I'm not going to lie: I gave it a 5. Not only do I feel like I got exactly what I payed for, but practically everything in the movie "clicked" for me. At times, it borders on going overboard on the campiness, but it's always honest about it. It's pretty much consistently straightforward in its campiness. I never once doubted that the entire cast and crew were shooting a scene that wasn't meant to be campy. I'd be curious to know more about where CGI was used because what I originally took for (bad) CGI from the trailers actually turned out to be rear projection and other "older" movie tricks. I was happy to see models make a big return to moviemaking.
I'll probably throw some more stuff into this thread at a later date (maybe after seeing it again), but I'll talk about some spoiler-y stuff first.
I promise this isn't just my fandom showing, but I can't really see how anyone could say this movie is charmless, lifeless, and devoid of fun or any similar descriptions, especially in relation to the other Indy movies.
Mutt is Indy's son. Hrm...didn't see that one coming [/sarcasm]. And the movie didn't even try to treat it as a big reveal, so I'm glad that I didn't have to get angrier at it.
Harrison Ford can certainly still go. He slipped right back into the role of Indiana effortlessly and the age certainly doesn't seem to be getting to him.
Mac (Winstone's character) was my least favorite character in the film. There just wasn't any real depth to him at all. We get very little backstory about his character to reinforce his whole supposed friendship with Jones and he could have just as easily not been there.
The Russians make a good villain.
Frankly, for a revisionist director like Spielberg, I rank Shia channeling Tarzan up there in campiness with Indy, Short Round, and Willie surviving jumping out of the plane by using the life raft: it is a pretty good send-up of old serials and Saturday morning TV movies.
As for the aliens...hrm. Well, I actually wasn't THAT appalled by it. I'm wondering though, because the story about that MacGuffin was that it's what Lucas wanted to do and they went back to it, removing the "offending" parts of it. I'm curious what those offending parts were. Frankly, I thought they worked for the movie. The only really offensive part about the alien involvement in the movie is the end when the temple type structure gets destroyed and a spaceship takes off. In the end, that doesn't comprise enough of the over 2 hour long movie to ruin it for me. Even still, I thought it was handled well. Actually, one thing that frustrates me about this criticism isn't that it exists. I can accept that some people are turned off by the alien thing. What annoys me is when I run into a situation like last night. Behind me and my friend (both 19), a group of what I'm pretty sure were highschoolers were sitting. Now, I'm not one to jump into stereotypes or judging, but based on their reaction, I don't think it was so much "Yay, Indy" as "lol MIDNIGHT MOVIE!!!11!" that prompted them to come see this. In particular, I was frustrated by this: "It turned into Independence Day halfway through." What upsets me about this is that in complete fairness, true alien involvement in the film is deniable until the skull itself is returned and things happen as they do. Of the 2 hour and some odd minute film, this part comprises like....15 minutes at best. That's 1/8th of the entire movie.
If one thing about the CGI frustrates me is that in the instances where it is blatant (prairie dogs, treecutter, ants, aliens, etc.), a LOT of it could have been avoided, but even then, it didn't ruin the movie for me.
By no means is my 5 star rating saying it's perfect. Despite the 19 year delay, I don't feel like I was misled or shortchanged. After all, they've been trying to get this together for quite some time, and they went through countless MacGuffins to arrive where they did. Despite Lucas' past transgressions, I will put enough faith in the team (Lucas, Spielberg, Marshall) to trust that what we got was sincerely their best effort in terms of a story.
I went in expecting Indy and in the end, I got Indy in spades. I'm not a big fan of Lucas' idea to abandon Ford as a lead in the next one (if it happens), but I can certainly tolerate it a little more now. WARNING: Thus begins praise of Shia. Shia's been doing incredibly well with his development as an actor. He's shown a good deal of range in his roles. He's going to be good for comedy and action roles in the future, especially the quirky action roles like Indy and Transformers. There's a movie coming out September 26 called Eagle Eye that I can only describe as Matrix-esque that had a preview in front of Indy last night with Shia as the lead. It looks good. For his age, I think that Shia is one of the best actors in Hollywood of his age. And I don't feel that he is a buyable lead because he has been built that way. I truly believe that he actually has what is necessary to be a lead. Although I would rather wait for him to take over the lead role until a 6th movie (something that probably won't happen), I could probably stomach him in the lead role if that's what it took for a 5th to happen in the first place.
EDIT: Person above me said it better: Shia will not be able to carry the franchise, but he does make a good addition to it, IMO.