Review for “Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull”

And so, 19 years after the now not-as-aptly-titled Last Crusade, Henry Jones Jnr is back, but not necessarily due to popular demand. From the get-go, there has been fan-boy negativity, with constantly updated reports of what the plot involved, including Shia LaBeouf possibly being taken on as a sidekick/son and eventual successor to Ford. And then there was all this talk of aliens, Area 51 and other such sci-fi nonsense. But what people need to remember is that Indy has previously been chasing The Ark Of The Covenant, magical Voodoo Sankara Stones, and last, but by no means least, The Holy Grail itself. Following Indy on his perilous travels has always required a strong suspension of disbelief, and with his latest outing, your enjoyment of the movie will really depend of how strong that suspension really is.

Starting off at a breakneck pace and only pausing for breath during the obligatory visit to his college, its 1957, and Indy has been kidnapped by Irina Spalko (Cate Blanchett, giving the accent all she’s got), and brought to Nevada, where Spalko has found “Area 51”, which is in fact that massive warehouse from the end of Raiders, and somewhere inside here is something that she wants very badly. There is very little that can be said about the actual plot-points without giving pretty much everything away. Needless to say, Jones escapes from the clutches of Spalko, only to be brought back in when Mutt gives him a letter from his mother, Marian Ravenwood (Karen Allen) which in itself was written by Professor Oxley (John Hurt), a fellow archaeologist and surrogate father to Mutt, who’s own father wasn’t around (ahem).

And so from there Jones and sidekick Mutt follow the clues left by Oxley to find the mystical Crystal Skulls, a plot device that suffers similarly to the Sankara Stones due to the relative lack of knowledge of their existence by general Joe Public. But they do suit the gear shift from the late 30’s of the original trilogy, to the mid 50’s that this is set in. Spielberg does a good job setting the tone; all Elvis songs, massive pastel dresses and fights between townies and greasers, not to mention one of the most iconic images of the entire franchise being that of Indy standing against the backdrop of a massive nuclear mushroom cloud.

Nobody does huge, epic and yet specific set-pieces like Spielberg, but even given the backdrop to the story, alot of the last 45 minutes of the movie will test your patience. While it is a non-stop breathless action set-piece followed by action set-piece, alot of what occurs will most likely take you right out of the thick of it, due to your own sniggering at the ridiculous-ness of it all.

Any worries anyone might have about the now 65 year old Ford being too old for this shit needn’t bother fretting, he’s still as sarky, snarky and gruff as he ever was, if not even more so. The chemistry he once had with Ravenwood is no longer as sparky, but he does get to bounce some good lines of LaBeouf (who isn’t nearly as irritating as his first scene in the movie makes him out to be) and Blanchett, who seems to relish not playing someone in a corset. However, some other actors seem entirely out of place here. Ray Winstone’s entire character arc will be obvious to everyone within 5 seconds of his screentime, John Hurt gets to do nothing but look distracted and slightly crazed, and poor Jim Broadbent barely gets a look in.

So, in total, this is basically the Die Hard 4.0 of the Indy series; everything that made the originals great is still in place, but the situation that they find themselves has pushed the envelope so far to please the modern day “everything bigger is better” audience that it buggers belief, taking something that could’ve been awful, and making it good, when it could’ve been great.

Lucas has already stated that for Indy 5, LaBeouf will take centre stage with Ford playing Connery’s role from The Last Crusade. Don’t know about you, but the idea of following the adventures of Mutt Jones just doesn’t seem as appealing…..

Six Point Five Out Of Ten

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8 responses to “Review for “Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull”

  1. Well that review’s set me up for a slightly above average film starring an angry geriatric. But then again I got over that in Die Hard 4.0 as well so I guess it shouldnt pose a problem. But seriously, Mutt Jones? Almost as bad as Pepper Potts.

  2. I couldn’t read the review, gotta see it! So I must know – how and when did YOU see it? Are there previews on or something?

  3. Correct Opinion has ways and means! It’s been viewed twice now – Monday morning and Tuesday evening. We’ve viewed da shit out of it!

  4. and bugger the belief out of it!

  5. for the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, it seems like the recipe of a good Indiana Jones film would be 1 part Nazis and 1 part biblical artifact… the Soviet army does a pretty good job of replacing the Nazis, but the other ingredient…

  6. I am all for the alien ingredient, but if they used less CG, it would have had some chilling impact. I just can’t get creeped out buy obvious CGI.

  7. Fu#k what the movie is. Does any body see the implifications of the importance of what this main titile is all about. The strength of the Indiana Jones movies was in the hatred of the Third Reich, and of oppression of religion and the strength of Christianity and power of the spiritual endevor that we all feel. Propaganda films that worked. I loved em’ (and still believe in the power of the bible). To suggest power in a crystal skull implies Hollywood has gone beyond the boundries of mainstream religion to introduce (or somehow equilize) something that either has equal power to the Arc of the Covenant and the Holy Grail’s weight (I omit Shankara stones because “they would only be rocks in a museam.”) or somehow rises above it. *The reason I say this is because of our sequence in enlightment as a species is still evolving.
    Wether we like to admit it or not our origin as a species has but one truth. This Hollywood “REACH OUT” is an attempt to connect with all of us because when you look into the “Crystal Skulls” on the internet you will find very intreguing questions. Don’t look at me. I’m just putting this shit together for myself.

    Dik4

  8. Lynn Angela Pisco

    I think whenever you’ve watched every action scenes from this movie compare from the last three of Indiana Jones trilogy, you forget to remember that both Karen Allen and Harrison Ford has not changed since they both became the love -hated related couple but they seem to be much older and more wiser enough that each one can do a lot better dialogs and taking charge of certain situations there is at this point . Especially Marion Ravenwood herself cause when I saw her driving shot gun from this Russian truck and then going into another vehicle that looks like a boat 457 Russian model, apparently Karen Allen really knows how to maneuvered it into the jungle chase scene better than any other female action Hollywood star can’t do at her age of 56 not even Bette Midler or perhaps Julia Roberts wouldn’t have imagine themselves putting their own risk on the line . Including when Karen Allen has to drive it full throttle towards into the water rapids and then dropped three times at least heading into the bottom until they reached the cave while Indy himself gave her the directions of where to turn and says : don’t you ever do that again . She said with a smile : yes, dear. How hard is that I’ve wondered . Come on now it’s easy to imagine on how she is able to provide a remarkable amounts of putting her own power and strength as well as full confidence within Marion Ravenwood who can do her own physical training of stunts work without using a double person at hand especially when she has to run down those difficult big giant stairs that goes into the bottom of the cave and managed to prove herself once and for all excising is the best medicine to use when you have to put yourself at risk and she did however though . I think Karen Allen is one amazing woman with a huge vision of heart and wisdom who knows how to take care of certain things especially as an actress, how to get it done perfectly on screen . I say you go girlfriend !

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