Movie Review: Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

Indiana JonesThere are two things I can distinctly remember from cinema as a child: Star Wars and Indiana Jones. These two trilogies quickly became my most beloved films and it wasn’t until Lord of the Rings poked its head out of a hole in the ground were the two even remotely challenged for first place. Then along came the Star Wars Prequels where George Lucas screwed with everything that was good and right about Star Wars and while he didn’t entirely ruin the originals he did put a bad sort of taste my mouth. Understandably when news that a fourth Indiana Jones movie was finally to be made I couldn’t help but have a bad feeling about it. I’m not sure if I could handle Lucas messing up the greatest action movie series of all time. I have returned from the theater and I have to concur with Roger Ebert when he said, “if you liked the other Indiana Jones movies, you will like this one, and that if you did not, there is no talking to you.”

I can’t say that this is the greatest movie of all time, nor is it greater than Raiders of the Lost Ark or the Last Crusade. There was something about the originals that can’t be equaled anywhere. It does come in quite close to Temple of Doom, however, and I might even make the claim that it is better. The point is, it’s Indiana Jones and its fun, that’s all Indiana Jones ever is. All he happens to be is a professor and an archaeologist, for everything else he’s just along for the ride by the seat of his pants as much as you are.

One thing I did feel like this movie was missing was tension and suspense, perhaps that was because every time something tense happened the annoying women sitting next to me would make all kinds of vocal noises. They also managed to talk quite a bit more often than I would like, but I did try my best to ignore them…mostly it failed. As for everything else, it felt like Indiana Jones should feel – albeit much older. Nostalgia was a driving factor in the creation of this and it was nostalgia that in some ways makes it work. There’s familiar characters, familiar actions, and familiar jokes, but there’s also plenty of new to go around.

I wish I could have come out saying that this was as great of an experience as it must have been to see the originals but in truth it wasn’t. I can say, however, that it was a fun movie to watch and that it was better than most of the cookie cutter action movies that come out these days. If not for the Bourne series and Batman Begins I think I might give up action altogether. Thankfully though Indiana Jones delivers in all that it needs to and may have earned itself a second viewing from me in theaters.

4/5 Stars

16 thoughts on “Movie Review: Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull”

  1. Yeah… kind of a failsy movie. The first 1/2 hour kinda seemed like a sidebar to the actual plot, and once that started rolling, transitions between scenes were so quick, the viewer ended up merely being a spectator that had “facts” and such digested for them. The movie as a whole (and not compared to its predecessors) was quite unremarkable.

    Dan’s last blog post..When you?ve run out of music?

  2. I’d make a comment going either way in this debate, but I haven’t seen it, and don’t ever plan to so…. commenting for the sake of habbit… plus I’ve been so inactive on the internet I felt I should do something to get myself used to it again. X_X

    Zepuka’s last blog post..Troubles

  3. Oh somehow I missed the first part of his comment.

    Anyway in response to Leah, I can totally understand where you’re coming from and that’s why I made sure to indicate that why I liked it was because it was a fun movie that brings you back to Indiana Jones, not because it was a great movie. The story definitely fell short and you’d think that after so many rewrites they would have done a bit better of a job. I must disagree with then not understanding it part though. I thought it made as much sense as crazy Indians who rip hearts out and probably as much sense as the Ark of the Covanent sending ghosts out of itself and the chalice of Christ actually exisiting. The difference really is that most people have never heard of these crystal skulls and it makes it a bit harder to relate. They probably would have been better off searching for something biblical again, however, they were trying to play off of a certain type of 50s B movie, and for that I think they hit the right chord.

    HT’s last blog post..Movie Review: Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

  4. I’m afraid I have to disagree with your assessment HT. I loved the original indiana jones series, and after being dragged to this movie…i honestly think it’s a waste of money to go see it in theaters. Maybe it was just me…but i found the first part of the movie rather confusing as to WHAT they were after. Second….the ending and the what they were after…well, lets just say i think they could have come up with something just a weeeeeee bit better than that. Yes, the action was good, there was still some of the old jokes combined with the joking that indi is older and grey, and I liked the fact they brought back the girl from raiders of the lost ark…but, other than than that, I feel that the ending was very disappointing, and what indi was chasing was, again…disappointing and, well, quite lame, to put it bluntly.
    finally, one review i read a while back said that the computer technology of today(vs. the old movies and that computer technology) helped screw up the movie…I kinda have to agree with that as well. If it had been done better, then it would have been cool and awsome and deserve all the wows that the old indiana jones do.
    Perhaps I being a lil harsh on old indi, but still…
    All in all..this is one movie i could have DEFINATELY waited for to come out on film.

  5. I think the only thing I remember out of all three in the monkey brains thing and that is because I really saw it done like that when I was in China..except for the money’s were still alive! Sorry if I grossed anyone out! Of course there are the over done scenes as well like the running away from the rolling rock and the switching the weighted bag for the “prize” .

    Boy I am two for two in the movies realm!

    Happy Mama’s last blog post..Pray for them!

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