Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008) Movie Review

20 Comments

After 19 years, the man in the fedora finally makes his long-overdue return to the big screen in Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull and the question that’s on everyone’s mind is: “Is this movie worth the price of admission?”

Well, let’s put it this way: my fiancée purchased the tickets and I still wanted to get my money back.

George Lucas and Steven Spielberg are two examples whose talent goes against the old “gets better with age” theory: Indy 4 is a predictable, boring, and all-together uninspired (even John Williams music sounds rather insipid) waste of two hours.

In staying true to form, Spielberg has pulled no punches in the overuse of shadows (not to mention the proverbial shots of people looking at things in awe) while Lucas has once again created another CGI-laden wreck.

Apart from a few nice visuals (and only a few), the only really nice touch here is a brief bit with “Scrubs” regular Neil Flynn as an FBI agent (the second time Ford and Flynn have appeared onscreen together).

Several really big things that irked me include:

The action is unbelievable. Yes, the action for all of the Indiana Jones films has been unbelievable, but this time it’s really unbelievable (which, in all fairness, is saying something).

Bad CGI.

The acting is either stilted or hammy, no in-between.

Cutesy cutaway shots of critters.

Dialogue that would make even a K. Gordon Murray import sound lucid.

Bad, bad CGI.

The memory of the late Denholm Elliot is spat upon.

John Hurt isn’t given enough to do.

Bad, bad, bad CGI.

Incidentally, George “I traded my talent in for cold-hard cash” Lucas has hinted that more adventures with Indy 4 co-star Shia LaBeouf (which I think means “She-man of the Beef” in French, but I could be mistaken) will probably follow, so my advice is don’t pay to see this movie: it’ll only encourage him to make more.

Cheers,
Luigi Bastardo

Read another review of the film here.

Steven Spielberg (director) / David Koepp, George Lucas, Jeff Nathanson (screenplay)
CAST: Harrison Ford … Indiana Jones
Cate Blanchett … Irina Spalko
Karen Allen … Marion Ravenwood
Shia LaBeouf … Mutt Williams
Ray Winstone … ‘Mac’ George McHale
John Hurt … Professor Oxley
Jim Broadbent … Dean Charles Stanforth


Buy Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull on DVD

Author: Adam Becvar aka Luigi Bastardo

  • dustin

    This review smacks of the kind jaded cynicism that has more to say about the reviewer than the film.

    Immediately discounted.

    p.s.I haven’t seen the film yet but I thought the CGI was supposed to have been kept to a minimum. That was the whole point. Speilberg said he only used it to replace matt paintings and to erase the cables on the stunt work.

  • dustin

    This review smacks of the kind jaded cynicism that has more to say about the reviewer than the film.

    Immediately discounted.

    p.s.I haven’t seen the film yet but I thought the CGI was supposed to have been kept to a minimum. That was the whole point. Speilberg said he only used it to replace matt paintings and to erase the cables on the stunt work.

  • dustin

    The movie gets 80% certified fresh at Rotten Tomatoes? Count this review doubley discounted.

    Hey random guy on the street who probably doesn’t even like the original Indiana Jones movies (or at least he did like them years ago but since then he has become a mal-content film hater) What did you think of the new one?

    “Too many cutesy cut away shots of critters”

    Wow-That sound like a completely vailid criticism and clearly you are someone who’s opinion should be adhered to. Thank you for helping me dodge this bullet.

  • dustin

    The movie gets 80% certified fresh at Rotten Tomatoes? Count this review doubley discounted.

    Hey random guy on the street who probably doesn’t even like the original Indiana Jones movies (or at least he did like them years ago but since then he has become a mal-content film hater) What did you think of the new one?

    “Too many cutesy cut away shots of critters”

    Wow-That sound like a completely vailid criticism and clearly you are someone who’s opinion should be adhered to. Thank you for helping me dodge this bullet.

  • Taylor

    There was indeed a lot more CGI than I thought there would be, considering, as Dustin mentioned, what Spielberg has said about that issue. However, I didn’t think the quality of the CGI was that bad.

    In general, though, I didn’t much care for the movie. I never felt the sense of fun, adventure, or discovery that made the other Indy movies so enjoyable (despite their flaws). This is not a triumphant return, there is no “Yeah! Indiana Jones is back!” moment. There’s not even a grand statement of the “Raider’s March” from John Williams. The general storyline is acceptable and at times interesting, but the script is weak, especially when it comes to dialogue and, again, in making the viewer feel a sense of discovery and/or excitement as Indy puts together the clues.

    Plus, Indy hardly uses his whip.

    I hope there will be another review. This one seems very rushed.

  • Taylor

    There was indeed a lot more CGI than I thought there would be, considering, as Dustin mentioned, what Spielberg has said about that issue. However, I didn’t think the quality of the CGI was that bad.

    In general, though, I didn’t much care for the movie. I never felt the sense of fun, adventure, or discovery that made the other Indy movies so enjoyable (despite their flaws). This is not a triumphant return, there is no “Yeah! Indiana Jones is back!” moment. There’s not even a grand statement of the “Raider’s March” from John Williams. The general storyline is acceptable and at times interesting, but the script is weak, especially when it comes to dialogue and, again, in making the viewer feel a sense of discovery and/or excitement as Indy puts together the clues.

    Plus, Indy hardly uses his whip.

    I hope there will be another review. This one seems very rushed.

  • Patrick

    Adam aka Luigi is dead on.

    This movie was garbage. Lucas needs to stop. No more directing or writing. Stop with CGI… just stop. Patton Oswalt had a very good tangent on the subject re: Lucas & Star Wars. That’s about where I stand.

    Spielberg always produces quality, but whether it’s a good movie or not is a 50-50 chance.

    Besides all of the above said by Luigi / Adam, which again, is 100% accurate, he left out that every scene involving Ford was with him sitting, lying down, or being thrown at his enemies. His age, while joked at, was seriously hindering the project. They were 10 years too late on this one.

    Oh, and an attention-to-detail issue I had- Indie had two pictures of his father (Connery) and his friend Marcus on his desk. But no attempt was made to make these look like real pictures from a 1950s type camera or even how a normal photograph would look. They were blatant screen captures from Last Crusade. Very B-movie-esque BS, which is really beyond me how Spielberg would let slide.

    So while very harsh, the above review was spot on. Hollywood has no soul, and will sell their sister for a dollar. Case in point- Indiana Jones 4.

  • Patrick

    Adam aka Luigi is dead on.

    This movie was garbage. Lucas needs to stop. No more directing or writing. Stop with CGI… just stop. Patton Oswalt had a very good tangent on the subject re: Lucas & Star Wars. That’s about where I stand.

    Spielberg always produces quality, but whether it’s a good movie or not is a 50-50 chance.

    Besides all of the above said by Luigi / Adam, which again, is 100% accurate, he left out that every scene involving Ford was with him sitting, lying down, or being thrown at his enemies. His age, while joked at, was seriously hindering the project. They were 10 years too late on this one.

    Oh, and an attention-to-detail issue I had- Indie had two pictures of his father (Connery) and his friend Marcus on his desk. But no attempt was made to make these look like real pictures from a 1950s type camera or even how a normal photograph would look. They were blatant screen captures from Last Crusade. Very B-movie-esque BS, which is really beyond me how Spielberg would let slide.

    So while very harsh, the above review was spot on. Hollywood has no soul, and will sell their sister for a dollar. Case in point- Indiana Jones 4.

  • Me

    Another swing and a miss for these jokers. I wish Spielberg and Lucas would stop dreaming up lousy projects at their slumber parties. IJ4 is full of CGI, it gives the film a cartoony feel and takes you out of the moment. I’m a huge fan of Shia, but he seemed miscast and, at times, completely out of sorts. Ford needed a stunt double every time he got out of a chair, and what’s with the animals?? I tell everyone that asks to wait for cable and, even then, only if Sopranos reruns aren’t on somewhere (yeah I said it).

  • Me

    Another swing and a miss for these jokers. I wish Spielberg and Lucas would stop dreaming up lousy projects at their slumber parties. IJ4 is full of CGI, it gives the film a cartoony feel and takes you out of the moment. I’m a huge fan of Shia, but he seemed miscast and, at times, completely out of sorts. Ford needed a stunt double every time he got out of a chair, and what’s with the animals?? I tell everyone that asks to wait for cable and, even then, only if Sopranos reruns aren’t on somewhere (yeah I said it).