Rama’s Screen: Review of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

I’m a big fan of Indiana Jones and I’m a big fan of the trilogy and I gotta tell ya, I’m very disappointed by this fourth installment.

INDIANA JONES 4 is a major let down. When I heard months ago that Steven Spielberg’s going to incorporate his fascination with aliens into this movie, I thought I could let it slide, but the result is not only far fetched, it’s extremely ridiculous. They should not have made this movie at all. But, that’s not the only thing that hurts about watching INDIANA JONES AND THE KINGDOM OF THE CRYSTAL SKULL

The newest Indiana Jones adventure begins in the desert Southwest in 1957 – the height of the Cold War. Indy and his sidekick Mac (Ray Winstone) have barely escaped a close scrape with nefarious Soviet agents on a remote airfield.

Professor Jones has returned home to Marshall College – only to find things have gone from bad to worse. His close friend and dean of the college (Jim Broadbent) explains that Indy’s recent activities have made him the object of suspicion, and that the government has put pressure on the university to fire him. On his way out of town, Indiana meets rebellious young Mutt (Shia LaBeouf), who carries both a grudge and a proposition for the adventurous archaeologist: If he’ll help Mutt on a mission with deeply personal stakes, Indy could very well make one of the most spectacular archaeological finds in history – the Crystal Skull of Akator, a legendary object of fascination, superstition and fear.

I should’ve known better: Steven Spielberg and George Lucas used David Koepp to write the screenplay, he’s the dude who penned Tom Cruise’s WAR OF THE WORLDS. I’m aware that Indiana Jones movies are supposed to be exaggerated fun, you’d see something totally impossible but it’s all for good laughs. But this is just stretching it. The cheesy lines are unbearable, the way the story builds the characters and the background to what this whole crystal skull and city of gold are all about is overdone and it takes way too much time.

One of the main reasons why most people are looking forward to watch Indiana Jones movies or they’re excited to watch it again and again is because of the action, the adrenaline rush adventure sequences. This movie is lacking just that. It has no creativity whatsoever. The sword-fight between Shia and Cate isn’t that impressive. There’s nothing groundbreaking about the car chase scene either. And to top that, whenever there seems to be some sort of action about to happen, it comes and goes too fast.

You think I’m done? I’m only halfway.

Gotta give you a heads up though… there might be some spoiler here.

I really hate the fact that they turn this movie into science fiction. Let’s just put this way, when I watch Indiana Jones, I don’t wanna find X-Files. There’s too much CGI stuff and not enough booby traps. At times it feels a lot like National Treasure, they’d recite old rhymes and codes.

Acting wise, yes, Karen Allen is back and you see tributes to some of the characters in the past.
But.. there’s a but… Cate Blanchett as Spalko is one of the most unappealing, uncharismatic villains in the history of Cinema. Shia as Mutt Williams is an okay sidekick but definitely not on the same level of coolness as Short Round. Harrison Ford is way too old for this role. I’m sorry but he is. When you see the movie you’ll notice that the way he says his lines doesn’t have the same effect as it did years ago.

And I don’t appreciate the hints of Shia might be the one to take on the adventure next time around. Shia LaBeouf is a talented actor but to be Indiana Jones requires a charm he doesn’t have.

Temple of Doom may not have a strong, solid, storyline, but in my honest opinion, INDIANA JONES AND THE KINGDOM OF THE CRYSTAL SKULL is the worst one in the series.

If Steven and George made this movie for the fans… well they’ve definitely disappointed one.
My grade for this film is: 2 out of 5

All work and no play makes the Young & Successful feel unbalanced! To rescue our overworked souls, YSN member and movie aficionado Rama Tampubolon discusses the latest hot topics and movie reviews every Thursday on Waste Time Wisely. He runs the movie review and discussion blog, Rama’s Screen, and was featured in “United 300,” which won for “Best Spoof” at the 2007 MTV Movie Awards.