Indyfreak's Movie Review of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

Rating of

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

It'sstill the mileage that counts, right?
Indyfreak - wrote on 07/23/14

As the number one fan of the Indiana Jones franchise on the planet (or as my ego tells me so) I loved this movie when it first came out. I saw it in theaters, bought the dvd, watched the dvd, and I still watch it on TV if it was on.
I'll admit now that it's got some major problems. I hate how reality catches up all the time with you.
As someone who obsesses over all things related to Indiana Jones and related merchandise, I'll give some backstory. First off, neither Ford nor Spielberg wanted to do a fourth film. Granted Ford would do it if Spielberg was up to it but Spielberg was not up to it. None of the potential scripts were good enough for him except for one written by Frank Darabont (the guy who made those Stephen King movies?) in the 1990s. But of course, that one was rejected by George Lucas. By all accounts, this particular script was ironically quite similar to the final script used for the movie. Only difference was that Shia Labouef was not in it nor were the prairie dogs.
Why aliens you ask? Well that was actually a recurring plot element in early drafts since the 90s but Spielberg was cautious because he did not want to draw parallels with films like Stargate or Independence Day or Lucas' own Star Wars prequels. Still, Lucas was adamant that the 1950s setting (agreed upon by everyone cuz of Ford's advanced age) deemed it necessary to include aliens. It was Spielberg who pushed for the Soviet Union as the villains since he did not want to revisit Nazism after Schindler's List.
I forgot how the crystall skulls were decided upon and I am tired of writing background story for this ****ing review. Sorry bou that.
I liked this movie but I hate its flaws because they overshadow what they got right. For example Harrison Ford is back and having a blast along with returning cast mate Karen Allen (loved her in this). Cate Blanchette is a great villain and Ray Winstone does fine as Jones' frenemy Mac. Shia Labouef is not terrible playing Indiana Jones' son (cannot believe I typed that) but they make him do so much stuff that's just stupid. You have him drive a motorcycle during a cool chase scene but then have him swing from vines alongside cgi monkeys? Sigh....
Another issue which I think people overlook to criticize the casting or cgi is that the plot is far less action-packed as the previous films. This is likely in order to explain the MacGuffin (I mean how many heard of a crystal skull before?) but there's just not enough spectacle to compensate for the shortcomings of the script.
At least it has the good sense to end the series with a wedding that everyone wanted to happen anyway.

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