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

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull: A Great Summertime Kickoff

There's a lot to enjoy about this fourth installment of Indiana Jones. It's fun, silly, adventure-filled and completely entertaining in ways we don't always get from movies these days, with the greatest parts coming straight from the marvelous imagination of Steven Spielberg. Plus, it's a summertime blockbuster that doesn't totally rely on CGI which feels practically old-fashioned — and I mean that in the best way possible. The performances are strong and overall it's a sequel that doesn't embarrass itself or the whole franchise. It's refreshing and, honestly, it's a relief.

Sure, there are aspects I didn't like about it, but the experience of seeing this movie with a theater full of fans and happy moviegoers pretty much trumps any quibbles I have. The story finds our beloved Indy caught up with a group of Soviets (led by one fierce Irina Spalko, played by Cate Blanchett) trying to find the secrets behind ancient crystal skulls which are said to have been shaped by some kind of higher power (or other-worldly power). They need Indy's mad archaeologist skillz (and wide base of experience) to do this and one way of luring him in is via Marion Ravenwood (Karen Allen), who they've taken captive. Marion gets in touch with Indy through her son Mutt (Shia LaBeouf). That's the basic gist of things but I wanted to leave plenty for you to discover at the theater, so for more of just my thoughts,

.

As with last summer's Simpsons Movie, Indiana Jones is not just a highly anticipated movie, it's a highly anticipated movie event. There are plenty of people who will see it no matter what anyone says, and there are plenty of people, too, who are determined to like the movie no matter what. I understand this fanaticism, and though I don't personally feel it about this Indiana Jones movie, I had a great time watching it. At the same time, there are things I disliked, too. Most of all, there is some bizarre, random supernatural stuff at the end that struck me as out of place and totally hokey (and not in the fun way, in the annoying way).


But you know what? It's still a lot of fun. There is much pure, innocent joy to be found sitting in a jam-packed theater, clapping and whistling at the first glimpses of Indy's shadow and Marion Ravenwood's bright smile. There's a goofy pride that comes from laughing along with everyone else at the film's nods to previous films. It is an event, and in some ways it's the quintessential summertime movie event: a fantastically fun time for kids, and a sweetly nostalgic trip for adults.

Basically, you're probably going to go see it anyway, and I think you should.

Photos courtesy of Paramount


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katiedid0985 katiedid0985 7 years
SPOILER ALERT! I agree Leilanic, I was definitely disappointed. I LOVED the Last Crusade with its quick and funny dialogue and the interplay between Harrison Ford and Sean Connery was great. This one didn't have any of that dialogue and I thought the plot was just plan ridiculous. I should have know it would be that great when he survives an atomic bomb blast in a fridge in the first 20 minutes, what is this MacGuyver?? Then the aliens thing? Seriously??? I was just incredulous for the last half an hour with all of that inter-dimensional stuff. Such high hopes, definitely not met. Oh well maybe SATC will be better.
Leilanic1 Leilanic1 7 years
SPOILER ALERT! californiagilx7, i agree with everything you said! i was disappointed by the whole aliens thing and during the action sequences when normally you are cheering for indy, i just didn't get into it. and i left think aliens and gophers..really??? sigh i wanted to love this move. it is indiana jones after all! instead i left shaking my head,disappointed in steven, george and harrison. and the cgi that was in the movie was lame...george what were you thinking???
californiagirlx7 californiagirlx7 7 years
Sorry I MEANT to say Henry Jones III (aka Indy's dad, etc.)
californiagirlx7 californiagirlx7 7 years
SPOILER ALERT!!! SPOILER ALERT!!! SPOILER ALERT!!! I would have given the movie 3 stars out of 5. It was nice to see Indy back again, but I also kinda wish that they would have left this franchise alone. The fourth installment is nowhere near as good as the original movies (not even Temple of Doom). It does have its good moments though. The Good: Yay Marion Ravenwood's back! It was good to see her again, and her chemistry with Indiana is still there. We also learn that Indiana and Marion had a relationship shortly after Raiders of the Lost Ark and planned to be married, but he left her one week before the wedding. I knew that Shia's character, Mutt Williams, would turn out to be their love child, but wouldn't that seem kind of out line for a single woman in the 1930s? I know she eventually got married, but it wasn't until three months after Mutt (aka Henry Jones III) was born. Shia was a great addition to the cast, but I missed John Rhys-Davies (who played Sallah, but backed out of this movie due to high salary demands), Sean Connery (aka Indy's dad, Connery declined to come out of retirement for this movie) and Marcus Brody (who was portrayed by Denholm Elliot, who passed away in 1992). There are a few references to Henry Jones, Sr. and Marcus Brody in the film, though, and a few pleasant reminders of the previous films. Of course, the best part was seeing Harrison Ford return as Indiana Jones and seeing him in kick Soviet ass in the 1950s-Cold War era of America. However, it didn't feel quite like an Indy film... The Bad - I felt that there wasn't enough archaeology and treasure hunting scenes as much as there were action sequences and dialogue. The script wasn't exactly well written, with a lot of outrageous and improbable stunts (even by Indy standards) and random CGI (gophers, really?). My biggest gripe was the aliens, especially in the last few minutes of the movie. I felt like I was watching Close Encounters of the Third Kind or ET 2, not Indiana Jones.
spazzydana spazzydana 7 years
adva there is one snake, but its not dangerous or anything. anyway, that movie was awesome but i agree the whole alien thing threw me off
lickety-split lickety-split 7 years
i saw this today and enjoyed it. kate blanchett was amazing in her part. if she wasn't good she would have pulled the whole movie down. the others were good too, but she had a bigger hook to pull off. i saw it early (9:15 a.m.) and there were only a dozen of us in the theater. if you can see it early tomorrow you might avoid the crowds :)
PollyPrissyPants PollyPrissyPants 7 years
Just came back from seeing it. I was worried about it before going, due to what I thought were some pretty bad trailers. But I enjoyed it! It's a good, old-fashioned adventure movie - exactly what an Indy movie should be. I thought those elements at the end also seemed out of place, but it didn't sink the movie for me. Also? Liked Shia a lot more than I thought I would. But the best part for me? Was Harrison as Indy...I didn't realise how much I'd missed seeing that character until the movie began. Welcome back, Indy - I missed ya!
Advah Advah 7 years
^Manateemedia, why did you not like it? :) Big question: is there any snake in the movie? Cause I have a bad phobia, and if there's a snake scene I'll have to give the film a miss. :( (Harry Potter was rough for me)
manateemedia manateemedia 7 years
What a load of bull. You guys did NOT see this movie. You wrote up a fake review so you could get higher rankings in Google. The movie sucked by the way. Anyone reading your review will know you didn't see it.
balubyu balubyu 7 years
GO SEE THIS MOVIE!! Just saw it last night in Germany and IT ROCKS! I'm a big fan of Mr Indiana Jones, but this movie made me remember why I fell in love with this franchise when I was a kid. Harrison Ford rocked in his role again, the take on him aging is wonderful and Shia is a force-to-be-reckoned with!
Jenny86 Jenny86 7 years
I can't wait to watch it!
babygal14 babygal14 7 years
I can't wait to see it, any movie with shia labeoufi'm gonna watch, he is such a good actor, this is gonna be the movie of the summer!!!
californiagirlx7 californiagirlx7 7 years
Yay I can't wait to see this! I know you gave it a good review, but I have really high expectations so I'm gonna try not to be too disappointed if it doesn't live up to them.
spazzydana spazzydana 7 years
I hope you know i'm only seeing this for shia lebeuf
Bookish Bookish 7 years
Indiana Jones was my first crush... I am so going to see this movie!
katie_c katie_c 7 years
i just bought my tickets for friday night. can't wait!
beingtazim beingtazim 7 years
looks like a great movie to see with my family! i know my dad will like it a lot - and i seriously love this franchise!
ehadams ehadams 7 years
I'm glad to see a good review of this. All the other ones I read bashed it- and I think (after reading them) they missed the entire point of the Indiana Jones movies. I expect they will slaughter the Sex & the City movie for the same reason.
Juicylemon Juicylemon 7 years
That's great news , Buzz! I believe you're review pretty sums up why the Indy movies are well-liked. I mean you're review could apply to the whole series in general. So it's no surprise that people expect to enjoy the last one no matter what :)
Phasekitty Phasekitty 7 years
Even though I'm also not invested in the franchise, I thought it was really fun, even if a little cheesy. Great review, Buzz! :)
Renees3 Renees3 7 years
Oooooh I can't wait to see this!! Yay yay yay
jspeed jspeed 7 years
I CAN'T WAIT!!! I've already pre-ordered tickets for tomorrow night. I'm so glad to hear that it doesn't disappoint. I really enjoyed the 4th Die Hard movie (despite the crazy effects towards the end) and I'm WAY more excited about this. It's like being a kid again :)
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