I don’t mind the aliens, per se. It’s no more outlandish than the mystical/religious stuff in the first three.
What I’m less crazy about is pretty much everything else, like the extended CGI sequences that are (1) not very well done and (2) undermine the tradition of practical effects in these films (in fairness, this was on display back in “Last Crusade” with the truly awful effects for the German fighter plane sequence). The jungle chase with Mutt and the monkeys is particularly nauseating. Then there’s “Mutt” himself, who’s almost as annoying as the actor who plays him.
And Marion, who I adored in “Raiders”, absolutely grates on me in this film. She has a cutesy, “look at me, I’ve got a part in a movie again!” attitude that takes me right out of the story every time she’s on screen. The bit where she drives the truck (jeep, whatever) onto a treetop that gently lowers them down to the ground makes the parasailing stunt in DAD seem almost palatable, and what makes it exponentially worse is her self-satisfied grin that follows (“See? I’m still a tough old broad! And did I mention, I’m in a movie again!”). In “Raiders,” she was “the girl who got away,” but here she’s “the woman you always knew he’d end up marrying, so what the heck, let’s go ahead with it.” We’re apparently supposed to be rooting for them to finally tie the knot, but there’s such a feeling of resignation to it that it’s just depressing to me. “Indy’s adventuring days are over, folks. Now it’s all about house repairs and lawn care.” To me it feels exactly like the “Bionic Reunion” movies on TV, where we knew the Six Million Dollar Man and Bionic Woman would settle down some day, and we dimly remember a time when they were cute together and we were rooting for them, but now they’re old and “precious” and it’s hard to muster up anything more than awkward discomfort watching their nuptials.
I liked Cate Blanchett, even if she’s a cartoon character here, and John Hurt is always great. Ford remains believable with the physical stuff, which is no small feat, and I will never turn up my nose at a John Williams score. But overall, it’s a very disappointing film and an unfortunate, unneeded tack-on to a (mostly) fine trilogy. I remain torn about the next, announced entry: on the one hand, it could make up for “Skull” but on the other hand, I now believe the odds are very, very much against ever getting Indy right again.