Oh Indy, How You Disappoint Me

Over the weekend, we took our boys to see the new Indiana Jones movie.  (Don’t worry, no plot spoilers here.)

And when it was over, we came out of the theater and gagged.  It was that bad. 

Mostly, I wanted to address whether it was appropriate to take children to see it.  It is PG-13, after all, and those can sometimes be dicey.   

The bottom line is that it is not any more intense or violent than the first three.  Probably less so.  There is a little language, but there’s no sex, and the violence is the typical swashbuckling, Indy-type violence that we all know and love.  (Love?  Can we love violence?)

But as far as the movie itself, it pales in comparison to its three predecessors.  I was terribly disappointed.  Indiana Jones is one of those rare movie franchises in which the movies seemed to get better with each sequel.  Until now.  Instead of building on the reluctant-hero, history-is-actually-cool theme of the first three, they decided to inject science fiction (YES! SCIENCE FICTION! IN AN INDIANA JONES MOVIE!), and it fell terribly flat.  And something Shia LeBeouf as Indy’s son didn’t sit right with me.  I think I’m hung up on the fact that someone named a boy Shia.

But you know what?  Harrison Ford still makes my heart sing, and if they make another one, I’m there.  (But they’d better not wait another 15 years.  Because my Harrison, he ain’t exactly a spring chicken.)

What about you?  Did you see it?  What did you think? 

68 thoughts on “Oh Indy, How You Disappoint Me

  1. Fashion Paramedic says:

    We haven’t seen it yet!! We usually wait 10 days and use our entertainment book coupons for the discount ($6 per ticket!).
    I’m bummed to hear you didn’t like it. We’ll probably see it anyway–my husband owns the DVD set of the 1st three.
    We saw Iron Man over the weekend–that one is a DEFINITE PG-13. War violence, including mid-east terrorist groups and “mild” beating of civilians (among the other swashbuckling type of stuff). My son didn’t seem to think it to be so bad; he said something about it “being like the stuff on the news TV.” But looking back, I wish I hadn’t taken him.

  2. Rachel says:

    Thanks for these thoughts, Shannon. I want to take the boys, but was worried that the “13” might mean lots of skin. I’m glad to hear it does not.

  3. Dawn W says:

    We saw the movie last night and felt the same way, too. I mean, why would they inject science fiction in Indiana Jones??? We wondered if they’re grooming Shia to be the next Indy? Not the person I would have chosen to fill those shoes.
    We were amazed at the number of very young children in the theater. We bet there were a lot of those households who did not get much sleep last night!
    Blessings! Dawn

  4. warillever says:

    I loved it, but then again it was he first movie I have seen in the theater in 9 years, so maybe it was just the big-screen experience.
    Or maybe it was the company; my husband and I went out *alone* on a date.

  5. Sydney Glenn says:

    It’s odd that you didn’t like it because a lot of people I’ve spoken to really liked it. I haven’t seen it yet but I think I still will. I have to say though I can’t believe you thought the movies got better and better. I mean the first and third were sooo good but the second one is so lame! no one likes that one. I actually heard that the third movie was an apology to the fans for how bad the second movie was. I liked your blog though and thanx for your opinion. I like that way you write.

  6. Debby says:

    We are all over this movie! All the movies had a little fantasy thrown in anyway, so I think it’ll be alright. My husband and kids tease me without mercy regarding my crush on Harrison Ford. As long as I go home with him, I don’t think he minds one bit.

  7. Cheryl Lage says:

    You know, I could not STAND the second one; after my passion for the first one, anything would likely fall a bit flat, but ugh, really bad. With the third one I felt redeemed! Alas, it seems we will NOT see the 4th after this review…SCI FI? SCI FI?Dear Lord in Heaven (and that is most assuredly a prayer of heartfelt petition, not in vain), what is going on in our dear Indy’s world? Desecration of an icon sounds like to me. 😦 Boo hoo! Thanks for the heads up, Sweet Shannon!

  8. Insane Mama says:

    It wasn’t that bad! It just can’t compare with the good old Indiana Jones… Not possible. I think that taking your kids to PG13 is fine, I thnk parents overreact with all that

  9. Shalee says:

    We saw it and liked it. Of course it was just Mr. Right and me on a date. I did think it a bit on the stretch side until I realized that the other movies are sci-fi-ish too. The ROTLA had spirits coming out of it, TOD well, it was so bad that I don’t want to remember anything about that movie, and the 3rd one was about the holy grail, which had a spirit and some other things that were otherworldly in it.
    And personally, I loved Shia as his son. He fit the part to a T!

  10. Magi says:

    We saw it over the weekend. DH, a huge Indy fan, hated it. I thought it was okay. The alien thing made more sense after I read a review today. I try to avoid them before I saw the movie. Like the original movies tied in the adventure films popular in the 40s, this one was supposed to evoke the popular sci-fi “Martian” movies of the 50s – the time period of this movie.
    Doesn’t make it a better movie, but it does help it make a little more sense.

  11. Brenda says:

    I’m with you. I loved the action and seeing Indy on the big screen, but the movie felt contrived and a little hokey. In spite of that, if a new movie comes out in the future, I’ll be right there in line to see it!

  12. Texas in Africa says:

    I liked it. There was no way it was going to be as good as the originals, but the storyline was fun (if a little crazy) and the adventure/action stuff was great! I also cracked up at seeing the campus where I went to graduate school in the motorcycle chase scene!

  13. suzanne says:

    I am so glad that you reviewed this. You’re the 3rd blogger I know who said it was less than “worth it”. (being kind….)
    I have a Harrison Ford story though. He has a ranch near a friend of mine’s ranch. Long story short: my friend convinced him to come to my all-out Fancy Pants Party in Colorado (about 9 years ago) and he came! I got to waltz with him. That man is totally smooth and a great dancer…..I grinned so hard, I almost split my head in half.
    It’s a TRUE story. I promise.

  14. Jenni says:

    I enjoyed it, but you are right that it doesn’t really live up to the history of the franchise. Our supposition is that this was the last…..especially b/c the way they played that last scene. Oh well…..it wrapped it all up nice and neat anyway.

  15. Melissa says:

    I loved it! But, I love Harrison Ford in just about anything. I probably would have loved it just a bit more if they’d left out the sci-fi.

  16. Kristi says:

    I was so glad to read these reviews. We are going to it Friday night for my birthday. I LOVED numbers one and three and HATED number two. I have been curious about which one it would be more like. I hope I am not as disappointed but now I am a little leery of it.

  17. Melessa says:

    My kids didn’t want to go, but DH did and it was a double feature at the drive-in with Iron Man. It wasn’t as good as the first three, but I did get a sense of what a previous commenter said about it mirroring the sci-fi 50’s just as the predecessors were all about the 30’s and 40’s movie genres. I was especially disappointed in Cate Blanchett’s character. Then again, it was worth the ticket price alone for me to hear Harrison Ford say “I’ve got a bad feeling about this.” one more time.
    Iron Man, on the other hand, was not my favorite-and I love Robert Downey Jr.

  18. Mrs. Schmitty says:

    Thanks for the review. My boys want to see it, 9 and 5, and I was quite annoyed with the PG-13 rating. What is it with that? Kids can hardly see movies anymore. Hmmm…that sounds like a good post…maybe save that one.
    From your rating I may just take them.

  19. Motherhood For Dummies says:

    We actually liked it. If you are able to roll your eyes at parts and snicker thinking “yea right” then you will like it. There are a few parts where it is like that. But all the Indies are a little chessey in a swash-buckling way… and funny. We liked it, not the best out of the three, but enjoyable. We didn’t mind spending the money

  20. Motherhood For Dummies says:

    P.S. people who are upset about it being pg-13… the rest of them were pg-13 when the movie companies finally made pg-13 a rating. It was actually because of the Indian Jones movies that they added pg-13 to the movie rating system. They aren’t and never were made for little kids. Between people getting hearts ripped out, a lost ark melting off people’s faces, and buzz saws cutting off peoples head… they are more of an adult film.
    But…this Indie was hands down the less violent one. Still a couple of parts that made me jump… but definently cleaner then the rest πŸ™‚

  21. Nicole @ Life in Progress says:

    I’m with you on this one……the sci-fi spin did nothing for me. It just seemed like they were trying too hard.
    I do think that Mr. Ford is still pretty great though – he’s still Indiana Jones.

  22. MelanieS says:

    My husband saw it with “the guys” and was also terribly disappointed at the science fiction turn. He just couldn’t get over that Harrison Ford would have turned down previous Indy scripts and yet accepted this one. He also saw Iron Man and really liked it. But he’s that kind of guy.

  23. Heather says:

    I saw Indy this Sat and I liked it pretty well. As for the sci-fi stuff, that was pretty big in that time period from what I hear. I was too young to see the first three on the big screen, so I liked seeing the special effects as they were meant to be scene. This movie had way less innuendo than “Temple of Doom.” I didn’t care for Shia, and they better not try to make him into the “new” Indiana. I really thought that I would be bothered by how old and saggy HF is in the movie, but I never thought about it during the film. I will probably wait until it comes out on DVD before I see Indy again. As for the Ironman comments that I’m seeing posted, I loved Ironman, but I wouldn’t take a child or a teenager to see the movie due to the sexual content.

  24. Amy says:

    We saw it last night. I did not love it. The science fiction threw me, too.
    I saw Harrison Ford on a talk show, and he said that the reason it took so long to make another one is because it took them (Lucas, Speilberg, and Ford? Whoever…) a long time to agree on a script. Coming out of the movie I thought, “Really? And after all that time, that’s what you agreed on??”
    Oh well.
    Amy @ http://prettybabies.blogspot.com

  25. llisa says:

    Enjoyed it, too! There is nobody I’d rather suspend my disbelief for more than Harrison Ford (still a hunk, imho). Didn’t mind his new little sidekick. But did think it rang a bit flat and forced. Also, wasn’t thrilled with the sci-fi edge. But, I’d still go see it again, if for nothing else than the great special fx. And, we love to give all our movie dollars to clean movies. They’re scarce as hen’s teeth.

  26. emily says:

    we liked it a lot – but are too young to have been there for the originals. we love the originals…but i think it’s expecting too much for a series to pick up right where they left off after 20 years…just IMHO. i was not a fan of the ants, had to cover MY eyes for that part! i did think it was fun and funny and well done. πŸ™‚

  27. Randall says:

    My father loved the series and we watched it over and over through my childhood, so I love my Indiana Jones.
    I really enjoyed the movie, Harrison Ford was fabulous (of course) and I liked how they pulled elements of the original series into this one (and wrapped up some story lines). I wasn’t crazy about the alien thing but I still liked it.

  28. Brenda@CoffeeTeaBooks&Me says:

    My eighteen year old son was very upset over the whole Sci Fi thing (and he likes that kind of movie). He thought it didn’t fit in with the Indiana Jones movies, either.
    However, he did say that I’d enjoy the movie just because I am an Indiana Jones fan. Hubby used to look just like Harrison Ford. I tell him Harrison has a better makeup man now that they are both older. πŸ™‚

  29. Erica (A Yankee In Jawja) says:

    I love Harrison Ford and I loved Indy, but I, too, was a little less than mesmerized with this installment and it had everything to do with the Sci-Fi. I hate Sci-Fi. It was less gorey than the first 2 movies and had about as much language.
    We took our 9 and 11 year olds to see it because we wanted to see a movie as a fam and my hubby and I really wanted to see the new Indy movie. We let the kids watch the Last Crusade on Friday night and saw Kingdom of the Crystal skulls on Sat. The kids liked it.
    Can you say total cheese ending?!

  30. Carrie says:

    Ditto! The kids liked it but my husband and I left very disappointed. I went to see Indy the archiologist, not a sci-fi flick.

  31. mari says:

    personally, being a sci fi geek…I LOVED it. It was like x files meets Indy, it only could have been better if they had thrown in a Hobbitt!! lol

  32. brandy says:

    Plugged In Online is an awesome source to check movie “safety,” in my opinion. They are very thorough and break everything down from spiritual references to drug and alcohol usage. They list even the mildest of “curses.” It’s a Focus on the Family member. Just sharing in case you (or any of your commenters) haven’t seen it. They’ve got TV and music reviews as well. (And no, I am not getting paid for this plug!)
    http://www.pluggedinonline.com/movies/

  33. brandy says:

    Plugged In Online is an awesome source to check movie “safety,” in my opinion. They are very thorough and break everything down from spiritual references to drug and alcohol usage. They list even the mildest of “curses.” It’s a Focus on the Family member. Just sharing in case you (or any of your commenters) haven’t seen it. They’ve got TV and music reviews as well. (And no, I am not getting paid for this plug!)
    http://www.pluggedinonline.com/movies/

  34. Thea @ I'm a Drama Mama says:

    As soon as I heard it was coming out, I told Dave that it was either going to be really good or really bad…I was hoping that it wasn’t the latter. Oh well. We’ll probably still see it though because I love me some Harrison and Shia. Yum.

  35. Sarah @ Ordinary Days says:

    Whew! For a minute there I thought you were going to say you visited Indianapolis (my corner of the world) over the weekend and were disappointed. Thank goodness it was a movie and not my home. Just in case you ever do visit, give me a call and I’ll take you guys to the Children’s Museum or something!

  36. LeeAnn (AKA Frazzmom) says:

    I saw it on opening day with a friend and left feeling unsure… I love my Star Wars movies and I love my Indiana Jones movies- just not sure that I love them in the same movie!
    Saw it again today with my sons and enjoyed it more the second time… Harrison is great and there are lots of scenes paying homage to the originals. I will probably even see it again with hubby (he’s been recovering from surgery and couldn’t go yet). We’ll see what I think after the 3rd time!

  37. Erica says:

    I’m glad I’m not alone. Seriously, I always feel that that particular science fiction addition is a movie cop-out. Indy is better than that. Or is was. AND, I heard that Steven Spielberg said that they’re doing at least two more, both with Shia as the new Indy. Harrison will play a lesser role, akin to Sean Connery’s role as Harrison’s dad. Ugh. Like you, I’ll still see them because you just have to watch the Indiana Jones movies, but I’m sad that they’re not keeping up with the previous ones.

  38. Luanne says:

    I took my daughter and her friends for her 14th birthday. We loved it! I think they loved it because they haven’t seen the other movies. I love it, well, what can I say….Harrison Ford will always and forever be hot!

  39. Lauren says:

    I too thought it was a bit contrived and hokey in some places. But I was trying to convince myself it was because I am 20+? years older than when the original came out?
    But who is counting…;-)

  40. Melanie says:

    They deviated from the “religious icon and Nazis” theme and it didn’t work. Definitely should have left well enough alone.

  41. Sue says:

    I love the Indy character (and my boyfriend Harrison), so I’m definitely planning to see it.
    I blame George Lucas for the science fiction. He also wanted to make everything CGI. Yuck. He ALSO says he doesn’t want Harrison to be in the next movie – it will be all Shia. Say WHAT?!!!

  42. Jenni says:

    Shannon, please come read my “review”. LOL!! It’ll tell you exactly what I thought.
    I had to cleanse my movie-going palate with Ironman before I felt better.

  43. Wendylicious says:

    OH I’m so glad to see someone else that didn’t like it!! Everyone else has been talking about how good it was and I was like “did you SEE the same movie as me?” Thanks you!

  44. Wani says:

    I thought they did a good job keeping with the overall “look” of the other movies. You know how with the Star Wars movies the recent ones were soooo different (technology changes) that they don’t even look like they belong together. But the new Indy movie kept the same feel as the others. I was disappointed that Indy had a son – when reading spoilers online in the early planning stages I had read that he would not have a son and they eluded to him having a daughter. I hated Cate Blanchett’s look in the film though. She looks much better as a blonde. Anyway, with its flaws I’d still give it a thumbs up.

  45. Dev says:

    well geez. now im a little apprehensive about seeing it. i had heard good things about it but no one said anything about the producers putting sci-fi into it. that’s just not right. . .
    on a side note, i just started my first-ever blog! i have a pretty ho-hum blog up now, but tomorrow is a better one! i would be thoroughly over-excited if you would pop by and comment or leave a message!

  46. faithful chick says:

    Oh, I really hate to hear this about Indy. Sci-Fi has NO BUSINESS in the Dr. Jones world. He DID make history cool
    Sigh.
    And, may I say, I just LOVE your new blog design. It is precious.

  47. Melissa says:

    My husband and I went to see it last night and both of us were dissapointed. It just got kind of weird at the end. Oh well, it was still a nice date.

  48. Nanette says:

    first half good, second half bad, overall – not worth wasting 2 hours of your life.

  49. Sandwiched says:

    Okay, guys. I liked it. Granted, there were a few scenes where one must suspend disbelief for a bit (a sword duel on moving Jeeps??), but that’s true for most summer blockbusters. And I agree with the earlier comments about the sci-fi theme working with the movie’s setting in the 1950’s. The 1950’s in America were all about fighting Communism and flying saucer flicks (or so I’ve been told). So this one worked for me. And who knows…I wouldn’t mind seeing a 5th Indy movie, if the script is good enough. Shia worked well enough for me. The Indiana Jones movies, to me, are a celebration of why everybody loves movies: action, adventure, romance, intrigue…it’s all there!

  50. april says:

    I wanted to see it until I read the post and comments. I agree that they seemed to get better as they pogressed and am afraid this might be a disappointment. I might save it for when it comes to the discount theatre or out on netflix.

  51. Grace says:

    I have seen it and loved it. Even Shia (the boy with a weird name) didn’t matter to me at all. I was smiling and giggling hours after. Then we bought the three other Indy movies, watched the 1st one (Raiders of the Lost Ark) and you know what, I liked the 4th one better than the first.Must be because of all the buzz and hype? I don’t know.

  52. Hannah says:

    i actually loved the movie – i’ve seen it twice now. it was a period piece, campy, fantastical, featured exotic scenery and a ridiculous story line that was perfect to help the viewer escape from the mundane day-to-day. doesn’t help that i’m also secretly a HUGE sci-fi nerd πŸ™‚

  53. Heather O. says:

    We debated and debated between Harrison Ford and Prince Caspian, and we voted for the latter. My oh my, but I would have much preferred some swashbuckling punching fights to the unrelenting battle scenes of Prince Caspian, which are not only violent, but incredibly cruel (like when half of Peter’s army gets massacred–“Mom, are they ALL dead”–Um, yeah.) I had a fussy baby, and in wandering the halls with her I ducked into the Indiana Jones movie, and wanted to pull my family into THAT theatre, as Prince Caspian was just so…dark and creepy and sad. So maybe that’s one you could skip, too.

  54. noe says:

    I used to be a HUGE Harrison Ford fan, until he got divorced and took up with a younger woman. I had really admired his commitment to commitment. Now all that’s left seems to be Paul Newman. Well, we could do worse, right?

  55. Tanya says:

    I didn’t like it at all. The plot was ok, my biggest issue were the scenes. Every scene looked like it was a cardboard set.

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