Sunday, 1 June 2008

Review: Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

TimT has just written a perfectly good review of the new Indiana movie on his blog, but I've decided that that won't stop me from just regurgitating everything and putting my own spin on the movie, which is basically the same as TimT's: The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull was not nearly as bad as the critics have been saying it was. In fact I enjoyed it. If you want a similar opinion, I suggest you check out TimT's blog. I have witnesses!

I definitely think you get the most out of this movie if you remember Raiders of the Lost Ark and especially The Last Crusade, fairly well. there are heaps of nods in the direction of both, and many of the in-jokes may be lost on you if you haven't watched them or don't remember them.

Indiana has changed here. He's older, and the movie doesn't try to hide it, instead it adapts to it, which in my opinion was the best way to go. You can't really hide the fact that Harrison Ford is much older now, and it would be plain lame to attempt to disguise it. Indiana films were always filled with good-natured humour as well as fast-paced action and well-drawn characters, and this has a lot of each. Here there are lots of "oldie" jokes thrown in, as well as jokes that are obvious nods to Raiders and The Last Crusade.

Cate Blanchett does a great job of the evil Dr Spalko. The character is not a deep and complex one, but who cares? Who goes to Indiana films for that anyway? She fits in well and really shows off some nice arch-villainness.

The return of Marion Ravenwood was perfect - it fit in well with the plotline and also Indy's age, and she was just as spunky as ever. After all, just as Indy cringed when Sean Connery hinted he'd slept with the young hottie in The Last Crusade ... well did we really want Indy chasing a young babe at his age in this one? Perhaps Marion was the more appropriate choice for a female sidekick!

As some of my friends mentioned, there are also references to other archaeology films, with some devices taken from National Treasure, which I haven't seen, but I noticed quite glaringly the bits of plotline taken right from The Mummy - maybe something fans of the genre will have a bit of a laugh at, too.

In general, I thought it had a nice mix of humour, energy, and good characters and pacing. Even if the plotline didn't make a whole lot of sense - it's not entirely clear where the Soviets come in, and the psychic powers and paranormal stuff may seem a bit far-fetched to some people. But it's a great adventure. Just what I would watch Indiana Jones for.


Maria said...

If you are not sure about how you feel about the Indiana film, go check out reviews on, that should mix you up nicely. Some love it, some hate it. SOme think Harrison Ford did wonderfully, some think he ought to give it up. SOme like the fact that Karen Allen came back, some thought she and her character (Marion Ravenwood) were unnecessary and/or badly played.

Some thought Blanchett and/or Shia LaBeouf did an excellent job in their respective roles of Dr Spalko and Mutt Williams, others thought they were crap.

I think ...

it's subjective!

TimT said...

Also, I think they got the 'son of Indiana' idea from the teleseries that I guess Spielberg must have been an associate producer for. Cate was great, and not entirely evil, either, I thought - more morally ambiguous.

JahTeh said...

Indiana, the thinking woman's mature age crumpet and someone I could watch reading the phone book.

I was going tomorrow but $1.80 is the credit on my phone so it's recharge instead of drool.