Thanks for checking out our Indiana Jones 4 review. If you’d like, you can watch the video version of our Indiana Jones 4 review at the bottom of the post.
For years… nay… decades, film fans have been patiently awaiting another Indiana Jones film. Everything was quite until about 7 years ago when it came out that Lucas, Spielberg and Ford were indeed interested in brining the all time greatest action hero back to the silver screen… there was even talk once of Kevin Costner joining the series as Indy’s younger brother (don’t laugh… it’s actually something that I thought had some merit, but probably better that it never came to pass). As the years past, the feasibility of an aging Harrison Ford wearing the great hat again seemed to get less and less likely… to the point that some people (like myself) gave up all hope of it ever coming to pass.
Then word came out that an Indiana Jones 4 film was indeed in the works. Hope ran high. Joy once again returned to the nation and even the 65 year old Harrison Ford looked great. So does Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull live up to the great “Indiana Jones” name? Unfortunately… no.
THE GENERAL IDEA
The year is now 1957 and our intrepid hero, Indiana Jones has been kidnapped by Russian agents who need his help to find an important artifact hidden at the infamous Area 51. When the Russians get away with their prize, circumstances draw Indy and a young man (Shia LaBeouf) whose mother is being held by the same Russians into a race to uncover the mystery the Russians are trying to unravel that revolves around a strange crystal skull that legend says leads to a great city of gold. And so the adventure begins.
With Harrison Ford being 65 years old, one of my biggest fears was that Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull would just ignore the age issue and go on its merry way pretending like it just the same old Indy and asking us to suspend our belief about his age. Thankfully, the movie doesn’t do this. It not only acknowledges the age issue, there are a number of points throughout the film where they actually poke a lot of fun at it as well. I know it sounds strange, but just the fact that the movie often highlights the age issue sort of makes the action sequences seem more believable.
Let me talk about the action sequences here just a little bit. There are a couple of set pieces in this movie… including a car chase through the jungle and a motor cycle / car chase around the university campus, that really are spectacular. As a matter of fact, I’d go so far as to say that I think the jungle car chase scene actually surpasses that classic scene from Raiders of the Lost Ark where Indy gets dragged behind the truck. They were exciting, thrilling and had me on the edge of my seat. Some really good stuff.
The movie does a nice job of subtly referring to a number of things from the previous movies. George Lucas, when left on his own, went way over board with this in the Star Wars prequels, so there was a little fear that they would do that, or go to the opposite extreme and not allude to the previous movies at all. I’m glad to say they found some very nice middle ground
Although I’m a fan of Shia LaBeouf, and despite the fact that there are a couple of pretty solid scenes with him in the movie… I’m sorry, but no matter how much I tried I just couldn’t get into his character in the movie at all. For the first 10 minutes we see him he annoys the hell out of me… and after that he’s a lot less annoying, but still kind of felt “in the way” more than anything else for the movie. In heidsight I think the film would have been much stronger had he not been in it (the character I mean)
Despite the references to the older films, and despite the fact that Harrison Ford was as charming as ever as Indiana Jones… the movie never really felt like an Indiana Jones movie to me. I watched all three of the originals again this weekend, and Crystal Skull just doesn’t fit in well with the other 3 at all in my opinion. The movie failed to capture that essence that the other films had… so although the characters were there, the lines were there and even some of the memories… the “flavor” just wasn’t there.
**POSSIBLE SPOILER** As many of you have guessed from the trailers and some of the early rumors, there is an Alien plot in the movie that never worked for me at all. As a matter of fact it made the whole movie feel like it belonged to another franchise all together. It was a bad idea in my opinion. **END OF SPOILERS**
I liked this movie. As a matter of fact, if this film had been called by another name, and the lead character was named “Edward Cummings” or something like that instead of Indiana Jones, I probably would have walked out of the theaters saying “You know what, that was a pretty damn good (not GREAT) movie”. But as an Indiana Jones film… one we’ve been waiting 20 years for, I can’t help but feel a little let down by it. Don’t get me wrong, I still think it was a pretty entertaining movie and well worth going to see… but it never felt like an Indy film to me, and it certainly wasn’t great enough to be worthy of the “Indiana Jones” name. So a good movie, that should have been better. Overall I give Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull a 7 out of 10.
You can view our Indiana Jones 4 review video version here: