Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull Review

I think Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull was a good movie. Not great--certainly not better than the other three, but still quite good. And certainly not deserving of all the negativity the haters have been spreading. This movie follows a lot of the same formula as the others: it doesn't take itself too seriously (and even goes totally over the top in some spots), and has a great mix of action, humor and an entertaining story.

I went into the movie not expecting to be happy, and Sherree wasn't interested in going at all--there've been a number of mixed reviews, and several downright bad reviews. But really, it's Indiana Jones! How could I miss that? Raiders of the Lost Ark and The Last Crusade are two of my favorite movies, and Temple of Doom is good, too. (Just get the box set.) Even if it was a disappointment, I wanted to see it. Spoilers ahead.

The trailer shows the all-important opening scene with Harrison Ford being pulled out of the car, stumbling to pick up the fedora and becoming Indy.. It's a great introduction to the movie, and re-introduction to a character who's aged a bit and is not the same as when we last saw him. The whole story works to keep him a little older than the previous movies which is really important for making it believable (even touching on Brodie dying), and to allow more action-filled screen time for Shia LaBeouf. (Though, I don't know why he's named "Mutt." Sure, it's a nice similarity that Henry took the name Indiana, but I just don't get it.)

Some great jokes were in the movie. My favorite was after a big fight with some natives, when Mutt asks in disbelief, "you're a teacher" to Indy. "Well, only part time" is the response. And needing to crawl into the lead-lined refrigerator to survive a nuclear blast was a funny scene. In particular, I felt like it mirrored Sean Connery's acting in The Last Crusade when he's trying to blow out the lighter before the room catches on fire (sort of a "like father, like son" moment, I guess).

Early on we learn (or can deduct) that the crystal skull is from an alien. Presumably, as the movie moves along, there will be more to do with aliens. Prior to seeing the movie, the whole "alien" thing concerned me. I suppose dealing with aliens isn't outside of Indiana Jones' arena--after all, if the Ark of the Covenant is real and a knight of the Crusades can live for nearly 1000 years, so are aliens really much of a stretch? But somehow, aliens just didn't seem like a good topic. Happily, through most of the movie they're handled well and I appreciated that things like journeying into ancient ruins was still an essential part of the movie.

Up until now, it was a really enjoyable movie that held itself together well, and held to the rest of the movies well, I think.

But then, Indiana and his posse return the crystal skull to it's rightful location. By now, the viewer learns that the skull is--in some capacity--alive. Well, ok. I can accept that, I guess.

Once the skull is actually placed back on the alien skeleton, the skeleton basically comes to life, the building falls apart and leads to the ancient town/civilization falling apart, to reveal a huge alien spacecraft of some sort. This craft starts flying and disappears into another dimension. See, the aliens aren't from outerspace, they're from another dimension. Oh, yeah, Indy's crew escapes just fine.

That wasn't a bad way to tie the movie together--it was well-executed and interesting. However... it just felt completely unlike anything else from the movie or Indiana Jones' history. Basically, it was the ending to a different movie!

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull is a good addition to the series, and well worth seeing. Aside from the ending, it didn't disappoint. Definitely worth seeing!

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