Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
Directed by Steven Spielberg
Starring Harrison Ford, Shia LeBeouf, Cate Blanchett, Karen Allen, Ray Winstone, John Hurt, Igor Jijikine, and in a nerd-tacular small role, Neil Flynn, aka the Janitor from Scrubs.
Indiana Jones. It’s whispered in reverence as one of the defining movie franchises of the 1980s. It, too, is a franchise I have fond memories of. My first exposure to Indy was reading the comic book adaptation of Temple of Doom. That led to begging Mom and Dad to rent Raiders of the Lost Ark one night, and the rest is history. Talk of a fourth film had been brewing since I first got online, and when George Lucas started making his prequel Star Wars trilogy, people figured it was a matter of time. And that time…is now. Does it hold up to those fond childhood memories? Or would the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull be another Phantom Menace?
The year is 1957. It’s been 19 years since the Last Crusade, and we’re in the height of the Cold War, the Red Menace, and the Communist witch hunts. After a spectacular opening sequence through Area 51 battling Russian spies, Indiana Jones is accused of being a Communist and given the boot from his university. With a lot of free time now on his hands, Indy is approached by a greaser by the name of Mutt Williams. It seems that Mutt was very close to an old friend of Indy’s, and now that old friend has been abducted by those same Russian spies and is now being held some where in South America. the Russians, you see, want to learn the secrets of the mythical crystal skull and use it to rule the world. Indy and Mutt are then off to the rainforests, to reunite with friends old and new, uncover the secret of the Crystal Skull, battle the Russians, and search for the kingdom from which the crystal skull comes from.
What I Liked
First and foremost, it hits all the right fanboy notes. From music cues, to certain artifacts scattered in the background, and they even remember to give props to the Young Indiana Jones Chronicles. (And there’s even appropriate use of a Star Wars catchphrase at a certain point.) There’s some truly spectacular action sequences, and Harrison Ford is still Indy. He hasn’t changed at all. And Mutt is a nice addition, and I’m looking forward to more of his adventures if that’s where this leads.
What I Didn’t Like
The whole premise behind the crystal skulls seemed a little too…science fiction for Indiana Jones. Some of the comic relief came across as too cheesy rather than funny, and it just didn’t feel as epic as the original trilogy.
A lot of fun…a worthy addition to the Indiana Jones canon.