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

August 18, 2008
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If you’ve been watching any television or browsing the web, you already know that the hype surrounding Indy’s grand return is overwhelming. As a sizable Indy fan, you can imagine the excitement I’ve had pent up inside. I was still somewhat shocked to see the return of Indiana Jones. Thus, as a fan, I truly wanted to see the film exceed my expectations and please everyone in the process. Well… it almost does.

The opening sequence sets the tone for the time period of the 1950’s quite well, with a decidedly “Happy Days” vibe. It starts relatively slowly, no sight of Jones anywhere. But as soon as he makes a memorable entrance, the film takes off on a rollercoaster of adventure and intrigue. Each explosive action sequence could support its own movie, but they all string together beautifully. Every second of the film is soaked in the Indiana Jones feeling of omnipresent and persistent danger, hectic action, and witty dialogue. On his latest adventure is Mutt Williams, a stereo-typical greaser with a penchant for sword-fighting. He never dwells into annoying territory, so he is a pretty satisfactory side-kick for the intrepid archaeologist. There are also several other colleagues on his journey, who’ll remain mysteries to you readers. But the most influential portion of the film is the monumental twist that is revealed about half way through. Some fans might take this as a severe blow to the franchise, but I took it in stride. As always, giving it away would be no fun. The actual quest is as adventurous as always, the Russians close behind. The latest villain is Irena Spalko, an emotionless interrogator for the Russians. Cate Blanchett’s portrayal is quite ominous. But the actual artifact, the titular Crystal Skull, is a mesmerizing addition to the hall of Jones treasures (The Ark of the Covenant, Sankara Stones, Holy Grail, etc.). However, the simply amazing parts already mentioned are all slightly marred by a lone factor: The actual plot.

To be honest, I was not expecting the finale that was given. Yes, it was a superb closing to the film, but was seemingly out-of-place in the franchise. The only thing I’ll comment is that the power of the artifact and the object it unlocks(slight spoiler) is a bit far-fetched for an Indiana Jones adventure, but not beyond fictional belief. One must just keep an open mind when watching. The very end is, to some, sappy. I think it leaves the series open. And, for those who say Shia LeBouf is going to take over the series, the last few seconds may say otherwise. But, overall, it is a suitable addition to the pantheon of Jones’s greatest escapades.

George Lucas and Steven Spielberg are still at the top of their game. Whether it is the often funny dialogue (several references to Harrison Ford’s/Indiana Jones’s age) or the simply thrill-a-minute action sequences, you’ll probably find something to revere. Personally, this is my favorite film since the last entry, Last Crusade, was released in 1989. For fans, there are clever in-jokes and references to past adventures. For new-comers, there are some of the greatest action scenes in recent film history. Jones, however old he may be in the films, is in top shape condition to still crack the whip. I recommend with all my power that you see this phenomenal film yourself. This just may be the best film of the year (or even farther back), and, as Jones said, “and don’t let anyone tell you different.”

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Zane C. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Sept. 27, 2009 at 12:45 pm
I did not enjoy this movie. I thought Shia Labeouf was miscast. I think the plot was kind of riduclulous especially the double agent bit and the fridge scene. I also did not like the whole alien concept, which only made this movie unrealistic. Yet, the action scenes were pretty good.
Dr.Jones This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Aug. 12, 2010 at 11:56 am
I never understood the unrealistic argument, especially considering that the first three movies were fantastical in the artifacts and action.  Still, I see where you're coming from.
zman1 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Aug. 13, 2010 at 1:28 am
my view on the film changed because this film seemed so unmistakably indy, unlike all the dreadful star wars prequels. i also know how in last crusade, indy falls of a tank and comes back up (just like the fridge) the cgi was not exploited but i think that the alien could've been a puppet like in et, but overall it was nonstop adrenaline, not up to the quality of raiders, but delivers on what you want for a summer blockbuster. not a great movie, but a heck of a lot of fun. 
Dr.Jones This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Aug. 17, 2010 at 5:47 pm
Exactly.  It might be the weakest of the series, but you can still tell it's an Indiana Jones movie and a fantastic adventure picture.
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