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

Famed archaeologist/adventurer Dr. Henry “Indiana” Jones is called back into action when he becomes entangled in a Soviet plot to uncover the secret behind mysterious artifacts known as the Crystal Skulls. “Well, lets just start with, I really disliked this film. For any regular blog followers, you may know that I am a huge fan of the original three Indiana Jones films and personally the third one is my favorite. And with all of the good things within Last Crusade, was the ending. It managed to tie up everything and left the audience happy in the knowledge that Harrison Ford, Sean Connery, John Rhys-Davies and Denholm Elliot where riding of into the sunset triumphantly ending the trilogy. But then a fourth one came out… So about 25 minutes in, it is kind of like how I would imagine Toy Story 3 would have been like, had they told every one that somewhere in between Toy Story 2 and Toy Story 3, all the toys had died. So there’s no Marcus Brody (due to the fact that he is dead in real life 1922-1992), but the annoying thing is, is that he was clearly written into the script. But instead of the late great Denholm Elliot we have Jim Broadbent. I have nothing against Jim Broadbent (I mean, who could forget ‘Like a Virgin’) but, why Lucas and Spielberg expect us to care about a character we’ve known for about 2 minutes is beyond me. So when Broadbent gives a deep meaningful look into the camera and the orchestra plays in the background and he says “I resigned”. You’re just like, so what? You’re not Denholm Elliot. And then there’s Sean Connery, who is revealed as dead (only in the film, he retired in reality after League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (who can blame him).  But then John Rhys-Davies’s character doesn’t even get a mention, so I presume he’s sitting back in Egypt eating dates, happy in the knoledge that he is not in this movie. Another thing that I think it’s missing from the original three, other than that edge and charm that the original three had. I mean, the original three were all PG’s, but somehow pack more of a punch and have a better edge to them than this 12 certificate Indy has. As well as the classic Indy Movie charm and Edge, they are also missing a lack of CGI. If that makes sense? See, what worked really well about the original three was that they were limited by time, money or resources to an extent and had to make changes from the original storyboards and redraft them, for instance there’s the classic Indy versus Swordsman scene in Raiders, which was cut from an elaborate fight scene into something a lot shorter. And cuts were made to the rail cart scene in Temple of Doom and the Circus train scene from Crusades. However with this one, they were capable of doing anything, and you can tell. Straight away, it is literally, ‘okay everyone we’ve got computer technology now and we are gonna use it for every shot for the rest of the film!” Which just ruins it. So in the end it turns out it’s aliens (don’t moan about spoilers, you shouldn’t see the film any way). So that idea itself is a little bit like, Indiana Jones is an archaeologist, don’t force feed us this rubbish that Aztec tribes worshiped alien gods. But with this one as well, the supernatural element is addressed straight away almost. With Raiders it wasn’t address until about an hour in, Temple of Doom is was about 45 minutes in and with Crusades it was pretty much, at the very end of the movie. With this it’s like 5-10 minutes in. Which is stupid. Not because it’s in so early but, the way in which it is executed so early. But I don’t think it’s these paranormal aspects that annoy me, it’s the improbable realism that really annoys. I mean. Yes. Indiana Jones strapping himself to a para-scope on a submarine is a little far fetched, but it is passable, here you have Shia Lebouf (one of the worst popular actors to date) swinging with monkeys and most of the cast falling down three water falls, surviving killer ants and Brody’s statue getting dicapitated! Snakes: Okay, Bugs: Alright, Rats: Fine by me, Ants: What the hell Lucas? But seriously the monkey scene is so laughably bad that I would have actually laughed if I wasn’t so in shock of what they were doing with one of my favorite franchises, I mean I thought that maybe even Karen Allen back as Marion would redeem part of the tragedy that is Crystal Skull, but even Karen Allen and Harrison Ford’s romance is unexciting, which is so annoying. Lucas and Spielberg could have had something great here… So I mentioned Shia Lebouf being rubbish. Well he is, he can genuinely only play one character, and I hate that character, he hasn’t done anything good since Even Stevens, or maybe Holes, it’s all kinds of insulting to see him dressed as Marlon Brando (even if the Wild One isn’t very good but whoever thought, (George Lucas), that Lebouf is a modern Brando has got something seriously wrong. The usually good Cate Blanchett is devastating as she almost tries to maintain a Russian accent thorough out the film, surprisingly enough, Ray Winstone is pretty good, but he is pretty much playing the Jonathon role from the Mummy film’s played better by John Hannah. Having said that, this is pretty much what it is, it is Indiana Jones directed by Steven Sommers in Mummy Returns mode. I mean whoever thought that everything being sucked into the bottom of a pyramid in that film clearly had something to do with this. I think if you piled together all the moments were I was impressed, I think you’d get maybe 10 seconds or so of footage, if that. It’s not like George Lucas decided to stop eating money out of his Jar Jar Binks shaped cereal bowl and thought: ‘I’ve already crapped all over Star Wars, lets do an even bigger crap on Indiana Jones and instead of trying to ruin it across three movies, we’ll just ruin it with one. It’s not as soul crushingly bad as the Star Wars prequels but it ain’t half crap” F.O.T.M. This film doesn’t jump the shark. It swings with the monkeys. The worst, or at least, my very least favorite film of all time. Irredeemable, do your self a favor and just watch the original three back to back, four times in a row and you would only have spent 24 hours watching Indiana Jones. A heck of a better way to spend time than watching this 2 hour trash. I deny that this film even exists. Best Line in the Film: I can tell you the worst- “Where’d they go? Space or something?“- Harrison Ford “No. To the space between spaces” – John Hurt What the Fuck does that mean George Lucas!? Feel free to check a positive Indy Reviews, by clicking Indiana Jones


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