realrzn’s review published on Letterboxd:
I’m gonna catch a lot of flack for this like I did my LOTR reviews, but...
I don’t get the big deal about this movie.
Some context: This movie came out post Star Wars (which, for the record, is an all time film/series in my book) and was a nostalgia play looking back at television serials from 1930s & 40s. So right off the bat, there’s nothing original or innovative about the concept.
Ok, onto the story itself. The script and most of the acting is just totally lame. I get that it’s a B-movie and this same criticism related to dialogue can be laid against Star Wars...but the difference is that SW had so much other stuff going that it was effectively able to mask these weaknesses. The pacing also seems off (they’re just rushing to get to the next set piece); this is proto Michael Bay type editing.
The film isn’t a complete bust for me. The temple sequence is truly great and heart pounding. BUT THAT’S IT. All the other set pieces fail to live up to that opening shot of adrenaline.
Ford is competent as Indy and does the best he can with the material, but how does this differ at all from Han Solo? He’s literally playing the EXACT SAME ROLE. The only good character imo is Marion, as she was able to circumvent the typical damsel in distress stereotype and portray someone with more grit and charm.
Overall, I get that this film was just meant to be a Saturday action matinee, albeit more clever than the usual fare. In actual execution, this plays almost like a James Bond film. Maybe I didn’t see this at a young enough age to fully appreciate it or maybe I just don’t have the taste for these type of films anymore, but either way this one doesn’t resonate with me.