Weekend at the Movies: Indiana Jones and The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

I love Indiana Jones. I have watched all the movies several times. He is one of those larger than life, Iconic Hollywood characters that have become intrinsic part of Cinema History.

I still remember the first time I saw him – it was the Temple of the Doom, I was 11 years old and it was the first movie I ever watched on one of those brand new, VCRs.

“Fortune and Glory, Kid. Fortune and Glory”

I thought it was one of the most incredible things ever and fell in love with Indy and with Shorty. Later, in 1989, Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade came out and I thought that was a tremendous movie, the best in the trilogy, the perfect ending for a perfect series.

But alas, people wanted more. Indiana Jones 4 has been in the making for almost 20 years. Apparently they were waiting for the perfect script to come along. Rumours appeared now and then but nothing was serious until we heard the Announcement for Indiana Jones and The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, set to be released in 2008. When the first teaser trailer was released I swear I could hear people all over the world celebrating. And I did too. But deep inside, I had my fears.

Could they ever live up to all the expectations of 20 years? Could they bring Indiana Jones back to life successfully? The answer is a resounding NO.

Indiana Jones and The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull or should I say, The Kingdom of Lost Potential is a great big pile of Rubbish.

Oh. The pain, the pain.

The movie is set in 1957, a few years after the Last Crusade. Indiana Jones is still a part-time teacher, part-time archaeological treasure hunter. It starts with Indy in trouble – he has been taken by the villains – not the Nazis anymore, it is the Cold War, so the Russians are the enemy now – to an enormous storehouse (which die-hard fans will remember from Raiders of the Lost Ark) to help retrieve a hidden treasure but Indy has other ideas. Mayhem follows.

The opening scene is the one we all have seen in the trailer and it works, it is a action good scene and a good re-introduction to the hero. But we only get the feeling that Indy is back a few moments later when he is in the classroom, wearing the good old Tweed Suit. Oh, Hello Indy, there you are. I missed thee.

To the ones worried that Harrison Ford is too old for the part – he is. But that is not a problem at all. He can still deliver, he IS Indiana Jones. His delivery is still spot on. He can still hold the Indiana Jones Candle.

So Ana, do tell us, if Harrison Ford is still Indy, if the action sequences are good, how come you say this is a Huge Pile of Rubbish.

To which I reply: the script, man. The Script is the worst I have seen in YEARS. Whoever told Steven Spielberg that is was the Script they had been waiting for, should be condemned to script hell. The plot was ridiculous, the dialogue cringe worthy, not one of the jokes worked. I repeat: the pain, the pain. Or should I say , the horror, the horror.

“No, you can not play Han Solo again. Forget about it”
What makes it even worse is that they had everything going for them. Harrison Ford playing the part, some cool action sequences , specially the car chases (well, it is Steven Spielberg after all), some of the secondary characters were cool (more on that later) and they managed to somehow make it look and feel like an authentic 80’s Indiana Jones’ movie. Add to that, the cool come back of the Creepy Crawlies, The Skeletons, The Cob Webs and the Snakes and you had a potential gold mine.

But they were minor things amongst the stupid plot which never managed to engage me: they are after the some long lost city – the famous Eldorado – in the jungles of Peru where supposedly there was a city made of gold and the Crystal Skull is the key to open it. So far so good, but the development of the story is poorly done with chopped up scenes here and there and we never get that feeling that we had in the previous movies, that tingle of excitement every time Indy found a new clue to the mystery. Remember that feeling? Not here. Nada.
If you don’t want to know more, avert your eyes right now for I have the urge to spoil:

The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull was founded by the Indians who had been visited by dum dum dum dum: ALIENS!!!!!! WTF? Really? The aliens’ skeletons were waiting for the Crystal Skull to be returned so they could come back to LIFE and fly away in their flying saucer – you heard me right. NO, I did not watch the X-Files 2 by mistake.

Man, the whole finale was just so ridiculous and so over the top. I wanted to scratch my eyes out. The lamest line ever has got to be “The treasure was knowledge” .

Cate Blanchett character was so pathetic. I have nothing against cartoonish villains – it worked before. But there is a limit. Again, not her fault, the lines she was given were just argh.

“I vant knowleeeeeeeeeedge”

And the worst? Indiana Jones gets married to Marion – Teh Marion from the Lost Ark movie. People, Indiana Jones does NOT get married. And if he does, let it be away from the screen. Please.

Was there anything else I wanted to say. Hell YES: I have only two more words to add: Mutt Williams –Best. Hero. Name .Ever. He is dum dum dum (sorry) Indy’s SON and the best thing in the movie. Shia Lebeouf rocks and he has some cool scenes with Indy and I would not mind seeing more of him.

In the end, a fiesta de crapola which had Dear Partner blaming ME for the rest of evening : “ You geeks couldn’t let it lie could you? Did you have to ask for more? It should have ended with that last scene in the Last Crusade – riding into sunset”

I will just pretend the Crystal Skull never happened.


  • ThRiNiDiR
    May 24, 2008 at 2:12 am

    hehe 🙂

    I was nonplussed as well.

  • Katie(babs)
    May 24, 2008 at 6:49 am

    OH NO!! I was so excited for this and was going to see it this weekend! The Indiana Jones movie were the best. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!
    Now I don’t know what to do!!

  • Tracy
    May 24, 2008 at 8:17 am

    I still love Indy and he will remain in my hut – no matter how bad the movie was! lol

  • ciaralira
    May 24, 2008 at 9:09 am

    OH NOESSSS!!!!! But I love Indy!!! And I love Marion! I have to see the movie because it is Indy and I adore him, even though I have been suitably warned. Sadness.

  • Kristie (J)
    May 25, 2008 at 7:26 am

    It’s my sisters birthday later this week so we are celebrating by dinner and a movie – her pick of both – and I have a feeling this is the one she is going to want to see *sigh*

  • Josette
    May 25, 2008 at 8:26 am

    What a funny review!

    Wow, they waited 20 whole years to come up with a movie that’s bound to be a flop anyway?

    I’ve watched the previous 3 Indiana Jones movies and like most people said, they are fantastic and really funny. Haven’t watched the latest one yet but judging from your review and my ‘instincts’, I don’t think it’d have a positive effect on me.

  • Thea
    May 25, 2008 at 4:41 pm

    Ok…I saw this one today, and I actually really liked it! It wasn’t the best-ever-amazing Indy movie, but I thought it had all the elements that I loved in the prior movies, excellent cinematography, wonderful over the top ridiculousness, humor, action…everything I expected! 🙂

    Sure there was a whole bunch of cheese, but I didn’t mind at all. I thought it was a great way to come full circle and end the series!

  • Thea
    May 25, 2008 at 4:44 pm

    Oh, and Cate Blanchett was amazing! Wonderful villainess! LOL, Ana, yet again, consensus escapes us.

  • Stacy~
    May 25, 2008 at 5:13 pm

    Ana, I am so totally with you. I didn’t have high hopes, and I’m pretty open-minded, but it sucked.

    Thea, I wish I was in your world right now LOL.

  • Kate
    May 29, 2008 at 11:00 am

    Ok, I’ve finally seen it – so I could finally read your review – and I’m throwing my lot in with Thea here! Was it the best Indy ever? No. Did is suck as much as Ana thought it did? I don’t think so. I’ll admit there was a certain amount of cheese-factor going on – not surprising, since it’s Indiana Jones, let’s be fair. It didn’t have the perfection of Raiders or the gravitas of Last Crusade, it sort of fell more in line with the camp of Temple of Doom (which yes, I liked). And since I’d heard of the crystal skulls legend (yes, it’s out there, not just something Lucas dreamed up) the alien thing was not a surprise to me at all. I thought the movie was more of a happy send-off to Indy, generation two (Harrison) and a bit of a torch-pass to Indy, generation three (Mutt – though please, can we call him something else?) (And of course I’m counting Henry Jones Sr as the first generation…how can you not???) And yes…send us some Shia, Spielberg. I’ll sign up for Indy 5,6, and 7 with Junior Junior on board. I thought he was great.

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