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 Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull 

What grade would you give this film?
A 32%  32%  [ 23 ]
B 47%  47%  [ 34 ]
C 14%  14%  [ 10 ]
D 5%  5%  [ 4 ]
F 3%  3%  [ 2 ]
Total votes : 73

 Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull 
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Post Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

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Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull is a 2008 American adventure film. It is the fourth film in the Indiana Jones franchise, created by George Lucas and directed by Steven Spielberg. Released nineteen years after the previous film, the film acknowledges its star Harrison Ford's age by being set in 1957. It pays tribute to the science fiction B-movies of the era, pitting Indiana Jones against Soviet agents—led by Irina Spalko (Cate Blanchett)—for a psychic alien crystal skull. Indiana is aided by his former lover Marion Ravenwood (Karen Allen) and their son Mutt Williams (Shia LaBeouf). Ray Winstone, John Hurt and Jim Broadbent are also part of the supporting cast.

Screenwriters Jeb Stuart, Jeffrey Boam, Frank Darabont and Jeff Nathanson wrote drafts before David Koepp's script satisfied the producers. Shooting began on June 18, 2007 and took place in various locations: New Mexico, New Haven, Connecticut, Hawaii, Fresno, California and on soundstages in Los Angeles. To keep aesthetic continuity with the previous films the crew relied on traditional stunt work instead of computer-generated stunt doubles and cinematographer Janusz Kamiński studied Douglas Slocombe's style from the previous films.

Marketing relied heavily on the public's nostalgia for the series, with products taking inspiration from all four films. Anticipation for the film was heightened by secrecy, which resulted in a legal dispute over an extra violating his non-disclosure agreement and the arrest of another man for stealing a computer containing various documents related to the production. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull was released worldwide on May 22, 2008, and was a financial success, grossing over $786 million worldwide, becoming the highest-grossing film of the franchise, the second highest-grossing film of 2008 and the third highest-grossing film ever produced by Lucasfilm, after Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace and Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith.

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Tue May 20, 2008 2:07 am
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Post Re: Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
I had a day to digest the experience. Being the biggest Indy fan possible, I was terribly upset the movie didn't match my expectations. But how could he? Indy was together with Blade Runner my defining movie experience. I still think that the McGuffin was a terrible, terrible choice and I can't understand why, after 18 years, they came up with it. They probably didn't find a good one but decided if we ever wanna do a fourth movie it's now or never.
The ending of the movie will always be a low point in the entire franchise, but overall the movie isn't any more flawed than Temple of Doom. That one had an annoying, crying female lead and an even more annoying child for the whole runtime, Crystal Skull is, at least for the first 100 minutes, perfect entertainment like old times. The new cast additions are good, Ford still has it, the action is a pure adrenaline ride and although it takes some time to adjust to Indy in the 50s (for the first few minutes he looks like a relict from an old time with his clothes in the new era), but Spielberg manages to perfectly introduce the era with its fear of communism, atomic tests, alien hype et al.
I'm sure with a second showing and lowered expectations this movie will grow on me even more. If you think about it, this could have been so much worse. I am relieved that "Crystal Skull" is no "Phantom Menace" and that this movie once again shows that neither "National Treasure" nor "The Mummy" is a match for "Indiana Jones".
8/10


Last edited by Levy on Wed May 21, 2008 3:58 am, edited 2 times in total.



Tue May 20, 2008 2:51 am
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Post Re: Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
After seeing the movie I agree with what Levy said.


Tue May 20, 2008 8:07 pm
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Post Re: Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
Saw it, liked it.

Not as good as Raiders (one of the greatest movies ever made) or Crusade (one of the greatest adventure movies ever made), but pretty much on par with Temple Of Doom.

I had no particular problems with McGuffin, or with the last 15 minutes. The script in general was good and had some clever and inventive bits, but it never quite reaches greatness.

Acting was good all around, it took a good 10 minutes to get used to older and grumpier Indy, but Ford was great after that. As was Shia, and the two had great chemistry together. Other characters actors are solid, but don't really have that much to do to leave a lasting impression.

The film has several very good set pieces, and the effects are top rate.

Yes, it's very over the top and silly at times, but never more so than Temple Of Doom, with the exception of the fridge gag. So I don't really understand why some people have complained so much about that.

The biggest problem I think is that this is something Spielberg and Co made for the fans, as they have said. So it's run by nostalgia, and by the need to give a bit of something for everyone in the audience. While it's very well directed, one can sense that Spielberg is holding back, trying to keep in the tradition of the franchise, instead of giving it all he can. It's a safe movie, too safe for it's own good.

The script also lacks the focus and drive it should have, it sometimes feels as if it has been batched together from several different drafts - Which is exactly what it is. And in the middle the film bogs down to a string of exposition sequences which aren't really that interesting.

But flaws aside, it's fun, it's entertaining, has some terrific set pieces, good acting, engaging characters and a solid if unremarkable story.

7.5/10


Wed May 21, 2008 2:05 pm
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Post Re: Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
Tuukka wrote:
Saw it, liked it.

Not as good as Raiders (one of the greatest movies ever made) or Crusade (one of the greatest adventure movies ever made), but pretty much on par with Temple Of Doom.

I had no particular problems with McGuffin, or with the last 15 minutes. The script in general was good and had some clever and inventive bits, but it never quite reaches greatness.

Acting was good all around, it took a good 10 minutes to get used to older and grumpier Indy, but Ford was great after that. As was Shia, and the two had great chemistry together. Other characters actors are solid, but don't really have that much to do to leave a lasting impression.

The film has several very good set pieces, and the effects are top rate.

Yes, it's very over the top and silly at times, but never more so than Temple Of Doom, with the exception of the fridge gag. So I don't really understand why some people have complained so much about that.

The biggest problem I think is that this is something Spielberg and Co made for the fans, as they have said. So it's run by nostalgia, and by the need to give a bit of something for everyone in the audience. While it's very well directed, one can sense that Spielberg is holding back, trying to keep in the tradition of the franchise, instead of giving it all he can. It's a safe movie, too safe for it's own good.

The script also lacks the focus and drive it should have, it sometimes feels as if it has been batched together from several different drafts - Which is exactly what it is. And in the middle the film bogs down to a string of exposition sequences which aren't really that interesting.

But flaws aside, it's fun, it's entertaining, has some terrific set pieces, good acting, engaging characters and a solid if unremarkable story.

7.5/10

films badness confirmed.

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Wed May 21, 2008 2:17 pm
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Post Re: Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
BJ's BJ-ness confirmed.

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Wed May 21, 2008 2:37 pm
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Post Re: Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
Entertaining action-adventure flick but nothing special. Ford is the best part of the movie. And the humor is the second to him. The other casts were just solid (yes, including Shia du Cute who also doesn't look cute anymore). The action sequences were fun to watch but in need of more tensity and some thrills. There were scenes of sword fighting on the car, stairs pulling down, car chasing on the hill.. etc. they were all 'cool' but unfortunately feels too 'safe'. The action sequences always came off as 'emm..', but never 'wow! that's freaking awesome!'. Besides the production (with some really great set pieces), there's really nothing THAT impressive.

B

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Wed May 21, 2008 10:01 pm
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Post Re: Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
I've been holding off seeing any of the first three since Indy IV was confirmed because I knew it'd make it seem worse than it really is, but with Raiders and Crusade both ranking high among my all-time favourites I still can't help but (inevitably) feel underwhelmed by Crystal Skull.

I think Tuukka summed up a lot of my feelings exactly. Could certainly have been more focussed but it's entertaining enough along the way that it doesn't become a big issue and you can't really go too wrong with the series so long as you're true to the characters, which the film is. Didn't have a problem with the MacGuffin either, never felt out of place with what we've had before and given the 50s setting. I guess my overall impression was that it all felt a little too much like they were trying too hard to make an Indy film though. Crusaders worked remarkably well as a sequel because it tried something new in terms of character dynamics and comedic tone without ever departing from what made the series what it was and that basically gave the series a refreshing second wind, whereas Temple of Doom's always felt to me like they decided to make a sequel without enough good ideas to really justify it. And that's kind of where I'd place this one. It was like a once great band you used to love suddenly putting out a surprisingly good album for the first time in forever, taking you back and making for an exciting listen but moreso for its nostalgic value than intrinsic quality and after a while you realise it'll never mean as much to you as the real thing you're pining for. So I was sitting there cherishing everything that captured the 'magic' of watching the old movies for the first time, just little moments here and there, but in a way those moments tended to remind me too often of how infrequently the film was living up to what I was unfairly asking of it. For that reason I'm sure I'll like it better second time around.

Spoiler: show
In terms of what I can try to judge on its own terms as a standalone film (haha), as far as identifiable problems (beyond the fact that stuff seemed to just happen for the sake of it - you get what I mean right? quick sand etc.)... Well for starters I didn't really like the waterfalls. Sure a million characters in a million films have survived the odd waterfall plunge so they can't just settle for one and expect audiences to be wowed, I get it, but the whole three-fall with an inconsequential killer drop at the end went beyond the realms of Hollywood-adventure acceptibility because I never felt like any of the characters were in danger ever again after that. They were indestructible, and right before the climax. Well done. Sure, we know they won't kill Indy or Marion or Mutt, the only three we give a damn about (sorry Mr. Hurt, but it hardly made a big difference if you lived or died you rambling twit), but you expect movies like this to make you feel like the leads are in danger anyway, and this movie had succeeded in doing so at a number of points prior to those bloody waterfalls. But then they snapped me out of my suspension of disbelief right when escaping onto the river at all was already a fine way to end a sequence already pushing it with everything that had already come before (ants, vines...). It was a near fatal flaw for me because its consequences lingered as the film reached its climax, and this after I didn't have a big problem with the fridge (basically because the plot didn't depend on it and wasn't reaching too far for some necessary solution they couldn't think of - it could have been discarded completely with no harm done and a new sequence invented in its place, so it just seemed like a bit of harmless fun), or the monkeys/swinging (no idea how he's supposed to end up where they are after SPEEDING AWAY FROM HIM FOR AGES but it's a passing moment that you can forget about when its over, and IT WAS FUN).

What else... well I need to get to class (or did 20 mins ago...), but I'll join the voices of those with issues about the ending. So the aliens basically used their powers to get the skull returned so they (or it) could return to whatever dimension John Hurt vaguely babbled about, and the Russians get their come-uppance because the alien reads Cate Blanchett's mind and decide that she has evil intentions and shouldn't get the power or something. Is that right? If it is that's actually not so bad, I guess it took me until I wrote that to figure out exactly what happened (if that's what happened) which might just mean I didn't pay enough attention to something at the time. But yeah, no problem with aliens, or UFOs, more the vagueness of it all. I walked away from Raiders and Crusade both 'getting it' and being satisfied with... 'it'. Did I get it right? Someone help me out here. Either way it's not that satisfying, and once again the highlights of the final act were the individual sequences like the disappering steps that took me back to the stuff I'd expect to see in the old films moreso than the actual substance of the story during its climax.


No idea how to grade this, so I won't. But I still really enjoyed it a lot in spite of any problems. It's a very good action-adventure film with great characters, and normally I'd be raving about a film I could describe like that. Very hard to judge first time through given the series-baggage I carried into the theatre so I'll avoid anything definitive and leave it there.

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Last edited by Amos on Thu May 22, 2008 2:33 am, edited 1 time in total.



Wed May 21, 2008 10:25 pm
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Post Re: Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
I went into this hoping for the best, but expecting the worst and wound up somewhere in the middle. It wasn't great or even better than average but it wasn't as big a disaster as it could've been. The whole movie felt forced and contrived with everyone just going through the motions. Kind of like they went into it with some general idea about what they wanted to do but had no idea how to flesh it out and make it work. So they just picked random parts from all their other films mashed them together and called it Indy 4. You could feel Lucas all over this movie and it really, really dragged what could've been a good film down into the mediocre category. What also hurt this film is Shitty Lebouf. He's just this big freaking hole on screen that sucks the life out everything around him. As my friend Ben would say its the Clair Danes affect. Why people love this douche bag I have no idea??
Spoiler: show
What really turned me off from this film was the amount of incredibly over-the-top belief defying spots Indy finds himself in. Like hiding in a fridge to survive a nuclear blast. Please I visited the actual spot at the Nevada Test site where they built those fake towns and nothing survived those blasts, except a few hardened concrete walls. Also when they survived the 3 waterfalls, they would've been crushed/smashed/drowned to death after the first one so by the time they reached the bottom of the third there would be nothing left but bits and pieces. I'm all for suspending disbelief but there is a limit and they definitely crossed it in this.


To all those who enjoyed this I'm happy for you. But I can't in good concious reccomend this film.
Wishing they left Indy in retirement
Grade--D

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Thu May 22, 2008 1:21 am
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Post Re: Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
it was in between high expectations and "the worst" and it merits a D? A "D" is pretty much a disaster in my book, especially when you're talking about Indiana Jones and Steven Spielberg.

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Thu May 22, 2008 1:27 am
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Post Re: Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
billybobwashere wrote:
it was in between high expectations and "the worst" and it merits a D? A "D" is pretty much a disaster in my book, especially when you're talking about Indiana Jones and Steven Spielberg.



I didn't hate it but didn't love it either. I gave it a D because it was better than an F but not quite worthy of a C. It didn't quite fail but didn't pass either, somewhere in the 64-68% range, so it gets a D.

Spielberg just totally mailed it in on this one. You could see he wanted to go one way with this but just succumbed to Lucas's utterly shitty ideas and endless temper tantrums and said ef'it will do it his way.

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Thu May 22, 2008 1:56 am
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Post Re: Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
30 minutes of cleverness surrounded by 90 minutes of foolishness.

7 out of 5.




P.S.: I was right about one thing - -
Spoiler: show
Sean Connery did indeed make a cameo, albeit in a single frame of this film. His picture on Indy's desk was a new photograph of him in his Henry Jones Sr. costume...


Thu May 22, 2008 2:32 am
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Post Re: Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
The Dark Shape wrote:
BJ's BJ-ness confirmed.

Heh. That's the funniest line on KJ so far in '08! :funny:


Thu May 22, 2008 2:34 am
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Post Re: Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
man that SUCKED.

D

I am horribly dissappointed...that ending was so aweful; so....un Indy! "They had the same problem-they werent you". :grrr: :grrr:

The film was too god damn ridiculous and the emotions were to damn forced...
Spoiler: show
she blatantly just blurts out labuffs indys son? no big reveal at all?

the 3rd is a hugeeee rip off the 1st mummy film

a fucking huge flying saucer??

i know hes indy but how many damn lives does he have? 3 waterfalls, countless cashes n punches, and smashign into a giant fuckng tree at 50 mph and he is a ok? :roll:

why do i think those atlantis ideas back from the 90s would been so much better?


i cant blieve but i am giving this an D. This sucked. Lucass horrible ideas are blantantly everywhere,and spielberg obviously tried to put some quality into it but it as just too damn ridiculous.

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Thu May 22, 2008 2:56 am
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Post Re: Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
Good, not great. I'll be honest.

Ford is awesome, as is the rest of the acting. Its a great popcorn movie!

Its safe, and theres really nothing story wise. After the awesome beginning and the rest, it just keeps going with no stop. Had no problem with the effects or the action. It jus seemed smaller. I counted 3-4 action scenes where Last Crusade had 7-9 action scenes. Theres no real conflict, more just a get there first feel vibe to it, that hurts it.

Its definitely a film you need to see more than once. I'm pretty hammered right now. The last moment while corney is absolutely fantastic, but the action or story itself didnt have that WOW factor. I need to see this more than once to grow. But its by no means a disappointment. Funny. good action and characters in an interesting story is all I can ask for. It ws much better than Narnia and about as good as IronMan at first glance. Right now I'd give this a solid with room to grown B+ where the others I'd give an A+. Definitely need to watch this again though. Id say my biggest disappointment is in the score. Theres hardly anything memorable

But Indiana Jones is back, and makes quite an impression in the summer months. Right now I'll say its not the best of the three, no doubt. I can see thie rising easily. B+ to A+ not as impossible once expectations fall off.

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Thu May 22, 2008 3:10 am
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Post Re: Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
It's entertaining, but it's too far-fetched (even for an Indy flick) . The action scenes are exciting, but the CGI overload made me want to punch a baby. Harrison Ford still got it, but John Hurt and Ray Winstone were underused. It was kinda funny, but at least half the jokes fell flat. It was good, but it doesn't hold a candle to the old films.

7/10

Iron Man can sleep tight. It's still the best film of the year.


Thu May 22, 2008 3:10 am
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Post Re: Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
im gonna have to tell all fans to STAY AWAY from this bitch in theaters..

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Thu May 22, 2008 3:11 am
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Post Re: Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
It was whatever fun. Not in the sam league as any of the originals, but still better than most of the blockbuster crap we get today.
I guess the best thing I can say about it is that I was able to sit through it even though I forgot to take my ADHD medicine today.
Spielberg and the cast did what they could, but the screenplay (story arc and dialogue) were mediocre....seriously, 20 years for that?
And LaBeouf was underused and overclothed.

B-


Thu May 22, 2008 3:12 am
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Post Re: Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
I'm supposed to write a review for the site tonight, but my brain is so scattershot right now that it'll have to wait for the morning. From what I saw tonight, I can now gather that there is a lot of stuff done right and a lot of stuff that weren't so good. Here's one thing to keep in mind though for whoever reads this - the theater I saw the film at had an absolutely horrible sound system going tonight for some reason and it started with the trailers (with the exception of Wall-E, there wasn't a good one). John Williams' score did not pop. The punches did not pop. Nothing jumped out from the screen in terms of sound. That's another reason I don't exactly want to review it right now. I think in some respects, the film didn't get a fair shake because a huge part of the series is the sound.

Okay, here's where I think a general audience is going to have a problem with this film - the 1950's setting. I think it's pretty much impossible to have the same kind of 30's serial within a film that's set in the 1950's so I think anyone going in expecting something along the lines of the earlier films are going to be sorely disappointed (the legs on this will not be as good as I once thought by the way, at least based on my quickly sold out screening). Spielberg and Lucas are trying to mix both genres together (especially at the end) and they don't quite fit together as much as they probably would've hoped for.

I can barely tell what I'm writing about anymore so let me just break it down like this:

The Bad/Not so good
Cate Blanchett - Bland (along with the way she's dispatched)
CGI Animals at the beginning - Bad
60% of the jungle chase (horrible CGI, not even in line with the look of the older film's blue screen) - The sword fight looks terrible
Ants - Corny
The ending does not have that "wonderment" quality to it that other Spielberg films that have similar "scenes" have had before. - We're left wondering what the hell we just saw.

The Good/Very Good
The opening, fridge and all. It's very different from anything we've seen before in the series, but it's fun.
Harrison Ford - He falls right into place and he's great.
Shia and Karen - Shia's very good and Karen is good though she is underused.
The action/the journey - With the exception of the jungle chase, Spielberg knows what he's doing.
The screenplay for the most part - Although Jones apparently is no longer blacklisted (that went nowhere). I'm sure there are a couple of more problems, but I overlooked them.

Doesn't quite fit a category
Quick pace. It's both beneficial and harmful. We needed more of Indy/Marion/Mutt

Overall it's entertaining, but quite flawed. It's easily the worst in the series. That saying I hope there's a fifth because they seem to get it really right with the odd number films.

***

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Thu May 22, 2008 3:36 am
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Post Re: Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
The only thing I am disapointed in is all of you! This film was awesome!!!! Fits right with the others, but admitly takes a while to get there. In the end tremendously entertaining!

A+

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Thu May 22, 2008 3:57 am
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Post Re: Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
What were you all expecting? A reboot?

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Thu May 22, 2008 4:14 am
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Post Re: Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
Pretty disappointed. The alien concept was waaay too far out there, especially not to be further explained. It just didn't fit Indy at all. He didn't even seem that affected by it, as it changes everything he's ever studied.

I enjoyed the action, though there was too many cliche bullets being fired but never hitting him. Where was the danger? I mean, they shot Sean Connery in Last Crusade. Though the people you wanted to die died, they weren't even that satisfying. Plus there wasn't even notable recognizable enemies. Besides Blanchett and Mac, all of them blended together.

I did enjoy a lot of parts though, like the quicksand, ants, some of the jungle chase, and the motorcycle sequence. Though none of this even approached Last Crusade's epic action.

The cast for the main part did very well with what they were given. Indy and Shia were awesome.

It just feels like everything that was wrong with the Star Wars prequels that didn't make them feel like Star wars happened again here. Dang George Lucas.

Grade: B-/C+


Thu May 22, 2008 4:29 am
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Post Re: Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
Did none of you guys know the whole alien conspiracies behind the ancients before this? And all of the missed shots? How come you don't complain when it happened in every other Indy film and the original Star Wars film (even more so in the latter)?

Honestly it feels like you guys expected too much.

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Thu May 22, 2008 4:34 am
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Post Re: Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
I still laugh when someone thinks an apocalyptic Ark of the Covenent, heart-removing magic, and eternal life-granting Grail are real, but aliens are too far.

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Thu May 22, 2008 4:48 am
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Post Re: Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
I KNOW! My God people anymore are too blind to see how the old films had the same flaws, but people liked them because thier expectations were lower.

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