Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull Review

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The family headed out as a group to see the latest installment of the Indiana Jones story entitled Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

What a mouthful that one is.

Indiana Jones Movie PosterFirst, I have to admit, that I have not been a fan of this series. I thought the first one was over-the-top and entirely unbelievable. It was just an effects movie for the sake of effects and while my view of it has softened over time, I still don’t think too much of it. The second one is considered the weakest one and yet I kind of favored it over the first even though I didn’t like it all that much either. The third movie I did enjoy. Sean Connery really made the movie.

This one pretty much fell entirely flat for me. I see it as no better than any of the others in the series and really wonder what the hell George Lucas was thinking. I still find it hard to believe people go for these kinds of movies. His dialogue is always hideous and the stories are continually full of plot holes big enough to drive a tank through them.

Harrison Ford did a better job with this than I really thought he’d be able to do. It’s very much time for him to be more in the Sean Connery role than in the lead here. Cate Blanchett, as much as I love her in most things, was dull. I saw one reference to her role coming out like Natasha from Bullwinkle fame and I have to agree. She was pretty lifeless, a caricature and just not memorable overall. It was nice to see Karen Allen again but it seems she was written in as an afterthought. She gets a couple goofy lines and most of them are entirely predictable. That’s about it for her. I like Shia LeBeouf generally but not here at all. First there’s his big entrance where they wanted to get him looking like Marlon Brando for some unknown and completely distracting reason. Second, he just wasn’t right for the part in my view. This is Indy’s kid? He’s the one Lucas has suggested can take over the franchise assuming it moves forward? I just don’t see it. I’m sure he was honored to get chosen for this role but I really wish he turned it down. It made him look ridiculous.

And what the heck was the deal with John Hurt? Does he really need the money that badly that he’d agree to walk around like a raving lunatic for nine-tenths of the movie? Then there’s Ray Winstone who I absolutely love, but again, felt he should have skipped this one. His character is so predictable it’s a waste of paper to have bothered to script him in. We’re supposed to buy that he and Indy has some sort of significant history that has bonded them as friends but it just doesn’t work. We don’t care and we’re not surprised.

The story is a complete mess and entirely forgettable. In typical Lucas fashion there are questions. Oh, so many. For starters, how is it that human protectors managed to sit dormant, locked in stone seemingly forever, only to materialize magically through thick rock at the first sign of Indy? Even more confusing is that they point out others had been there before and yet the rock faces were clearly undisturbed for a millenia before this point. Don’t dig too deep or you keep running into these issues.

Then there’s the so-called crystal skull that looked anything but crystal. When Jones pulls it from its hiding spot for the first time I thought, “That’s the focus of the movie? A plastic toy skull?” It looks like a clear plastic skull with aluminum foil crunched up inside it. What’s more is that it’s supposed to be so magnetized that it pulls metal from all around it, except only every so often, when the plot seemed to need it to do so. I still can’t really tell you what the movie was about, other than making money for those involved.

For me the best thing about this movie experience was that I didn’t have any recurrence of last week’s shenanigans with brainless twits texting or taking calls. Of course it helped that we saw the movie at 11am when only about a third of the theater was full.

At least it looks like our pickings should improve dramatically over the coming weeks. The previews continue to look more impressive than the current options.

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