Movie Review – Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull – (8 stars)

In 1957, Indiana Jones is thrust back in action, venturing into the jungles of South America in a race against Soviet agents to find the mystical Crystal Skull.

Note: This is going to be spoiler free review. As much as I’d like to cite specific scenes from the movie to prove my points and opinions of this movie I’m not going to hear. But, I’ll discuss these specific points with anybody anywhere over a pint or two.

There has been a lot of “mixed” reviews regarding the latest installment of the Indiana Jones adventures. So, I’m going to start this review off with my first and foremost gripe about the movie — the use of sets. Having seen and enjoying the previous three Indiana Jones movies, as well as countless other movies from other decades and other genres from the same and other creators. But, when you look at the previous three movies from the series — Raiders of the Lost Ark, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade — one thing stands out with Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, and it is the use of sets. The title character is a globe trotting and world weary adventurer, but yet, right from the get go, this chapter had the distinct look and feel of being mostly shot on soundstages and back lots. But, that’s about it as far as my gripes go. Sure, I could nit-pick a bit more, but that’s easy to do when you’ve been involved in a relationship that has lasted some twenty-seven years.

Now that that is out of the way… I liked Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull — a lot. The movie was no Raiders of the Lost Ark — but it also wasn’t the major let down that a lot of “fans” are screaming about. There are three other things that this movie was not — Episode I, Episode II, and Episode III.

There is nothing more ridiculous nor unbelievable about this Indy installment than any of the previous three. I’ll give you that it might not be in the same tone as the previous three movies — but really, none of the previous three movies were exactly the same in tone. This movie may set out a bit further than the rest, but it has been 19 years since the last Indiana Jones movie. A lot has changed in nineteen years — and a lot has changed in Indiana Jones life since we last saw him in The Last Crusade. Maybe I saw the movie in “Indy-colored glasses”, but so what. I really can’t think of any better lenses and frames to view such a movie.

Some of the criticism that I’ve read and/or heard has been that Indy IV didn’t contain specific elements that “fans” wanted to to see. That’s kind of a cheap shot. So what if this or that character wasn’t there nor represented “enough.” That’s what I’ve got the previous three Indy movies for, right? it was interesting to see Indiana Jones in a post-WWII world, McCarthyism era. And, speaking of an older Indiana Jones… Harrison Ford pulled it off just fine. The actor wasn’t sleepwalking through this role like he has recently appeared to do in others. I also bought Shia LaBeouf in this flick as well. I like this kid. (I’m plenty old enough to call him “kid,” trust me.) I’ve heard scoffs about some certain actions that LaBeouf’s Mutt Williams pulls off in this movie. Well, if it were the character of Indiana Jones doing the same things there’d be no second guessing or criticisms. And these two play off each other great. And, after twenty-seven years it was nice to see Marion Ravenwood (Karen Allen) return. Could she have played a bigger part? Maybe. But, the movie really wasn’t about her and Indy. The movie was about Indiana Jones and Mutt Williams.

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull is good and fun entertainment with a very dear old friend.

Starring: Harrison Ford, Shia LaBeouf, Cate Blanchett, Karen Allen, Ray Winstone, John Hurt
Directed by: Steven Spielberg
Written by: David Koepp; Story by: George Lucas, Jeff Nathanson
Produced by: Frank Marshal, Denis L. Stewart, George Lucas, Kathleen Kennedy
Distributed by: Paramount Pictures
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for adventure violence and scary images.

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4 Responses to “Movie Review – Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull”

  1. chasness Says:

    Thanks for the review. Of note, I forgot about all the “set” shots. Kinda annoyed me in the beginning.

    Feel free to check out my review at:
    http://chasness.wordpress.com/2008/05/22/indiana-jones-and-the-kingdom-of-the-crystal-skull/

    Thanks!
    -Chas

  2. Mutt Says:

    I just saw it today and I have to say that for me being a Indy fan for 12 years, and having watched all 3 of the movies so many times I could quote all them from beginning to end, I loved the 4th Movie. I don’t see why so many people were disappointed with it. I mean what did they expect Indy to still be young and adventurous? It was all as I expected it to be, Indy gettin older now and he’s gonna have to have a heir to take his place cause lets face it people, as much as it rips at my heart, Indy ain’t immortal, and I think Mutt fit in perfectly. I absolutely LOVE the name. Also I think Shia pull it off great being Indy’s son. He acts just like Indy and you have to admit. In the Last Crusade, Indy kinda acted the same with his father. I also loved how Mutt got that cut on his face just like Indy got his scar with his whip when he was about the same age. And the monkey scene. I thought that was great, cute, and hilarious! I don’t see why everyone was downen teh monkeys. WHAT DID THEY EVA DO TO YA ALL!!! (bet if it had been penguins everyone would have loved it -_-) The only things that I didn’t really like was the opening which had me thinkin “wtf? this is Indy right?” Lol I kept waitin for those kids to get either ran over or pumped full of lead XD (come on, as if they didn’t have it comin’ to em). Also the wedding thing. I would have rather the movie end with Mutt being in Indys class tryin to sneak or somethin’. But I liked how Indys hat rolled up to Mutt, as if forshadowing what we all know.

    One more thing before I shut up cause its 3:14am. Like the monkeys why the hell was everyone pissed about the aliens! Hell, Indys dealt with Paranormal situations, Sacrificial/Demonic possessions, and Religious trials. It’s not like the Alien thing was odd or anything. It was only a matter of time and besides It made things interesting. And about the female villain. As if we all didn’t know what was gonna happen to her. She made that pretty clear at the beginning of the movie.

    Damn….Imma gonna shut up now before I get shot XD

    P.S. I am SO all for the possible sequals about Mutt and Indy! ^0^ GO MUTT!!!! GO INDY!!!!! WOOOO-*Gunshots* 0.o………shutting up……………….

  3. Mutt Says:

    ….Shit……I just now read this was spoiler Free……….(damn, me and my bad habit of skimmin, thats seriously gonna get me killed one of these days)………0.0 please don’t hurt me…..

    FOR THE LOVE OF GOD IF YOU HAVEN’T SEEN THE MOVIE AND YA DON’T WANNA BE SPOILED DO NOT READ MY FIRST REVIEW!!!!!!!!!!!! I DON’T WANNA DIE!!!!! IF YA DID OMG IM SORRy!!!!!!!!!!

  4. Stupor Says:

    Somehow i missed the point. Probably lost in translation :) Anyway … nice blog to visit.

    cheers, Stupor!

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