Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull Review – Bloody Awful!
When you watch the latest in the Indiana Jones series, you have a few expectations.
- A bad character obsessed with knowledge
- Some mystical artefact that everybody wants
- Indiana Jones whip being used creatively to justify the use of carrying one all the time
- A beautiful girl at Jones’ side
What you get instead is an elongated teaser trailer. In fact, if you want to know exactly what happens in this film, watch the trailer and use your imagination to fill in the gaps. Surely a teaser is just that. It teases you with what is in the film, but doesn’t give all of the action sequences. What it shouldn’t do is give you enough in it, for you to write the story yourself; and probably better than what is offered here.
Yes, Indiana Jones is back and this time he has an entourage. It is not a spoiler that Jones is followed by Mutt Williams (Shia LaBeouf), a chap called Oxley (John Hurt), Marion ‘Ravenwood’ (Karen Allen) and Ray Winstone (Mac – who seems to utter the proclamation ‘JONESY” every five minutes). Gone are the days it seems, that Indy can be alone (with his woman, and perhaps some annoying Vietnamese kid named Short Round). No, this year’s Indy needs some help it seems.
It’s 1957 and we know that not only because of the date stamp on the screen, but also because of the director’s useful inclusion of a 50’s style hot-rod driving down the road. The first thing that comes to mind is: Does Indy belong in this time period? Short answer: NO! Long Answer: NO NO NO NO NO! Let’s be honest, Mutt’s hairdo doesn’t seem to fit in with the time period.
We are introduced to some main characters fairly early on in the proceedings. In fact, this scene is one from the trailer and you start thinking to yourself: “when are we going to see stuff, I haven’t already”? Well, you get about 5 minutes of new material, followed by trailer material (but elongated), followed by 20 plus minutes of BORING material and then back and forth from the trailer material (lengthened somewhat) to the new material (short and unexciting), until the story ends and you’re left wondering: “Did I miss the story or something”? The fact is, the story was so haphazard it feels like it was written on the back of a cream cracker. The last crusade was released in 1989 and it is now 2008. You’d think in 17 years, they would have designed a better storyline. You’d think that Mr Lucas and Mr Spielberg would have a good long hard think about it. No! Not this one.
The “Bad guy” is played by Cate Blanchett, sporting a hairdo which resembles a Beatle (maybe Ringo). She is distinctive because of her awful accent which drops periodically (as soon as 5 minutes into the piece). She also likes grey. Oh and she is the first clue that this film is a waste of time: she uses the word “psychic”. I’m thinking to myself, “Oh! We’re gonna get Temple of Doom all up in here, are we”? I hated Temple of Doom and this film was starting to lose me. I was aware of the inclusion of Shia LaBeouf’s character (Mutt), which you’d think would be a good idea (to add some fresh blood to the mix) but in fact fails on so many levels. This is a man who has mimicked himself on Brando (from The Wild One) and yet is so vain, feels it important to have a name badge so everyone knows who he is. Perhaps it was some sort of unfunny joke to Lucas and Spielberg to make this boy’s nickname (for that is what it is) dog sounding, for us to think that Mutt could be related to Indy (since Indy is the “dogs’ name”). This character was annoying and unnecessarily defensive for the first part of the film and in the way for the rest of it. He was Indiana Jones’ Scrappy-Doo! The annoying little runt that EVERYONE hated (except silly kids). It is sad to think that for some reason, Lucas et al thought it necessary for this.
Of all the new characters though, a return (and a welcome one at that) was that of Marion Ravenwood (Karen Allen). This was the only good move made in the film. It was comfortable to see Allen and she has aged beautifully. I’m glad that they didn’t want to include a younger model as this truly would not have fit the dynamic. I’ll admit that the occasions (and there weren’t many) when there was banter between Allen and Ford, it was like no time had occurred between Raiders and this film.
Ray Winstone is as solid as ever, but whilst having to work with an awful script he does his best. Ford however, cannot play Indiana Jones anymore. It seems that every time he goes through a bit of action, he has to have a sit down afterwards. Also, whilst sinking into presumably quicksand, he decides to give Mutt a geology lesson. When did Indy become the geek? Is this what happens when you get old? Shoot me now if this is the case.
The fact is, this film:
- Should not have been made
- Should not have the character Mutt in it
- Should not have been called Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
- Should have been called ‘Mutt Williams and the Mystically Awful Storyline’ and the twist would be to incorporate the necessary hand-over from Indy to Mutt.
- Shouldn’t have included X-files type elements in it.
- Should have included the fat man from Raiders and Last Crusade
- Should have had more snakes
- Would have been better if it had followed the trail of Ark again
- Is a cheap attempt at continuing the franchise with another character
- is bettered by the Mummy series
- is nowhere near as entertaining as Allan Quatermain and the Temple of Skulls (it’s ‘mockbuster’).
- Doesn’t explain adequately why the title is so-called.
- Has only a few good scenes (most of which were seen on the trailer)
I can’t tell you how disappointed I am with this film. I can honestly say I had fun whilst watching The Asylum’s Allan Quatermain and the Temple of Skulls (in an embarrassing painful way). I had no such fun with this film. In fact, there is a scene bettered by another film which was influenced by it. The Mummy had a scene with beetles and this film has a scene with “killer ants” (I’m not kidding). The Mummy’s version of this was so much scarier.
How dare you Steven Spielberg and George Lucas! How dare you take my childhood, take an elongated crap all over it and flush it down the toilet! This piece of cinema is not worthy of my time or yours. How dare you put the name Indiana Jones on it, only for the action to be mainly taken up by Mutt! How dare you blatantly make it clear that for the Indiana Jones series to continue, it will star Shia LaBeouf as Mutt! How dare you insult the audience into thinking that Indiana Jones was back when really he was lost in an entourage! How dare you surround yourselves with “YES MEN” that just agree with every harebrained scheme you come up with! This film, like most of the poor actors playing the characters, is wasted!
Sadly, though this film WILL make the money required to put it in profit and therefore give Spielberg and Lucas the false-belief that this movie was good enough! I say to all of you listening now: DO NOT GO AND SEE THIS FILM IF YOU WANT TO KEEP THE MAGIC THAT WAS INDIANA JONES!
Y’know, the sad thing about all of this? I have to go and see this film again, as I have promised my sons I’d take them. Rest assured, I will be sleeping throughout and afterwards questioning how Henry Jones Sr (Sean Connery) died when he was supposedly immortal (didn’t he drink from the Holy Grail?). This film is merely okay. However, it has the cheek to call itself an Indiana Jones film, and for that it will get a MUCH lower score: 1.5 out of 5. Wasted and rushed..quite, quite awful!