Betsy Speicher

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008)

Rate this movie   16 votes

  1. 1. Artistic Merit

    • 10
      1
    • 9
      1
    • 8
      6
    • 7
      2
    • 6
      3
    • 5
      2
    • 4
      1
    • 3
      0
    • 2
      0
    • 1
      0
    • 0
      0
  2. 2. Sense of Life or Personal Value

    • 10
      1
    • 9
      3
    • 8
      3
    • 7
      5
    • 6
      3
    • 5
      1
    • 4
      0
    • 3
      0
    • 2
      0
    • 1
      0
    • 0
      0

Please sign in or register to vote in this poll.

9 posts in this topic

I saw this movie today with my 24 year-old son. Both of us have seen all the previous Indiana Jones films and I expected that the movie would be very well-made and action-packed. I thought that he would like it but what surprised me was how much I liked it.

In additional to all the non-stop derring-do and sly wit that Indiana Jones is noted for, there was unexpected warmth and a very satisfying (to me) ending.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I also thought it was fantastic. Typical Indiana Jones whacky adventure with action, escapes, recapture, escape, recapture, running around...

I found myself laughing and smiling throughout the entire thing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I saw this movie over the weekend, and I thought it was ok. I enjoyed the movie, but I had trouble buying parts of it. I know the movie is not supposed to be realistic, but I couldn't help but think "Give me a break" after a couple scenes. (The monkey-swinging one comes to mind.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I saw this movie over the weekend, and I thought it was ok. I enjoyed the movie, but I had trouble buying parts of it. I know the movie is not supposed to be realistic, but I couldn't help but think "Give me a break" after a couple scenes. (The monkey-swinging one comes to mind.)

Part of the fun of this movie were all the references to other films such as the "American Grafitti" drag race and the "Tarzan" vine-swinging.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've always loved the Indiana Jones movies, but the mystical premise takes some overlooking..."Dr. Jones" is a very fun, confident, heroic character who unfortunately exists in a universe ruled by mysterious, divine forces. I hate stories where a rational character who doesn't believe in that nonsense is shown as naive or "close-minded". Still, there's enough good stuff in these that I can enjoy them despite the serious flaws.

Glad to hear the latest wasn't a letdown.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I saw it the night it opened in a packed theater at midnight -- well-done fun, IMO. If you liked the earlier films I doubt you'll be disappointed. If you didn't like any of the previous films, there's no reason to think that you'll like this one. The ants were the disgusting! Don't expect believability. It's an outlandish story, and no one could do or survive all that. Still, it's just for fun.

I only realized toward the very end of the film that I'd been watching John Hurt all that time. Nice final role (I assume) for Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is a fun movie that bounces along from scene to scene like a rollercoaster. It's lighthearted, funny at times, with lots of action. It's a very good action movie. It's not as good as Raiders or Last Crusade, but definitely better than Temple of Doom.

But there are some big flaws.

---------------SPOILERS-----------------

1. What's lacking is suspense. In Raiders and Last Crusade you had lots of action, but you caught your breath with slower scenes that added drama and suspense. Indy never seems too bothered by the notion of helping the Russians. Point a gun at him, and he quickly helps them. What happened to the Indy in Last Crusade who wouldn't help the Nazis until they shot his father?

2. The conflicting backdrops (for want of a better term) were numerous. The contrast of Indy's indelible 40's character in the backdrop of mid-50s atomic testing took me out of the movie. The same thing happened with the UFO nonsense; instead of buying into a tiny bit of mythology (the holy grail, the ark of the covenant) we're thrown head over heels into the world of alien folklore, touching on many different ideas. As Betsy mentioned there were multiple references to other movies, such as Brando's biker look from The Wild One. Then there's a whole buildup about McCartyhism drumming Indy out of his job -- only to see his job miraculously restored at the end. The FBI is painted as bad guys, sense they don't trust Indy. So is this a political movie as well? If so, is the point that the KGB and the FBI are indistinguishable? It's not clear, other than the FBI is not to be trusted.

3. Lack of character development. Not one character undergoes transformation as a result of the adventure. Does Indy change as a result of learning he has a son? Does his son change as a result of discovering who his father is? In the scope of the story, it's a minor point played for laughs, and obvious ones, too. Is Indy in love with Marion? He must be since they married in the end, but how is the passion established? If you haven't seen the first movie, the relationship wouldn't make much sense. Maybe he married her because he felt obligated to raise his son -- but wait, he's what, 18 and maybe off to college?

4. I didn't walk away with a clear sense of Indy's heroism. Sure, he's a tough guy. But what's he fighting for or against? Is he on the right side? That's not made clear. I like that the Soviets are made to be the bad guys, but they're cartoons with bad accents. Is Indy a good guy in this movie just because he fights the Soviets? That doesn't establish him as a hero, since even the Nazis fought them.

------------------------------------

So there are a lot of problems, but if you can ignore all of that, there's a lot of fun here. Just don't think too much about it. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I didn't go into the theater expecting much. This is a sequel 19 years after the last installment by two filmmakers who have seen their better days (Speilberg and Lucas). Speilberg saw his last good day in E.T., Lucas can still show a good spot here and there like The Rolling Stones. Personally I've always hated Speilberg as a movie maker, but Indiana Jones is Lucas' creation, one that Speilberg has always been incapable of. For that I give Lucas credit for my two childhood heroes, and Speilberg for not messing one of them up too much.

I suspect that the light treatment of the communists comes from the ambiguity of the filmmakers' premises. It boils down to the Nazis are obviously bad guys, the communists were simply people we were in disagreement with. Kind of akin to the modern day equivocation of Islamic terrorists and Israeli self-defense.

To answer some of Ed from OC criticisms.

I agree with #1. Too soft on the commies, and Jones was too easily persuaded to help them. Maybe this was simply lazy writing.

#2. Although it obviously had to be later in history (50's or 60's) unless they were going to airbrush every frame Harrison Ford was in, I think the movie places too much emphasis on the different time period. In the first three we are given the era only through inference; the Nazis, the fedora, the cars, and the little sub-title that would say South America 1937. But there wasn't an overt attempt to give the typical Ron Howard time stamp with the music, the malt shop, the hair etc. We know it's later and we already know he's older, we don't need cheesy exposition to get it. We don't need a half an hour of Indiana Jones gets caught in American Graffiti.

I actually did like the alien bit. I found it easier to swallow than the Nazis opening the talk box to God and him cutting everyone down. A tiny bit of mythology? It's a bigger sandwich than that!

#3 Character development? Man, Speilberg and Lucas haven't done that for decades! But seriously, this is part of the problem addressed in his first criticism. They are simply not allowed to stop for a second. Everything is patched together in arguments shouted from the back of a truck, and we are supposed to infer the rest from the first movie.

#4 Again, I think they made the same mistake of asking us to infer it from the earlier movies. There is no why to most of the actions he takes. Add to that the fact that the villains are at best painted gray.

While they haven't lost the ability to thrill, these two filmmakers have certainly lost the ability to cohesively plot and establish character. They seem to function in a world of movie devices and visual cues with no reference to human motivations except on the most obvious of levels.

That said, if you take your memory of the first three movies with you, and just go to enjoy a spectacle - it is enjoyable.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites