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A little different for Indiana Jones, but still a solid entry

  • Feb 23, 2010
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Well it's not as good as Raiders of the Lost Ark or The Last Crusade, but Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of Crystal Skull is still better then The Temple of Doom and will stand proud with its predecessors as a solid action flick living up to an American icon. This long awaited final chapter to the story of treasure hunter Harry "Indiana" Jones Jr. may not live up to the greatness which were the first and third entries, but don't let a simple comparison ruin the fun of this fourth movie; on its own merits it still stands well enough on its own two feet, even if it isn't a masterpiece.

The film starts off with a convoy of troops driving down a large road in Nevada while a gang of kids trail behind. The convoy pulls into a military base which is closed for a military test, but little do the guards know that these are actually Soviet KGB agents come to steal the treasures of some old military warehouse, the same one we saw the Ark go into at the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark. Indi is in the trunk of the car. Oh no, what kind of trouble has our hero gotten himself into this time? On the hanger doors of the building a large 51 is painted in black letters. Surly this couldn't be the infamous area 51. Or could it?

Okay, I'll stop right there so not to give away too much of the films premise, but as I said in the title this is a VERY different movie then the kind we're used to seeing for Indiana Jones. Gone are the Nazis and biblical artifacts, here come the Russians and the cold war. One of the things I found very entertaining about this film was the harkening back to the 50's, the cold war red scares, the double agents, the talks of aliens and such, very much like the old films from that time. It really brings to light that this is a different time period then the previous films, this is the beginning of the cold war, and darn it we're going to have some cold war fun. From jet engines, to demonstrators marching down the street with signs saying "better dead then red," this movie really pokes fun at all the scares and worries of that time period. We even get to see the detonation of an atomic bomb in one hilarious sequence of events which involve Indiana climbing into a refrigerator. I'm telling you that is one of the greatest scenes in any Indi film ever.

Now I know what's on everyone's minds, you want to know if Harrison Ford can still pull off his old jump around and whip people routine. Well I'll let you know that, no, there isn't as much action in this film as there is in some of the older ones but what action did make its way into this film is quality stuff. No worries here my friend, Ford is still as good as he was in his prime. Fortunately Ford doesn't have to do all the work in this film, he has some help from Mutt, a new character who ------------ oh, sorry about that, I forgot, you all don't like spoilers. Okay, fine.

I'm pretty sure they wrote his part into the film not because it would make it more interesting (although it does) or that it would deepen the plot (but it still does), I have the sneaky suspicion that he was put in to take the strain off of Fords back. Well no problem because Shia LaBeouf can pull off the action hero pretty well. I've never liked him very much, but here his performance was right on Q, giving us a LOT of comic relief and a healthy dose of action. Oh yeah, the action; well its solid. Three words for you buddy, REALLY BIG ANTS!!! Remember the scene in Raiders where that Nazi got chopped up in the airplane blades? Well this scene is a combination of that and that one scene in the first Mummy movie where the guy got eaten by bugs, only it's a Soviet getting killed and their in the Amazon, not Egypt. From Ford jumping back and forth on moving cars, to LaBeouf showing off his best Tarzan impersonation, the action leaves little to be desired.

So how about negatives? Well, as I said, it's strange, maybe a little too strange for its own good. Why not stick to what we know? I hear Lucas wanted to do something even stranger then this but Spielberg and Ford had to talked him out of it, and at this point I'm really glad they did because there is no telling what he would have done had no one gad been there to knock some sense into him. Maybe that's why his new Star Wars movies were so bad. I know it's an Indiana Jones movie and I have to suspend my belief if I'm going to enjoy it, but please, don't push it. There are also a few inconsistencies in the plot, some characters who are less then believable, and maybe one too many "look at this really cool special effect" type shots, but I'll leave that judgment up to you.

So for all you die hard fans wondering if this new entry will live up to expectations, just go in expecting something slightly better then Temple of Doom but maybe not as good as the two other films and you'll be alright. For everyone else, just sit back and enjoy. This is, after all, an Indiana Jones film.

Replay value; High.
A little different for Indiana Jones, but still a solid entry A little different for Indiana Jones, but still a solid entry A little different for Indiana Jones, but still a solid entry A little different for Indiana Jones, but still a solid entry

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February 24, 2010
I'm a bit stunned with this review, but hey, nice written review anyhow.
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review by . May 02, 2011
You know how The Last Crusade was a step in the right direction for Indiana Jones after the disappointing sequel? Well, this is another step, a re-step if you will in the wrong direction, and easily the worst film in one of the greatest series of all time. This film brings the good old-school action and must have been quite the breath of fresh air at the time it came out, but it's still very disappointing and has very questionable special effects, plus one plot element that ruined the entire …
review by . November 17, 2010
So, based on some reviews I've read and comments I've seen from viewers on TV...apparently INDIANA JONES AND THE KINGDON OF THE CRYSTAL SKULL is supposed to have been a life-changing movie. At least a groundbreaking film sure to vault to "all-time classic" status. Because there sure are a lot of disappointed viewers around.     If, however, you have the more reasonable expectation of a highly-entertaining, highly-implausible action film that hearkens back to the "cliff-hanger" …
review by . May 23, 2008
Had I known then what I know now I would have passed on seeing this movie and settled for a root canal or possibly done my taxes again.    The idea of bringing Indiana Jones back to the big screen is a great one, one that can appeal to both the young and old. However when the rubber hits the road this movie is a disaster. There is zero character development, and the storyline is incredibly lame.    Lucas has done it again, like Star Wars, he has taken a great …
Quick Tip by . July 13, 2010
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WARNING: This review contains spoilers!      After 19 years, Indiana Jones returns to the silver screen in what may be Steven Spielberg's worst film ever (or until now, anyway). Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull is a bust. The screenplay was amateurishly written and the film itself is directed with juvenile enthusiasm. The overall mood of the picture doesn't even feel like that of Indiana Jones, but rather more like National Treasure, The Mummy Returns or …
review by . April 23, 2009
Looking back at my childhood in South London, the fact my parents had no money and worked very hard for very little was tempered by the escape from reality afforded me by film. And as a child, the films that stood out above all else, that revealed another world of possibility and adventure, were Indiana Jones and Star Wars. I've also probably seen The Neverending Story a hundred times too, but the enduring quality of Indiana Jones meant that even last year we dropped $60 on the box trilogy set to …
Quick Tip by . April 01, 2010
Jumped the shark the moment the Indiana Jones survived the nuclear blast.
Quick Tip by . November 19, 2009
Utterly Disappointing attempt by Spielberg! I won't even bother writing a full review for this one...
review by . May 13, 2009
Older, wiser, bolder....and still terrified of snakes - which sets up a good scene, since a large python plays a key role late in the movie. The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull is the fourth (and what I assume will be the last - at least with Harrison Ford holding the torch) in this epic trilogy. We are all aware of the infamous crash at Roswell New Mexico some fifty years ago....well Crystal Skull begins ten years after that. The Russians have taken Dr. Jones to Hangar 51 and force him to reveal …
About the reviewer
Jonathan J.D. Lane ()
Ranked #118
I am a member of the US Air Force and presently serve overseas at RAF Mildenhall about three hours north of London. I grew up in Pappilion Nebraska and Crestview Florida, but since joining the Air Force … more
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Nearly 20 years after riding his last Crusade, Harrison Ford makes a welcome return as archaeologist/relic hunter Indiana Jones inIndiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, an action-packed fourth installment that's, in a nutshell, less memorable than the first three but great nostalgia for fans of the series. Producer George Lucas and screenwriter David Koepp (War of the Worlds) set the film during the cold war, as the Soviets--replacing Nazis as Indy's villains of choice and led by a sword-wielding Cate Blanchett with black bob and sunglasses--are in pursuit of a crystal skull, which has mystical powers related to a city of gold. After escaping from them in a spectacular opening action sequence, Indy is coerced to head to Peru at the behest of a young greaser (Shia LaBeouf) whose friend--and Indy's colleague--Professor Oxley (John Hurt) has been captured for his knowledge of the skull's whereabouts. Whatever secrets the skull holds are tertiary; its reveal is the weakest part of the movie, as the CGI effects that inevitably accompany it feel jarring next to the boulder-rolling world of Indy audiences knew and loved. There's plenty of comedy, delightful stunts--ants play a deadly role here--and the return ofRaiderslove interest Karen Allen as Marion Ravenwood, once shrill but now softened, giving her ex-love bemused glances and eye-rolls as he huffs his way to save the day. Which brings us to Ford: bullwhip still in hand, he's a little ...
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Director: Steven Spielberg
Genre: Action, Adventure
Release Date: May 22, 2008
MPAA Rating: PG-13
DVD Release Date: October 14, 2008
Runtime: 122 minutes
Studio: Paramount
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