Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

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    I walked out of the cinema and walked up three hills to get home. All the while I was thinking of how I’m going to review this. A lot of the reviews I’ve seen have started with the reviewer stating which is their favourite of the previous three films. Most tend to say Raiders and then it’s a toss up between Temple and Crusade for second place, depending on the reviewers preference for lighter or darker films.

    I’m not going to do that. Instead I will say that the previous three Indy films are old school adventure movies. They have humour, suspense, drama, romance, action, mystery, a few scares and overall, are just fun movies. Kind of like Star Wars actually. And Indy 4 is no different. I have to say though, I both love and hate temple of Doom…that movie gave me nightmares as a kid. But it’s freaky awesome.

    But enough about the previous films, you want to know how bad Shia sucked and what scenes Lucas ruined, right?

    Well there are two downright silly scenes in the movie, one involving an explosion and the other involving monkeys. Trust me, you’ll know them when you see them. But you can’t blame Lucas for that, sorry. He came up with the idea for the film, but it was Koepp who wrote the script and Spielberg who directed. But don’t blame anyone, just watch, have a laugh and move on to the next scene.

    As for Shia…sorry to disappoint you, but he was good in this movie. My problem with Shia is that he always tends to play the hyperactive teenager who is constantly making jokes and acting jittery. He is the live action Jar Jar.

    But in this film, he is great…and I mean that. The guy can act, he’s funny without being over the top and he’s a great addition to the "mythology" along with Short Round, Marion and of course, Henry Sr.

    Karen Allen as Marion Ravenwood has some great lines with Ford and she still has that smile that would make you fall in love with her while knowing if you cross her, she’ll punch you in the face. My only problem was that there wasn’t more of Marion at her spunky best.

    The rest of the cast fill their roles well, Blanchett is a little weird but that’s ok. This is a film set during the Cold War, at the height of paranoia…her character fits well into that idea. Winstone’s character was wasted a little, I felt more could be done with him, and Hurt does a good job with his role.

    and then there’s Ford….Harrison "you can type this s*** but you can’t say it" Ford. He’s older, and Indy is older and when you watch the movie, you know he’s had a life in the last 20 years. He’s had ups and downs, he’s fought in wars, he’s loved and lost and loved again. We might not have seen Indy for a while, but he’s been around. And frankly, when you see Ford for the first time, he is Indiana Jones. Perhaps it would have been good to go into a little more depth with Indy’s advancing years, but this isn’t Rocky Balboa. It’s not a swan song. It’s not Indy saying goodbye. It’s Indy doing what he’s always done. Getting into trouble and getting out of it again.

    He probably doesn’t get hurt as much as he used to, which is a shame…even if he is an old man But a crack of the whip is all you need to be transported back…the an can still do it when he cares enough.

    In fact, it would never happen, but I’d love to see him as an older Han Solo…not a Star Wars sequel trilogy, just a once off movie about Han.

    Indy 4 is a throwback to the B movies of the 50s and you certainly feel that more towards the end. There are certain things that had me geeking out as a fan of certain subject covered in the film. Which reminds me…there’s a lot of archeology talk in this one. Moreso than even Last Crusade. It’s not a bad thing, but it might annoy the Church Of Bay…the ones who don’t follow plots as they find them boring and take up valuable time that could be used for needless action.

    The movie is also a throwback to the 80’s, and specifically, Spielberg’s early career. There’s a Close Encounters feel to some of it, a Jaws feel in some parts, Duel in others and of course, an Indy movie feel to it. It’s nice to see actions shots that are more than half a second long and don’t involve close up shaky cam.

    Spielberg shows you the action, he lets you soak it in and thank God for that, because there is some great action in this film. The likes of Bay and Greengrass need to watch this film…this is how you shoot action. Not with camera tricks, shaky cam and quick cuts ever half second…you just set the camera up and shoot. It’s simple, it works and it’s great.

    The climax of the film will go over the heads of those who weren’t paying attention and the subject matter may divide fans…but it’s no less plausible than the Holy Grail or the Ark of the Covenant (look out for that by the way). But I love that kind of stuff…so there

    As I said at the beginning, Indy movies are fun adventure stories. People have said that Crystal Skull is similar in tone to Last Crusade…it certainly has a lot of humour, but there are elements of Temple of Doom and Raiders there as well.

    It looks like an Indy movie…it acts like an Indy movie…it feels like an Indy movie…and dammit it is an Indy movie. And a damn good one

    It’s not perfect. there are two outrageous scenes and a lot of people won’t like the last 20 minutes, although I did. There were a couple of loose ends left over, probably scenes that were cut for pace. I also think it’s a movie you will have to see twice. There are things you will miss the first time around.

    As a sidenote, it’s nice to have some references and continuity with the Young Indy series and the novels…you may not register them, but they are there.

    Now I suppose I have to give this movie a score…this is going to be a problem. I gave Iron Man an 8 out of 10….on second viewing I think it’s a 7…and to be honest, I liked Indy IV more.

    You’ll notice that I haven’t talked about the plot throughout the review…that’s because I don’t need to. And you don’t need to know what it is. all you need to know is that it’s Indiana Jones…now go have fun. Oh and the score from Williams is great as always.

    In fact, I want another Indy movie…I want another trilogy in fact. More Indiana Jones adventures.

    So…I’m downgrading Iron Man to a 7…

    and I’m giving Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull:


    Go see the movie, then go again with your kids, and just have some fun.


    Im sorry vlad but i gotta disagree here.

    Im a huge Indy fan and i love all three previous films, but what the hell happened here, this isnt indiana Jones, In fact i would go so far as to say that National Treasure 2 feels more Indy than this film. Now I know that all the indiana Jones films always tend to go over the top with the suspension of disbelief but this one just takes the piss! This film is so tacky I almost puked into my popcorn half ways through.

    Okay so there are some great action sequences and there are some great performances (particularly Shia and Hurt, who didn’t have enough of a role) but the script is the worst script I have seen in a long time, which really pisses me off because apparantly Speilberg and lucas spent yonkadoodles looking and waiting for "the right one". One scene in particular, without giving away anything, set in a military base and a fridge was just ridiculous.

    So to keep it short, there are moments in there but thats about it. I’m just hoping that once the initial shock of it fades, it improves on second viewing, which is going to have to wait till dvd for me.

    5.5 out of 10, or 3/5 for me.


    You know, I watched the previous films over the last few weeks on RTE and I felt that Crystal Skull was right up there with them. Yes the fridge scene was over the top…but more over the top than some of Short Rounds antics?

    The subject matter is a little different and a bit weird, but how is it any weirder than melting heads in Raiders, the last third of Temple of Doom, or the rapid aging of Crusade?

    If you watch the first three movies in the cold light of day, they all have problems, whether it’s effects wise, or over the top stunts, monkeys giving a Nazi salute and saying "uh-oh".

    Is the script for Crystal Skull perfect? No…it’s patched together from previous drafts, so there are going to be some problems. And a lot of people will absolutely loathe the the last part of the movie because it’s something so different than the Ark or the Holy Grail.

    But dammit, I loved it and I’m really sorry that you didn’t. It was just a fun movie for me, like the previous films, like Star Wars…and I miss those kinds of movies.

    Avatar photoSeanBreathnach

    Did either of you spot the Wilhelm scream in this Indy movie? I am assuming it was in there!

    Wilhelm Scream

    The Wilhelm Scream is the golden egg of movie nerd-dom, a sound effect used in many movies as a geeky in-joke that passes over most folks’ heads. Originally a stock sound used in a 1953 movie to show a minor character, Private Wilhelm, snuffing it, it was rediscovered by Star Wars sound supremo Ben Burtt, who has sneaked it into every Star Wars and Indiana Jones movie since, leading others to do the same in homage.

    Here’s a compilation –


    I loved this! It was never going to be as good as raiders or the last crusade(My personal favorite) but it still the best big movie I’ve seen in a while. From the paramount logo joke at the start i was into it.I love the era as well.

    I missed Marcus Brody (played by Denholm Elliott who died in 92) though it was weird him not being in it and Sallah. I didn’t really like Ray Winstone’s character. John hurt has been better as well.
    I love 50’s America. I reckon it achieves it’s aim which to is to be two hours of pure escapism and fun.
    8/10- Best blockbuster type film of the year (So-far) Roll on Wall-E!

    I heard the Wilhelm Scream! It’s also used in the Tropic thunder trailer when Ben Stiller throws the boy of the bridge and it’s used in pixar’s lifted. complete nerd I know <img loading=” title=”Very Happy” />


    I have the Frank Darabont draft. <img loading=” title=”Razz” />

    Avatar photoSeanBreathnach
    "Vadakin":1szluejr wrote:
    I have the Frank Darabont draft. <img loading=” title=”Razz” />[/quote:1szluejr]

    Excellent! Have you read it yet?

    "SeanBreathnach":28eezd8u wrote:
    "Vadakin":28eezd8u wrote:
    I have the Frank Darabont draft. <img loading=” title=”Razz” />[/quote:28eezd8u]

    Excellent! Have you read it yet?[/quote:28eezd8u]

    I’ve glanced through it. Haven’t had time to read it in detail yet. But one thing is clear. It’s not the god of all Indy IV scripts that many have claimed it to be. In fact a lot of the stuff in the final film was carried over from this draft. including the "fridge" and the ants.

    There are plenty of silly moments, some of the dialogue is just plain awful and it reads more like a fan script than a draft from a noted screenwriter.

    In fact the only thing that I would say is better than what’s in the final film is that the aliens are more menacing. frankly, I can see why Lucas rejected the draft. There is just as much to complain about in this draft as there is in the final film.

    Avatar photoSeanBreathnach

    Funny how these scripts become the stuff of legend! Like Kevin Smith’s superman script. I have that one and it also reads like a fan script. There are some good ideas in there, but it isn’t the god of Superman scripts either.

    "SeanBreathnach":nmd9o7we wrote:
    Funny how these scripts become the stuff of legend! Like Kevin Smith’s superman script. I have that one and it also reads like a fan script. There are some good ideas in there, but it isn’t the god of Superman scripts either.[/quote:nmd9o7we]

    I have read that too as well as Superman Reborn and Abrams Superman Flyby, which is just plain awful by the way.

    I see people complain about Superman Returns, which isn’t perfect, but looking back at the failed scripts…I think people should consider themselves lucky.


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