Famed archaeologist/adventurer Dr. Henry "Indiana" Jones is called back into action when he becomes entangled in a Soviet plot to uncover the secret behind mysterious artifacts known as the Crystal Skulls.
A skirmish in Shanghai puts archaeologist Indiana Jones, his partner Short Round and singer Willie Scott crossing paths with an Indian village desperate to reclaim a rock stolen by a secret cult beneath the catacombs of an ancient palace.
Jonathan Ke Quan
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During the Cold War, Soviet agents watch Professor Henry Jones when a young man brings him a coded message from an aged, demented colleague, Harold Oxley. Led by the brilliant Irina Spalko, the Soviets tail Jones and the young man, Mutt, to Peru. With Oxley's code, they find a legendary skull made of a single piece of quartz. If Jones can deliver the skull to its rightful place, all may be well; but if Irina takes it to its origin, she'll gain powers that could endanger the West. Aging professor and young buck join forces with a woman from Jones' past to face the dangers of the jungle, Russia, and the supernatural. Written by
Entertaining in that self-parodying sort of way, but somebody PLEASE tell George Lucas to retire!!
Usually, when you go to see an action/adventure movie, especially an Indiana Jones movie, you're going to suspend your disbelief and just allow yourself to "get into" the movie. These kinds of movies are supposed to be mindless escapist fun. Still, one might expect some small modicum of plausibility or connection to the real world. When it comes to "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull," forget about suspending disbelief. Just pretend you're in another dimension altogether. If you do that, you'll have have met one of the two prerequisites for seeing this movie. (If you don't believe me now, you will when you see this film and see our hero survive a cataclysmic event in a fairly cartoonish manner a mere 15 minutes into the film.) The other prerequisite is that you've seen the other three movies...religiously. A huge chunk of the entertainment value of this film comes from nostalgia, in-jokes, and self-parody. It is an entertaining movie and I had fun and laughed while I was watching it and the reason for this is because we are either enjoying seeing all of the same old gags done once again in a bigger and cooler way, or we are enjoying seeing those gags mocked. Trusty bullwhip? Check. Fedora? Check. Long car chase with fighting and leaping and what-not? Check. Dark tombs lit only by torches? Check. Gross creepy crawly critters? Check.
This is what makes the movie entertaining, but is also what prevents it from greatness and what makes me hesitant to call it a true "Indiana Jones" movie. George Lucas (who co-wrote the screenplay) has tried to do here what he did to the "Star Wars" prequels, namely that he thinks that appealing to the fan base with in-jokes, self-parody, and re-hashing the same old stuff can take the place of actually writing a a story that can stand on its own merits. The "Star Wars" prequels failed because Lucas could not get past his constant references to the original trilogy and so instead created fan fiction instead of true prequels. (Well, there was also the fact that Lucas' dialogue SUCKED.) Here, the stunts and action sequences and in-jokes keep us feeling entertained during the course of the film, but when we walk away, we wonder where was the real story.
Indiana Jones is a homage to 1930s serials about treasure hunters. He's out of place in the 1950s. Also out of place are the Soviets(led by Cate Blanchett in a Rosa Kleb-like role). And there are many, many, MANY instances where you will get to wondering just how implausible the next stunt will be. All of that I can put up with, though, and in fact can and do add to the entertainment value of the film. What I could not put up with was the ending, which will remind you not of Indiana Jones but of the ending to another Spielberg movies that pre-dates "Raiders of the Lost Ark."
This movie is lots of fun to watch, but it doesn't take itself seriously and probably shouldn't be part of the Indiana Jones canon.
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