Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008) Review
Starring: Harrison Ford, Cate Blanchett, Karen Allen, Shia LaBeouf
Directed by: Steven Spielberg
Screenplay written by: David Koepp and George Lucas
Tagline: In May, the adventure continues.
Raiders Of The Lost Art
In A Nutshell
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.
Harrison Ford is good enough, but he simply can't carry this ridiculous plot on his sheer star power. No one could. This movie is just plain silly. Harrison acts well enough and at times flashes his old demeanor, but it seemed to me that his constant monotone was much drier and more boring than ever before.
Fat & Gristle
Terrible plot, too many characters leading to lack of development, desperate introduction of a young sidekick, and the biggest mistake of all: allowing the world of Indiana Jones to cross over from fiction to science-fiction. Just as they did in the second generation of Star Wars Movies, Spielberg and Lucas have badly damaged a film Icon.
This movie included aliens... yes, you are reading correctly... Aliens from out of space. The ending of this movie is so stupid it reminded me of a really bad X Files episode.
Harrison Ford has gotten old and tired, which mainly was evident in his facial expressiveness and dialogue as his energy level simply wasn't there, and the voice reflected it; very monotone, hardly 'engaged' with his peers on screen. Ford is not the charismatic man we knew back when he was Han Solo.
Karen Allen reprises her role as Marion Ravenwood, only now she looks like Joan Collins without the wig and the botox. That is to say she looks old.
The spirit of the first three movies are gone as one of the things that made the original Indy films fun and even "The Mummy" was the scenes when the heroes fail or get caught in a mess and the facial expression they would show after were priceless as they look totally dumbfounded compared to here where our heroes can do no wrong and get everything right. The original Indy movies showed a human side to Indiana Jones, but in this movie, he's basically Superman. Speaking of which, Indy looks way too glossy and clean here compared to the originals where he was down and dirty and wasn't afraid to get his hands dirty.
Indy solving puzzles with "National Treasure" like ridiculousness.
Indy survives an atomic rocket attack, in a refrigerator!
This film seemed averse to having close-ups. While this allowed the whole gang to stay on camera more often it meant that each actor was left with less space to characterize themselves.
Is this movie science fiction? Action adventure? A pseudo-documentary on archeology? A statement about UFOs? This movie was just muddled as it had no idea on which direction to go for as this movie is part National Treasure, part ET, part Close Encounters of the Third Kind and part The Mummy.
Excessive use of CGI: I like CGI, but this movie really overused it. Finding a scene without CGI is a rather tough task here.
The dialog seems little more than to act as a narration to explain what happened, what is currently happening and what will happen in the near future. It does not develop the characters or the plot.
Lots of effort to make a blockbuster but with little to show for it except lots and lots of ludicrous special effects as this is your typical mainstream Hollywood movie. It was a fun movie for the family, but not worthy of sitting next to the original Indy collection.
I'd go **.