Its just after 1 p.m. local time in Cannes — the first “Indiana Jones” screening is underway — and from inside the Palais des Festivals’ Lumiere theater, writer Eric Kohn has been sending a string of SMS messages, his notes on the film, as it screens.
SPOILER ALERT: Don’t read any further if you want to preserve the purity of the film.
(newest texts at the bottom)
Screens black. Crowds going wild. Somebody takes a photo.
Lucasfilm logo comes up. Somebody takes a photo.
Paramount logo turns into a mole hill. People clap.
Elvis “you ain’t nothing but a hounddog.” Its the fifties.
Januz Kaminski’s name in credits? No applause.
Speilberg’s name. Applause. Nevada 1957. Weapons testing facility. Gonna chill out and watch for a bit.
Indy’s been captures by commies. He tells one ‘drop dead.’ Guy slaps him. “I’m sorry, I meant drop dead, comrade.” Ha! Right.
“No defiant last words Dr. Jones?” I like Ike.
Indy escapes commies & winds up in suburbia. Or does he?
How to survive a nuke? Keep Fridge running. That gets a laugh.
Indy’s profile against a mushroom cloud.Telling.
Cate Blanchett: Stalin’s figurehead girl.
Connery cameo in picture frame. Dad’s dead.
Bar fight! Indy’s blacklisted. Shia recruits him to go to the amazon. Fun!
Indy jumps off a moving motorcycle into car. Stops bad guys. Jumps out. Guy looks old mut moves like a Steven Spielberg movie.
Biking thru an anti-commie rally. This movie more of a period piece than ‘Munich’.
Flying to peru. Red line on the map still does the trick.
Lerman’s bored. I’m digging it. Simple goofy adventure. Not much CGI. Cool.
Indy blew a dart back into bad guy’s mouth. Nice.
Gold. Mummys. Gods, not god. Def. more crusade here than Raiders.
They left Peru rather fast. This better go somewhere soon, plot-wise.
“Saucer men from mars” well that’s a development
Marion shows up! They bicker. A little Howard Hawks action.
Henry Jones the third! All heroes have kids these days.
Marion bitches again. A little tedious.
Too many car chases. But they’re all decent if not exceptional
Shia and Cate in a swordfight. Two cars driving side by side. Whoa.
OK the musical chair aspect of this car chase is kinda brilliant
Even Lerman digs the chase
Fight ends. “Whoa.” The matrix? Hardly.
OK ant attack is dumb but fleeting
CGI ants vack. CGI monkeys too. They both suck.
Marion saves the day. Still indy’s best ladyfriend
This movie is crafted like a classic, wooden rollercoaster. One thrill after another. Now they’re riding waterfalls. Addictive viewing.
Freaky natives jump out of temple walls. Vaguely problematic from a cultural academic perspective but no less than the hovitos were
“The palace is the key. Subs: “palais.” Cannes context!”
We’re deep in the third act & it is a little slow
The climax is very last crusade…but somewhat cheesier. Relatively speaking
Harrison, not indy: “I’ve got a bad feeling about this”
More stupid CGI. Death scene straight outta Raiders. Ah well.
There’s an X-Files moment here that made people laugh
Cheesy family moment. A hiss from the audience
So, it’s a goofy, action-heavy blockbuster that’s very linear and by-the-book. By-the-indy-book, I mean. Still so, so much better than any frame in Transformers. Too cheery to come anywhere remotely near Raiders territory, but I doubt anybody expected that.
Shoulda been opening night film. Better than Da Vinci, that’s for sure.
REACTION: Applause, no big boos. Outside press conference, most people disappointed, but I can’t understand what they could have expected. Probably get mostly pans for being so silly, having bad CGI. Definitely a good family action thing.
Variety pretty much confers with my stream-of-consciousness reaction, so I’m not totally blinded my nostalgia.