I sat in the theatre my expectations through the roof, already humming the magnificent theme tune in my head over and over again (thanks again, John Williams! :-)), I would only be satisfied with a mile stone in movie history, a new summer blockbuster to shape how future summer hits would mould themselves, just like Raiders Of The Lost Ark did 27 years ago. Silly fella, there was no way I could leave the auditorium anyway other than disappointed.
And sure as Steven Spielberg loves aliens, I was disappointed. It plodded along at a watchable pace, slightly amusing at times, the action sequences were fun if silly and far from exciting and the film didn't really introduce any real new ideas, well nothing that wasn't done and done better in the first three movies. Harrison did a fine job of bringing back Indy as an old man, I had my doubts that he could do it but he had added age to the character beautifully as although he still often had is short tempered no nonsense attitude, he at times showed signs of being mellowed by the years and having a softer side. Most of the characters were a tad by the book, ie Ray Winstones George "Mac" McHale seemed like he shoulda been in Indy rip off movies "The Mummy" Series rather than an actual Indy flick and although it is lovely to see the still gorgeous Karen Allen back as Marion Ravenwood she soon starts to get on your nerves as she is a tad giggly and annoying, far from how her character was portrayed in Raiders. The always brilliant Cate Blanchett was bordering on terrible as the obligatory cliched baddie, in fact the surprise was the sure-to-be-annoying-side-kick, upcoming and in-everything actor Shia Labeouf was very likable and fun in a role who's revelation half way through the picture was inevitable. A few nods to the previous movies were very welcome. In fact, that was were the movie succeeded and really only had it's strength, and that was by being nostalgic. We are going through a pretty dire time in Hollywood where no real "new" blockbusters are being made and instead the industry is making it's money off of nostalgia by keep bringing back 80's iconic movies such as Die Hard, Rocky (ok, it started in the 70's but had its hiatus in the 80's), Rambo, and the forthcoming Beverley Hills Cop and Ghostbusters sequels, because they know us kids can't resist making that trip to the cinema and handing the cash over for another instant trip back down memory lane.
Indy IV featured several great looking shots of Harrison's instantly recognisable silhouette or shadow as he pops on his trusty hat or stands in heroic mode holding his whip, as the score plays it's goose-pimple inducing theme and don't get me wrong it was watchable if enjoyable, just not really necessary and not as good as could have been and should have been.
I have watched it again since and with my expectations non existent I found myself really enjoying it for what it was, I found it flowed nicely and was good old fashioned fun, although it tries very hard to have the same feel of the original trilogy, it just isn't possible unless they cut the budget by half losing lots of the cgi, and added some better dialogue and most importantly fired the guy who has a passion for swinging monkeys and mole-hill making Gophers!!!
The Blu ray transfer is great except the crucial scene where we first meet Indy, there is a dodgy blatant shadow on the screen. That besides, it looks amazing.