Happy Monday, everyone, and welcome back!
Last week I began a list, ranking the ten live-action, U.S. theater-released Star Wars movies and the four Indiana Jones films, starting at the bottom, #14, with my least favorite.
Today we are discussing the movie that is 12th on the list:
INDIANA JONES AND THE KINGDOM OF THE CRYSTAL SKULL (2008).
I saw it two or three times in the theater, and found much to enjoy, though, yeah, there are reasons why this ranks so low on the list.
Here’s what I like:
Seeing Harrison Ford back as Indiana Jones in an all new adventure! Even if it’s not as good as the originals, it was still so much fun seeing one of my all time favorite characters back in action.
I like the way it begins with Indy captured, and his escape from the Area 51 warehouse is exciting and a lot of fun.
Cate Blanchett as lead villain Dr. Spalko is super great!
I like the plot of the bad-guys wanting to use alien skulls as a means for mind control. Very creepy!
The “grave-robbing” sequence is enjoyable – fighting off the skull-masked grave guards…
…as well as finding the secret below-ground room/grave.
I also like some of the jokes throughout the film.
MUTT: (reading sign) “Grave robbers will be shot.”
INDY: (as he tosses him a shovel) “Good thing we’re not grave robbers.”
The big vehicle chase toward the end is fun for the most part.
Oh, and the ANTS!!
And down the anthill he goes!
I know many don’t like the waterfall “three times it drops” sequence, due to being so ridiculous that they survive, but I like this part – I think it’s fun.
There’s also a lot of cool looking sets.
Okay then, what didn’t I like?
Though I think Indiana Jones, himself, is (mostly) great in the film, his sidekicks this time around are lacking.
We have Marion, Mutt, Mac, and Oxley.
None of these four supporting characters bring much entertainment value to the film. They are blah, and sometimes annoying (especially Mutt and Mac). Think about how much fun Marion and Sallah are in RAIDERS or Sean Connery in THE LAST CRUSADE and compare it to this…
I said earlier that I enjoyed some of the jokes throughout the film. However, a lot of the jokes also fell flat. For example, when Indy won’t grab the snake to save himself from the quicksand – that was a fun idea and a great set up for a joke…
… but then the punchline (if you can call it that) fell flat, with him just telling Marion and Mutt to call the snake a rope before he will touch it. It seems like there were a lot of half formed jokes like this throughout the movie that didn’t pay off – and comedy has always been an important element of the Indy films, so this is a problem.
And I think we all agree that the Mutt/Tarzan part was weird and out of place.
And yes, Indy surviving a nuclear blast in a fridge is too much even for me.
(And I’m good with them surviving the waterfalls, and I’m good with the raft dropping out of the plane and onto a mountain in TEMPLE OF DOOM, so that’s saying something if even I think the “nuking the fridge” moment went too far.)
Also, the climax was underwhelming with that swirling CGI portal opening up.
Not to mention, I think it was a mistake for an alien to actually appear. It’s creepy to have the intelligence of an alien somehow communicating through the skull, but when the alien appears it ends up feeling kind of dumb.
But still, despite my complaints, I find quite a bit to enjoy in CRYSTAL SKULL, and it’s so great to see Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones again!
#12 The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
#13 The Last Jedi
#14 Attack of the Clones
#11 ON THE LIST