Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

Paul Yim Paul Yim: (paulyim-deleteme[at]-deleteme-direman [dot] com) 2008-05-28 22:09:33

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull - Rank C

Today's review is brought to you by guest reviewer Mike Corse of Squishy Comics! Enjoy!

(All opinions are provided solely by Mike Corse and are not necessarily the opinions of Paul Yim or Direman Press or its affiliates and/or subsidiaries. Offer valid through 5/31/2008. Void where prohibited. No purchase necessary except for residents of Canada, Puerto Rico, and Guam.)

Whenever I think of Indiana Jones I think of my childhood: Harrison Ford wearing a cool hat while beating on natives and stealing shit, learning to hate the Nazis (followed later by learning about WWII), and how I need to have my ticket whenever I ride a train or plane. Most importantly he taught me that it's okay to be scared. I mean, if Indy can be afraid of snakes then I shouldn't think less of myself due to my fear of dust bunnies. What did I learn from Kingdom of the Crystal Skull? George Lucas gets high.

The movie started out well enough: Indy getting dicked by some Russian assholes (including a stone cold Cate Blanchett) while still managing to keep his demeanor. The movie was going in the right direction at this point. They also had a few throwback tributes to the original trilogy and, honestly, they did a good job of making Indy seem like an old veteran: slower but still a baaaaaad motherfucker.

So the main hook comes in when Shia LeBeouf comes into play. If you don't know who that is just watch Transformers and look for the annoying kid. His mother got captured and he needs Indy's help to go get her back. Indy then gives us a taste of the legend of the Crystal Skull. I'd give you an idea of what it was if I wasn't near catatonic when they explained it. We end up in South America searching for Mutt's (Shia's) mother. The movie gets back on track by this point since Indy is back in the element we know and love him for: adventuring and treasure seeking goodness. This is promptly followed by the reminder of FUCKING PSYCHIC RUSSIANS AND THE REASON YOU HATED THIS SHIT IN THE FIRST PLACE! The movie is a rollercoaster for me. It goes from old school cheesy "I can fence while standing on the hood of a car" Indiana Jones to over the fucking top "Lucas was smoking some dank shit" Indiana Jones. I mean really, the ghost in Indy 3? Okay. The fucker who ripped out people's beating hearts in Indy 2? Okay. Nazis melting in Indy 1? That was awesome. Psychic Russians? Give me a fucking break.

I think my main problem is that I went in expecting cheesy, goofy shit to be happening but Lucas managed to push it THAT much further. I mean, I'd be okay with Indy fighting an old Aztec god or slaying a mythological beast but that's not what this was. It honestly felt like a deviation from the character. I really don't even know what to say. Sure, I guess Lucas could see this shit as justified. I guess he could see an alternate world history where this kind of thing happened. It's the fact that we go from supernatural (Indy 1,2,3) to something way past that in the last chapter.

Despite the malevolent intent I have towards George for putting this out, there were some okay moments: the throwbacks were fun, seeing the Ark in passing reminded us of a better time, and Marion Ravenwood's return was a good call. The conversations between Mutt, Marion, and Indy were pretty fun to watch in particular. Half of the movie really did feel like classic Indiana Jones.

I will end with this: the movie didn't suck a horrible fat one. Yes, it brings with it the feeling of Lucas feeding us table scraps similar to the Star Wars prequels. There were some classic IJ moments but there was also stupid bullshit. Maybe I'm the strange one...well, me and Spielberg. Yeah, he didn't like it either.

The second link is the 2-disc Collector's version of the film, and the third is the Blu-ray edition.

David Yun David Yun: (contact-deleteme[at]-deleteme-direman [dot] com) 2008-06-02 18:36:31

The heart of the problems...

...plaguing this film is most likely the fact that it has no heart.

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