Davies would have been tough to get considering the only work he seems to get these days is on crappy SyFy channel-esque flicks. (they did ask him to be in the wedding scene for a cameo which is kind of an insult IMO)
Marion was a total waste to bring back. Karen Allen seemed to be just happy she had work in a major film again. Plus, her character got turned into a sitcom mom. What happened to clever the hard drinking chick willing to throw down?
Having a bastard kid is a great idea since Indy is a well known man whore but then naming him Mutt? Wow. Nice cheese Lucas. To top it off, the dude talks about Marion and Indy is too f-ing stupid to realize this punk kid who has a mother with the same name as a former flame is talking about the very woman he survived the Ark face melt party with? Why is the audience suddenly smarter than Indy?
Cate Blanchett was one of the more wasted villains I've seen in film. We really weren't given much of a reason to hate her other than she is Russian and wants to get the skull. BORING.
Then there were the action sequences. There was just too much "are you f-ing kidding me" going on, even for an Indy flick. I can handle the sword fighting while straddling cars and even the nuked fridge. (could have been handled better for sure) Hell, the nuke part could have even been a reason for him to need to find the skull so he could heal himself from radiation poisoning.
But then we get crap like the triple waterfall raft scene that was a lazy rehash from TOD and the atrocious swinging through the trees with monkeys garbage.
The ending was a bunch of WTF as well. CB says she wants to know everything, it kills her, and the aliens fly away. Ok...
Its was just a total trainwreck and once again confirmed that Lucas should NEVER be the lead writer on anything ever again. His idea of comedy was calling Indy old every two seconds, hammering us over the head that Shia is a greaser, and shitty CG animals like prairie dogs and monkeys.
Ugh. I can't believe they went through so many scripts over the years and came up with that dreck. There are friggin Indy video games and fan fiction that have more interesting storylines. Hell, even stuff from the kiddie Young Indiana Jones is better.
This post was edited on 12/10 at 11:16 pm