Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
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22 out of 40 people found the following review useful:

Good--but so close to great it hurts

Author: theinfamouspaw from United States
22 May 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I liked it. I didn't love it, like we all wanted to, but I liked it. The odd thing is that they got all the personal interactions and characters pitch perfect, just right, and the action scenes were what I found lacking--which is the exact opposite of what I expected.

Actually, the action scenes for the first half were just right as well, with a few exceptions. I am NOT one of those whiny fan boys who was complaining about CGI before we were given any reason to worry about it, but unfortunately the CGI was indeed a detriment. The things that were happening on screen were no more implausible or outlandish than things from previous Indy movies, but aesthetically they didn't look right, and--more importantly--they didn't feel dangerous. They could have done the same crazy, ridiculous things, but had they used more practical effects it would have been more effective.

**spoilers** For instance, the Mutt Williams=George of the Jungle sequence. Had they had him swing from an actual vine onto a tree branch, struggle with his balance, then swing to another branch, it would have felt dangerous. But having him swing around like an animated Tarzan took me completely out of the movie. Also, the jeep chase, which I had been really jazzed about, started out great, then turned into a cartoon. **end spoilers**

Anyway, it's obvious I'm a fan of the grittier aspects of the series, so naturally I was disappointed that there was really only one stomp ass, throw down fight between Indy and a Rusky. It was a great scene, though, and pretty much the only scene I really loved in the last half of the movie.

The characters were great. I have been very vocal in my doubts about Shia LaBeouf, but not only was he a passable side kick, I might go as far as to say I liked him in this. Certainly, he could not by any stretch carry a movie like this by himself, but as a sidekick, he's one of Indy's best.

***spoilers*** Also, the scene in which they reveal that he's Indy's son was done very well. I dreaded some sappy, overwrought soap opera moment, but they mercifully presented the information quickly, and with a lot of humor ***end spoilers***

So anyway, long story short, it was good, not great. It did not so much satisfy me as whet my appetite for one more--one more with less CGI, and more of Harrison Ford punching people.

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28 out of 52 people found the following review useful:

A good Romp as much fun as the first three

Author: Laura Seabrook from Australia
22 May 2008

I think it was rather suspicious that the teachers in this state chose today to go on strike. Why? Because Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull opened today as well, that's why.

I've been looking forward to this film every since I heard about it, and I was not disappointed. Lucas and Spielberg can make a decent adventure when they put their talents to it. I made sure to sit somewhere surrounded by kids who had the day off from school. They loved it, even if they didn't get all the "in jokes" in the film.

The action takes place in 1957 (I think, since it's 10 years after Roswell) which I liked since I was born that year. The action takes place about 20 years after the original film, which seems to match the passage in real time since the last film.

I loved the weaving of history, myth and fantasy in this film, which matches the previous three quite well (and also the references to earlier films that are key to the plot). It has plenty of "knees up, running around" type action and enough stunts and spectaculars to make it visually appealing (especially the denouement).

Will there be a final 5th film? It'd be nice, but I think like a 4th Mad Max film, that's unlikely to happen.

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30 out of 56 people found the following review useful:

Indiana Jones and the Amazing 4th part.

Author: jeehde2 from Netherlands
21 May 2008

Yes, this is the movie we all hoped for. Yes, everything you were hoping for happens and everything you were kinda afraid about happens as well, but turns out to be pretty spectacular and handled in the right fashion. The movie kicks off great, fully illustrating how young Indy actually still is. After it's intro, the movie takes a step back, we learn a bit more about the things that happened in the 20 years that passed. But as soon as Indy meets Mutt Williams, it kicks off again and the roller-coaster isn't going to end till the very last frame.

From start to finish it breaths Indy. They took the movie from it's 30's era and placed it into the 50's, which works just fine. There are some hilarious scenes involving greasers and just to get this out there: Shia did just fine. He's taking a side right next to Indy and he handles himself pretty well. He never gets annoying, he never loses himself, he's just really cool the way he is and fits perfectly next to the 'old' man. The rest of the cast is great as well, you can tell Cate is having a great time with her Russian accent, Karen Allen had to be one of the highlights of the movie (especially when they meet <3), Ray Winstone is a funny addition, but neither he nor John Hurt really get a chance to shine. Still, the movie makes good use of it's characters. Probably most importantly, the chemistry between Indiana, Marion and Mutt works. The Mutt-Indy relationship in the movie reminds me of the Jr./Sr. relationship in The Last Crusade and although it doesn't reach the same dazzling heights, it delivers in more ways then I could imagine.

The setpieces are all really Spielbergesque, ranging from rainforests and huge temples, to ancient graves or the university Indy teaches. The movie takes you across the world, going back and forth. Story-wise, they didn't play it as safe as I thought they would. You might expect a typical Indy story, and it is, but still, it reaches further then the previous movies did. Indy IV takes complete advantage of it's 'fantasy' edge and for some might go a bit too far now and then. Still, you know you're watching Indiana Jones, so it should be the last thing to worry about. I heard some complaints about the movie's ending, but I thought it was .. great. Fitting. And spectacular.

Others complained about the use of special-effects. Spielberg himself said after Cannes that they tried to use CGI only when really necessary. I think they did, you can tell there's a lot of CGI around, but it never takes the upper hand or distracts. So, no worries here.

The chases are fantastic, the dialogues funny, the characters worthy, the music once again breathtaking (I love how the skull has it's own score), the stunts stunning and most importantly, Harrison Ford is as Indy as he ever was. If you never liked a single thing about the trilogy, this one won't make you a believer, however, if you're looking for a magnificent time, it's not going to get much better then this. And well, if you're a fan ... just don't worry . The movie hints towards a follow-up that might take a different direction, but for all I care, if it's this good, go ahead and do it while you still can.


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33 out of 62 people found the following review useful:

Seems to be everyone else's opinion, as Shatner once was, FUN

Author: trackerbishop2xl from United States
22 May 2008

If you recall the chase/fight scenes in the other movies, especially last crusade, they were funny and didn't take themselves too seriously. This movie follows in the same tone. The first half is definitely the best half but the whole ride is a fun one.

There isn't really a feeling of suspense and you have to forgive the movie for this, as well as some of the unrealistic chase scenes. The dialogue is great and so is Harrison Ford.

I just got out of the midnight showing and I'm going again tomorrow! Welcome back Mr. Ford.

Hopefully the sequel will be a liiiiittle more serious, so things don't get too redundant.

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39 out of 74 people found the following review useful:

Sit back, relax, and enjoy the show

Author: wolverinesforever from United States
22 May 2008

I came into the midnight showing of this movie with rather neutral expectations. And for what it was worth, I had a very fun time watching this movie. Sure it's not perfect, but you know what, I don't care. It was great watching Harrison Ford duke it out with Russians and as always the production design was incredible. The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (you'll know it when you see it) was absolutely jaw-dropping.

This film also has a great sense of humor too. Admitted, there are a fair share of scenes that get a bit silly or over the top, but then again, what's an "Indiana Jones" movie without a bit of far-farfetchedness? Just go into the movie with neutral expectations; expect a few mistakes and iffy parts, but enjoy the entertainment that's being presented. There are numerous references to previous "Jones" features and even to "Star Wars," so that was fun too. Overall I can't really complain; this was the most fun I've had at the theater in quite a while. Not much else to say except to just sit back, relax, and enjoy the show!

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45 out of 86 people found the following review useful:

Indiana 4 Ever

Author: Mark J Lovegrove (m0ds) from Oxford, UK
22 May 2008

Very good! I've been waiting a long time for them to pull their fingers out and make another Indy adventure and Crystal Skull is great entertainment! There was a lot to enjoy in this movie; Harrison Ford is superb, and it's very refreshing to see him playing the role again. The in-jokes are also pretty witty! The action in places is spectacular, although it does sometimes take a while to reach it.

I think the script could've used some work, as the bad guy lady just isn't menacing enough, and as someone else said, the bad guys are always one step behind - never ahead, which is a shame.

The use of CGI is thankfully quite un-noticeable, but there are some scenes which are a bit over the top. None the less anyone who appreciates Indiana Jones will enjoy this film!

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77 out of 150 people found the following review useful:

Worse than Mission to Mars

Author: jgoodburn from Canada
4 June 2008

I was bored. My wife was bored. We were both Indy fans, and were really eager to see this film. Unfortunately, this was the biggest letdown since "Mission to Mars", which had a stronger script and much better cinematography, and that was still a yawn.

This film is akin to suffering through watching someone over-the-shoulder play an early-'80s Japanese video-game, only in that scenario, you at least want to have a try at the game.

The dialogue was weak, the action was filmed mostly in front of a green-screen, which may be why the acting seemed flat. There was no passion or chemistry between the actors, little character development, and an entire history of Indiana's wife and child are explained in a single argument that lasts an intolerable 10 minutes.

Within seconds of the argument being over but unresolved, they are suddenly and inexplicably best friends again.

Indy's wife also seemed strangely happy and disconnected from the reality of life-threatening situations. Since this was the 1950's, it is impossible that she was on Lorazepam.

There is the cliché quicksand scene, and if you look real closely, it seems they wearing a burlap bag when they are extracted. Their clothes aren't even dirty or wrinkled. Amazing.

And then there is the classic Spielberg-ish "cutesy" groundhogs and monkeys that are fine for the kids, but are distracting and annoying.

Ultimately, I cannot feel that I can "believe" this film, which is a shame, because I really wanted to get into it.

Go see this film with the kids, because it is more of a cartoon for them. If you are a fan of the first three, you will be disappointed.

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82 out of 160 people found the following review useful:

average movie.. but not Indiana Jones quality

Author: the_aummy from United States
4 June 2008

it was a fine movie. Over-drawn as many people would seem to agree by CGI and a lack of making me feel like it was an Indiana Jones film. It was a fine movie, and thats all i have to say. It entertained me, but it could've done much better. Worst in the series, but i was satisfied and felt i had gotten my money's worth. It would've impressed me had the dialog done anywhere near to what it should have been at. It was like i was watching a training video for archaeologists at times. Entertaining, but lacked girth. Not much more than i can say. Shia lebouf didn't annoy the hell out of me, which was surprising, and Ford still made me laugh at times. In truth, go see this movie and judge for yourself.

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107 out of 210 people found the following review useful:

Arghhhhh It's the Rocky 5 equivalent for Indy fans

Author: derekfit from Ireland
22 May 2008

I was a fan of the original Indy films... This offering is unrecognisable in the context of its predecessors. It's a flat Coke... there's no fizz whatsoever. Indy is never in any real palpable danger. I felt almost numb watching this movie as it was so devoid of any of the traditional Indy movie thrills and spills. The plot was laughable and felt really (badly) contrived. Really this was all they could come up with after an absence of nearly 20 years? Lucas / Spielberg you owe me (and everyone else) a refund and compensation for 2 hours of my life that I'll never get back. Thanks for destroying another cherished childhood icon, the Star Wars prequels should have been evidence enough that Lucas lost his mojo long ago.

If you were a fan of the originals, avoid this one. It's the Rocky 5 equivalent for Indy fans.

Appalling tripe to be avoided at all costs. I'm so mad right now Aghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

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147 out of 290 people found the following review useful:

"For an old guy, you ain't bad in a fight."

Author: Galina from Virginia, USA
26 May 2008

After twenty seven years since the Raiders of the Last Ark introduced the archaeologist and adventurer Henry "Indiana" Jones who divides his time between teaching the University students in a quiet auditorium and saving the world in the incredible dangerous and breathtaking adventures, and after nineteen years since his quest for Holy Grail in the Last Crusade, Indiana Jones is back - with his fedora, leather jacket, whip, grin, fear for snakes, and the new big adventure, spectacular, fast-paced, silly, funny, and jaw-dropping at the same time. Believe it or not, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008) is the first IJ movie that I've seen at the theater. They were not released in the former USSR (that's probably why, Spielberg and Lucas made their bad guys Russians this time :)) and I saw the trilogy first in the end of the 1980s when the videotapes became available. The new movie is full of adventures, has not one but three fallings down of waterfalls and the huge attacking red ants. As in all Indy movies, there is a long and spectacular signature chase sequence, this time a multi-vehicle chase through the jungle with the heroes jumping on the full speed from one car to another, two characters engaged in the sword fight standing on the parallel moving jeeps, the Crystal Scull of the title falling back and forth from the good guys to the bad ones. The "baddest guy" here is the girl played by Cate Blanchette wearing the uniform not unlike Dr. Evil's and the black wig a-la Louise Brooks of "Pandora's Box" or Uma Thurman of "Pulp Fiction". She plays a Russian villainess, Dr. Irina Spalko, the lead researcher of psychic phenomenon and the supernatural. Blanchette is as good as ever proving that she can play successfully any role, including the one that requires a lot of physical actions. The fourth movie takes place in the different time than the first three, and it is set against the realities of the 50s: the beginning of cold war, the double agents, the talks about UFOs and aliens. One of the scenes, as remarkable as it is memorable, depicts a ground-level nuclear test in Nevada on the picturesque town that was built only to be destroyed after the drop of atomic bomb.

The movie is beautiful - no surprise here, Janusz Kaminski, usual Spielberg's "partner in crime" was DOP for it. I just realized that it was the first Indiana Jones movie for Kaminski - the first three were shot by Douglas Slocombe. I liked the story and the acting by Ford. At 65, he is perhaps one of very few actors who could bring back to life beloved character and the years would not have power over him. I like a lot John Hurt as Professor 'Ox' Oxley - equally comical and moving as the scientist who was able to talk to the mysterious Crystal Skull and who kept the keys to its secrets. I am always glad to see Ray Winstone and Jim Broadbent on the screen. No matter what nay-sayers think of it, I like the latest Indiana Jones movie and I was glad to see that "for an old guy", Dr. Jones is still good in a fight.

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