“Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” is Moviegoer Pleasant and Hissssstorically Cinematic

Genres: Action/Adventure and Sequel
Running Time: 2 hrs. 3 min.
Release Date: May 22nd, 2008 (wide)
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for adventure violence and scary images.
Distributors: Paramount Pictures

Director: Steven Spielberg

JJ Rating: B+

Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford) has returned and it’s 1957. He is brought to Area 51 by Irina Spalko (Cate Blanchett) a Communist looking for a crystal skull. Then the adventure begins. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

I think it is very important to look at the scene with Area 51 as a foreshadowing of what is to come at the end of the movie. Also the other three movies did sort of have a mystical or otherworldly feel to it. A man rips hearts out of chest in one. How otherworldly can you get? Save that thought for the end of this Indiana Jones.

After thinking about the other three films and how they were not really grounded in reality I’ve liked this film a little more. I was never a huge Indiana Jones fan. I am just entertained by the entire idea and the fact that Harrison Ford loves this character and claims him to be his favorite character he’s ever played. I think that is rather awesome.

There are cheesy action scenes like the tank in the Last Crusade and that made me like the film. I really enjoyed the fight scenes in this one when they were fighting over the skull across three cars in mid-motion. It was a fun battle of who will get the skull. Bringing back Karen Allen as Marion Ravenwood was a fantastic idea and she was fantastic in the film. Her wit and snarky attitude vs Harrison Ford’s Indiana Jones and his sarcastic dry wit is just classic. It was just as entertaining as their first meeting. Shia LaBeouf played Mutt Williams and of course the son of Indiana. He is just a great young talent that has yet to disappoint in any roll he has had for the past several films he’s been in. This one is no different with his pushy personality and self-centered assuredness. Cate Blanchett plays Irina Spalko and to me she does a great job as she always seems to do with her roles. She creates a whole new character that cannot be mistaken for any character she’s already played.

So the cheesy fight scenes were rocking. What was not rocking? There was far more talk in this film than I had actually been prepared for. It would have been nice if there was far less talk and a bit more action. The entire idea of the crystal skull is a bit weird and explaining it thoroughly is a waste of time. With the amount of explaining that they do have in this film it just doesn’t do it as concise as it should have been.

Other than the car fight scene I liked the banter between the characters and the waterfalls. I really enjoyed how Indiana finally realized what the rhyme was and where they were headed. It is one of my favorite parts of the entire film. LaBeouf has great chemistry with Ford and it is believable and fun. There is a great throw back scene that I don’t want to totally give away but a fear returns in one of the funniest parts of the entire film. I also liked how when Indiana loses his hat they focus on it until he picks it up. It’s a cinematic cool thing to have done.

CGI wise? I hear a lot about how they used a lot of CGI in this film, more so than Steven Spielberg stated there would be. I’m not bothered by CGI in the least. The only time it bothers me when it is over the top apparent and for Indiana Jones I tend to ignore the camp and I ignored the CGI. But I’m not nitpicky like some.

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull is not really a film I’d own. I don’t even own any of the films. I do enjoy watching them but I’m not a huge fan. Will a fan of the previous films enjoy this one? For the most part I believe they’ll have fun as one should when seeing this film. As long as the person sees it with the knowledge that each film was not well grounded in reality then they’ll be alright.

I had fun seeing the film. I enjoyed the campy aspect of it. I still think Iron Man will have the highest gross over all summer movies. Iron Man is still holding strong at third place in the box office. It pulled in a cool $25 million and this is the fourth week. I think Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull will do decent and people will be pleased. They won’t be wowed but they’ll be pleased and for being super late with the fourth installment I think Spielberg and Ford will happily accept.


Holly said...

The boyfriend wants to see this movie badly; in fact, he asks me to see it pretty much every day. I won't budge on not seeing it until he does his time and goes to see Sex and the City with me.

patrick said...

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 Hebrew artifact; the Soviet army does a pretty good job of replacing the Nazis, but the other ingredient...

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