Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
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20 out of 35 people found the following review useful:

A good night of Indy cinema

Author: Cody k Greenberg (TheCheshireCody) from United States
23 May 2008

There are just a few reasons for a film to exist. It can enlighten, it can educate, it can entertain. An Indiana Jones flick is meant to do the last. This type of movie does not exist to bring anything new to the silver screen - none of them have - but to bring us something old in a fun and exciting way. So, does Indy 4 entertain? I saw it with my fiancée last night, and as the end credits were rolling, we both said "I want to see it again!" We laughed, we oohed and aaahed, we gripped the armrests during tense moments, we cheered when bad guys bit the dust, applauded when Marion appeared, gasped at the spectacular moments - we did everything we expected to do,and wanted to do, during an Indiana Jones movie, and we had a damn good time doing it.

This film starts off slow, throws in a couple of unnecessary (but very fun) sequences, and then ramps up with a vengeance. For the record, the groundhog sequence is *maybe* fifteen seconds of the film, so at least one reviewer here really needs to move on. The premise is far-fetched, but based in established lore and ties together a number of conspiracy theories from around the world and through the years.

My biggest problem with this film is, oddly enough, the production value. This is Indy, not Indie, and yet there was CGI that looked like CGI, model cities that looked like models and the titular Crystal Skull, which looked like something I'd buy at a dollar store, and was lifted by the actors as if it weighed less than a pound.

Bottom line: don't listen to the fanboys who should be more concerned with getting out of their parents' basements than the adventures of a fictional character. Don't fall into the spoilers, the "is it really about A****s?" - just see the movie and enjoy. That's all Spielberg ever asked of you.

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22 out of 39 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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25 out of 45 people found the following review useful:

Indy4 with Spielberg and Ford

Author: ashraf_zaky11 from Egypt
16 June 2008

I like to say that the whole Indiana Jones series without Spielberg and Ford will never be the same, there is a spirit in those movies that the director and the main actor gives to the movie this spirit will not be there if Shia LAPouf replaces Harrison Ford in Indy5 (if there is Indy5), I am sorry to say that there is NO one who can give that Charmaine's and attraction to the character of Indiana Jones but Harrison Ford, its a chemistry, or like they say in "Shekespere in Love" ...."its a Mystrey", personally, I wish to see the same couple, Spielberg and Ford in Indy5 without the new kid, the only comment on Indy4 that there is some scenes which is longer than it deserves/expected, if we make a simple comparison between Indy4 and Indy2 you will find that the old one has very short scenes in a lot of different locations and each of them has a different kind of adventure, from the casino to the car to the air to the mountain to the water to the palace to the tunnel to the Cliff.... but in Indy4 you have long adventure in one location, so you sometimes loose that feeling of Indy2 when your hands is holding the chair arm and you are holding your breath to know what will happen

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26 out of 47 people found the following review useful:

More of the same, but that's not necessarily bad

Author: steve-bailey-1 from Jacksonville Beach, FL
18 May 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

(SPOILER ALERT: The movie's set-pieces are described in the next-to-last paragraph; otherwise, nothing major.) The fourth "Indiana Jones" movie is as much fun as you'd hope it would be. But when you think about the movie later, it holds up like one of those bridges that Indy and his gang manage to cross just before it collapses. So let's cover the flaws first.

· "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" – Whew, that title is almost as long as the movie! What's more, since said kingdom isn't really the movie's main point, this might be the film to have its MacGuffin in the title.

· Some of the more heralded actors come off as lightweight. As a Russian villainess, acclaimed Cate Blanchett seems to be working out her Natasha Fatale impression. And while Shia LaBeouf is likable enough, he proves it takes more than a pompadour, a cap, and a sneer to emulate Marlon Brando in "The Wild One." · Even my 11-year-old son noted that the movie's major set-piece is at least partially lifted from the recent "National Treasure 2." And the movie's climactic fireworks – like the similar ending of "Raiders of the Lost Ark" – practically show us the scriptwriter ("Jurassic Park's David Koepp) shrugging his shoulders once he reaches the end.

All of that said, the movie rates as one of Indy's best adventures. The movie brings Indy (Harrison Ford, aging quite well) under the scrutiny of both the FBI and Russia's KGB when he inadvertently aids an old pal in the pursuit of the titular and powerful Crystal Skull. Despite his best effort to stick his neck out for no one, Indy gets caught up in the hunt for the famed orb.

(Oh, and Indy's love interest from "Raiders," Marion (Karen Allen}, makes a welcome return. But far be it from me to disclose how she gets woven into the plot.) The movie is set in 1957 and makes vague nods to that era's interests in McCarthyism, UFO's, and psychic power. But all the "Happy Days" blather is eventually ditched in favor of heart-pounding stunts, and in that department, the movie is well up to the level of its predecessors.

The thrills include: an entire fake city that almost gets Indy nuked (the movie's least plausible set-piece); car chases and swordfights that seem homages to exec-producer George Lucas' "Star Wars" series; and the biggest bleepin' colony of killer ants you'll ever see.

Like the famed dancing bear, the truth that a new Indy adventure is no longer novel, is less impressive than the fact that Ford, Lucas, and director Steven Spielberg pulled it off at all. Like its three-quel prequel, "Crystal Skull" is adrenaline-packed fun.

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27 out of 49 people found the following review useful:

Self-Aware Yes...Entertaining...Yes...Classic...Not Really

Author: uniqueduck from United States
26 May 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I watched the other three films afresh before watching this one. The original have an instant classic quality. They are intentionally made to look dated like the serials of old. This film is set after WWII and toward the end of the 1950's. Someone noted that this is wrong and that it set Indy out of his time. I think that theme should have been explored. When indy was being chased through the test site neighborhood I couldn't help but think how strange it was to see the rugged leather hero in the bright 1950's. Indy has become an anarchism himself. It's also odd to see the first 1/4-1/2 of the movie based in the US. Furthermore, the first and third films (fan favorites) are grounded in historical events and religious artifacts. Things, places, and people that are familiar yet exotic. Fantasy grounded in accepted reality. The story and mythos used here is not as grounded nor as well known to most of the audience.

Over all this film is a satisfactory return of a film icon. The son and marriage angle were handled as best as possible. Although this sort of thing always seems contrived. If there is to be a sequel any idea George Lucas has expressed should be avoided. The concept of the Son of Indiana Jones trilogy is a waste of time. It would have to take place in the 60's-70's and I can't see it working at all.

I suspect Indy has one more adventure left in him but the fantastical nature of the this film leaves little room for another mystical artifact. It would have to be either a return of the Ark plot (bad idea) or a return to history with the magic on the periphery until the the end. As with the earlier films. In the earlier adventures the fantastic was always sensed but remained to be seen. Hinted at but not known. Here we get the idea in the first 20 minutes. No mystery. A good motivation for a final film is that the now older and domesticated Indy is having a hard time adjusting. Just as he snuck out his office window to go on high adventures I could see him jumping up for one last quest. The ultimate quest...the ultimate find. However, it can't be something His father and Marcus spent their lives looking for because that's been done.

I was satisfied and greatly enjoyed this film. I acknowledge it's faults. I think we all need to accept the fact that we will never be able to reclaim the glory of our icons or the films in which they appear. Our childhood is gone and the era of their creation has passed. Heroes age and adventures retire. We need to be great full for any sequel that comes close to the glory of our memories. In this the Kingdom of the Crystal Skulls works.

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28 out of 51 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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29 out of 53 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 61 people found the following review useful:

Dammed if you do, Dammed if you don't

Author: yourbigpalal83 from Long Island, New York
23 May 2008

This film is a prime example of the old saying "Your dammed if you do, your dammed if you don't". Im not going to go into lengthy story outline or performance, i felt everyone in the film did a great job, the story was fresh, the pacing was quick, before i knew it half the movie was over, but i guess that was because i was having a lot of fun, but its just one of those things that no matter what you do with a film like this, 20 years after the last one, your going to run into lovers and haters.

There seems to be an argument saying its eather just like the old ones, or nothing like the old ones, and ya know, you just cant please everyone at once. If they did it just like the old films, then people would bitch and moan "ive seen this already", if you don't do it like the old ones, then people go "its completely different" with that said and done, this film feels like a nice balance between old and new. Old school stunts, good old Harrison is back in his flagship role, his old flame comes back, but its the new that people seem to hate. New writer, new sidekick, new villain, new mcguffin.

Now, yes, they could have re introduced the ark, but then people would say, we already went on the quest to find the ark, cant we do something new? Well, they are complaining about the crystal skulls now, because its not the ark, or the grail, or the Sankara stones. Its like, OK, there is no pleasing some people.

Another issue, is the films visual effects. Some are great, they look and feel like they belong, others feel out of place in an indy film. I know spielberg said not to much CGI, but, couldent he have dusted off the old optical printers and do every effect old school style. It is a legit concern. I mean, yes, it wouldent have looked as cool, but it would have felt at home more in an indy film. (which is supprising for me, since im the first guy on the net to come out and defend cgi most of the time) Overall i don't hate it like some people do. But then again, when your in a situation were its 20 years later, and you can only do so much, what do you expect. As an indy film, it fits, as a conclusion, no. I want more indy. So, on that aspect, the last crusade did work as a fitting conclusion, but now, we need a new conclusion.

How ever, i would love to see the in between adventures of Indy.

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33 out of 61 people found the following review useful:

Not Raiders Redux,but a worthy return

Author: Hurr78 from Canada
22 May 2008

There were times in this film where I cringed, because Lucas and Spielberg ask the audience to suspend their disbelief one big step beyond anything that was asked of them in the previous three films. But on the other hand, those films were a collective homage to a different kind of adventure serial. The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull is an homage to B grade Sci-fi movies of the 1950s. When you keep that in mind, the cringing goes away a bit... and when you REALLY think about it, you wonder why they didn't take it a step even further in that direction than they already have.

But I digress. On the whole, this is a very entertaining film, and contains one extended action sequence that is truly on a par with the best of the first three movies. Cate Blanchett is an effective enough villain, although perhaps not as memorable as Belloq and his henchmen from Raiders. The supporting players (Winstone, Broadbent, and John Hurt) all do a fine job of the roles they've been assigned. And it's nice to see Karen Allen back again, even though she's a bit rusty in terms of the acting skills.

Still, Marian and Indy do give the film some of its best dialogue. I understand that Lawrence Kasdan was consulted on some of the more "romantic" scenes in the film, and I think it shows. There is one scene in particular, that I won't get more specific about here, that really brings back the magic of the Marian-Indy banter from Raiders, if only for a few short moments.

And then there's Shia and his character Mutt. I was ready to hate this character, but really, he didn't bother me.

Anyhow, enough said. If you're looking for a good movie to have a enjoyable summer night at the movies, this one will do the trick. I think most of you will be glad you did.

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33 out of 61 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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