SEB 30 Second Movie Review: “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull”

We went and saw the latest Indiana Jones movie yesterday and I had low expectations because of some of the reviews I’d been reading from around the web. The film was actually more enjoyable than I had expected, but it helps if you keep in mind that realism has never been a strong point in any Indiana Jones film. There’s a lot of stuff that happens in this film that strains the suspension of disbelief so far beyond the breaking point that you’ll sprain your brain if you think about it too hard, so just switch off and let it wash over you and you should have a good time.

The rest of this review will contain some potential spoilers so stop reading now if you don’t want to know anything more about the plot.

Still with me? OK, the one plot point that everyone pretty much already knows going into this film is that it does involve aliens and for some reason a lot of folks are having conniption fits as a result. Personally I’m not sure what the big deal is. When you consider that the original films are set in the 40’s and were homages to films of that era then it makes perfect sense that the new film which is set in the 50’s when movies went UFO crazy would feature aliens as a plot point. Is it really that much harder to believe that Indy finds a buried space ship over him finding the Ark of the Covenant which has the power to melt Nazi faces?

No, the bit of the movie that was almost too much for me to bear, and this is a spoiler so here’s another warning, is when Indy is trying to make his escape from the Russians at Area 51 and ends up stumbling into a fake town set up for a nuclear bomb test which is just about to take place. He survives the nuclear blast by climbing into a lead lined refrigerator which is thrown by the blast quite a few miles away thus ensuring that Indy is easily decontaminated by the Feds when they pick him up.  Never mind that the flight he takes and the landing would’ve resulted in jellied Indy plastered all over the inside of that fridge.

Also it appears that monkeys respond to hairstyles as a whole bunch of them, upon being startled by Mutt—Indy’s teen aged greaser son—when he ends up caught up in some vines during a jungle chase sequence, decide to join in on the fight against the evil Russians for no reason other than Mutt’s hairstyle makes him look kinda like the monkeys.

But what the hell, it’s an Indiana Jones movie and the series has always had lots of silly and implausible nonsense. So why should this one be any different? The folks out there claiming Lucas and Spielberg have “raped the corpse of their childhood” would probably do well to watch the first three films again with a more critical eye. It was fun seeing Indy in action again and I thought the whole alien plot was handled in a fashion that fit into the franchise just fine. There was even a hint that perhaps Shia LaBeouf, who plays Mutt, might take over the torch in future Indy films, which isn’t as bad an idea as you might think once you see him in action.

10 thoughts on “SEB 30 Second Movie Review: “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull”

  1. I forgot to mention in the review that while this latest movie isn’t my favorite Indy film, I did like it better than Indy 2.

  2. The point was always unbelievable escapes.  Spielberg was inspired by the Saturday Morning adventures at cinemas- each week a cliff hanger the hero couldn’t possible survive, but the reshot link in the next weeks episode relied on a weeks memory amoung the kids. “Oh he was in the DINING car when the engine went over the cliff”.  Take it for what it is.

  3. SEB,
    I saw the new one on Friday and liked it.  I am not a Shia fan but I admit he did a good job here.
    I also agree that 2 is the… least enjoyable, for me, probably because of Kate Capshaw.  Yes, she is supposed to be a fish out of water but, damn, is she annoying.

  4. Never mind that the flight he takes and the landing would’ve resulted in jellied Indy plastered all over the inside of that fridge.

    Jellied Indy is exactly what I was thinking when he rolled out of that fridge too.  However, there is also the other small matter of the fridge apparently being resistant to temperatures of between 5,000 and 1,000,000 degrees centigrade depending on where it was in relation to ground zero. I figured it must have been special high heat resistant lead.

  5. The problem with the movie was not that it was bad (okay, it was that too), but rather that it was so utterly forgettable.

  6. Its no wonder Lucas wanted to keep the plot a strict secret until the last second. If people knew ahead of time how stupid the story is they would never go see it!

    Hopefully this is the LAST film Lucas makes, he is obviously out of ideas and talent.

    Back to normal Moloch service: I’d never watch another IJ movie if jew boy LaBeouf took over. Its bad enough that Spielberg directed the movie.

  7. Ingolfson, I disagree with your suggestion that the movie is bad or all that forgettable. It’s not the greatest movie I’ve ever seen by a long shot, but it’s no worse than any of the first three movies and, as I’ve already said, better than at least one of them. Did it enthrall me the way the first movie did? No, but then I’m 40 years old now and I was only 13 when the first one came out. I don’t feel like I wasted money seeing it in the theater and there’s not a lot of movies I say that about.

    When I bought the original Star Wars trilogy on DVD a couple of years back and sat down to watch them I was shocked at how cheesy they seemed to me. It had been years since I watched those movies and looking at them through adult eyes I saw just how ridiculous they were. I still love them, but I no longer consider them the pinnacle of sci-fi that I once did.

  8. Saw this movie the day it opened (we played hooky from work to see the cheaper matinée without the hordes of kids … ) and it was fun. A lot of fun.

    I loved seeing the scenes set in New Haven only because I love seeing movies set in places I know. Wasn’t too crazy about Shia whatever—he doesn’t really seem like the rugged adventurer type, but maybe there’s some appeal to adolescent girls there that escapes my almost-a-geezer eyes.

    You know, the fridge part didn’t bug me nearly as much as the scene in the fake subdivision did: there was no water running in the kitchen, which is believable, but there was water spraying outside from the hose and I think a sprinkler was going. There is NO WAY water would be wasted like this since it would’ve had to have been transported to the middle of the desert and pumped. So I knew right then and there to just go with the flow and stop analyzing.

    I still like the first one the best.

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