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

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



  • cherry K

    Oh yes you can say that again – Indy 4 is about as boring as a lame horse on sea weed. And for heaven’s sake give us a new spin will ya? I mean Area 51, Mayan civilization, alien ship, egg head creatures with bulbous eyes (looks like they took that straight out from the props of Close Encounters)you can find references of all of this from Eric Von Daniken’s Chariots of the Gods. It even looks like Georgie and Stevie studied that text back to front and even took out a page or two from the Roswell files, not to mention the biggest rip off from a 1993 movie/story – Tommyknockers by Stephen King. This story shares the same premise of alien ship buried underneath a townwhere the beings actually do ‘mind reads’, in other words, ‘telepathetic mumbo-jumbo’ that finds a new avatar in this movie. Man, no offence meant to the genius giantismo of SS and GL, but even National Treasure, its archeologically themed, moderately successful cine sibling does a better job of the action and humour in pace. About time someone cracked that whip and it ain’t gonna be Indy!

  • cherry K

    Oh yes you can say that again – Indy 4 is about as boring as a lame horse on sea weed. And for heaven’s sake give us a new spin will ya? I mean Area 51, Mayan civilization, alien ship, egg head creatures with bulbous eyes (looks like they took that straight out from the props of Close Encounters)you can find references of all of this from Eric Von Daniken’s Chariots of the Gods. It even looks like Georgie and Stevie studied that text back to front and even took out a page or two from the Roswell files, not to mention the biggest rip off from a 1993 movie/story – Tommyknockers by Stephen King. This story shares the same premise of alien ship buried underneath a townwhere the beings actually do ‘mind reads’, in other words, ‘telepathetic mumbo-jumbo’ that finds a new avatar in this movie. Man, no offence meant to the genius giantismo of SS and GL, but even National Treasure, its archeologically themed, moderately successful cine sibling does a better job of the action and humour in pace. About time someone cracked that whip and it ain’t gonna be Indy!

  • Mike

    After reading all the above reviews I want to say thank you guys for what you had to say. I watched this whole movie without throwing anything at the screen or cussing in front of the kids in the theatre, and was so happy when it ended. They started rolling the credits and I was sure no one would clap or cheer because of how terrible this was, but to my surprise everyone did! So its good to know that there are people that don’t always buy into the hype of a so called “good” movie and that you guys agree with me in thinking that it was garbage.

  • Mike

    After reading all the above reviews I want to say thank you guys for what you had to say. I watched this whole movie without throwing anything at the screen or cussing in front of the kids in the theatre, and was so happy when it ended. They started rolling the credits and I was sure no one would clap or cheer because of how terrible this was, but to my surprise everyone did! So its good to know that there are people that don’t always buy into the hype of a so called “good” movie and that you guys agree with me in thinking that it was garbage.

  • YoYo

    The review was right on. Lame story aside, i can’t tell you disappointed I was with the CGI. It was like they shot the whole thing in a studio. I was bored during the car chase seen. Why couldn’t they have set up a rig, drive it down a track, and have stunt men do the sword fight and then speed up the film. Great idea, but it just looked fake. Nothing compared to the Raiders truck convoy seen.

    I really don’t get it. Cost couldn’t be an issue. Don’t these guys realize that anytime I can tell it is CGI means it sucks?

  • YoYo

    The review was right on. Lame story aside, i can’t tell you disappointed I was with the CGI. It was like they shot the whole thing in a studio. I was bored during the car chase seen. Why couldn’t they have set up a rig, drive it down a track, and have stunt men do the sword fight and then speed up the film. Great idea, but it just looked fake. Nothing compared to the Raiders truck convoy seen.

    I really don’t get it. Cost couldn’t be an issue. Don’t these guys realize that anytime I can tell it is CGI means it sucks?

  • YoYo

    ….AND the one point where they really could have gone to town with the CGI was when one of the characters was zapped at the end. It was just a lame “burn up” nothing like the good ol’ melting face.

  • YoYo

    ….AND the one point where they really could have gone to town with the CGI was when one of the characters was zapped at the end. It was just a lame “burn up” nothing like the good ol’ melting face.

  • Jake

    I agree with most everyone here. This movie was horrible. There is no way Indy would’ve survived that fall in the refrigerator (believe it or not hiding in a fridge during a nuclear blast could save your life IF you’re not thrown a thousand yards). The waterfall scene was just absolutely ridiculous. I even tried to move past that scene but I just couldn’t. I felt like they actually think we’ll be dumb enough to believe something like that is remotely possible. And wasn’t that a shot of Angel Falls (the last water fall) WTF?!

    But, perhaps the worst scene of all was when Mutt went swinging through the jungle on the vines with the monkeys. For a few seconds I seriously thought I would see the words “Just kidding” pop up on the screen and the real movie would be shown. But surely no prankster would let a joke run that long? WRONG.

    I felt this movie was an insult to my intelligence. How stupid must someone be to where their mind will allow them to suspend disbelief for this film? Let me give you an idea. I have a retarded friend. Even she felt insulted by the waterfall scene.

    I think maybe that I have lost a few IQ points after watching this movie. Perhaps it’s part of a govt. conspiracy to dumb down the masses and turn us into mindless sheep. Oh wait…

  • Jake

    I agree with most everyone here. This movie was horrible. There is no way Indy would’ve survived that fall in the refrigerator (believe it or not hiding in a fridge during a nuclear blast could save your life IF you’re not thrown a thousand yards). The waterfall scene was just absolutely ridiculous. I even tried to move past that scene but I just couldn’t. I felt like they actually think we’ll be dumb enough to believe something like that is remotely possible. And wasn’t that a shot of Angel Falls (the last water fall) WTF?!

    But, perhaps the worst scene of all was when Mutt went swinging through the jungle on the vines with the monkeys. For a few seconds I seriously thought I would see the words “Just kidding” pop up on the screen and the real movie would be shown. But surely no prankster would let a joke run that long? WRONG.

    I felt this movie was an insult to my intelligence. How stupid must someone be to where their mind will allow them to suspend disbelief for this film? Let me give you an idea. I have a retarded friend. Even she felt insulted by the waterfall scene.

    I think maybe that I have lost a few IQ points after watching this movie. Perhaps it’s part of a govt. conspiracy to dumb down the masses and turn us into mindless sheep. Oh wait…