I did something for the first time yesterday. I finally broke out my bluray box set of the 4 Indiana Jones films and watched Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. The 4th and currently the last entry of the franchise that caused a lot of uproar from fans. I’ve seen each of the original 3 films a handful of times each and they are among my favorites. Sometimes I feel I like Temple of Doom the best, but Crystal Skull has sat on the shelf for quite a while now. I’ve passed up watching it on cable quite a few times too.
I can see a few reasons why some people hate it. Shia LaBeouf’s character is a main criticism and I will agree that the character is pretty annoying, but I don’t think it would take the many changes to make him likeable. The whole greaser thing is the thing that pissed me off about him. Bringing the comb out every five minutes. If you ditched that and the fact that he carried himself like a wannabe tough guy I probably could’ve given him a pass. I won’t even blame LaBeouf because Mutt is the character he was given.
Sure, the fridge/nuke moment is pretty laughable and the CGI on pretty much any creature in the film is pretty bad but I thought a lot of the excitement that the original films had remained in tact. The action was still pretty good. The opening scene is probably the best. Harrison Ford is great as Jones and I really would like to see him get one last whack at the character because he’s earned it. The reveal of the character for the first time in 20 years is one of my favorite moments in in movie. Spielberg also gives a solid effort as director and I’m sure most people really believe that most of the wild choices were made by George Lucas who was on the set for the whole production and wrote the story treatment. Seeing Karen Allen come back and adding some good actors like Cate Blanchett and John Hurt certainly helped too.
Lucasfilm is already working on Indiana Jones 5 which is probably going to scrap Mutt and possibly introduce a young Jones that can take on the mantle from here. Crystal Skull is easily the worst in the franchise but I think calling it garbage is a little bit of a stretch. I would watch it again in a heartbeat. Its just not a masterpiece like the first 3 are. Solid 6/10 film in my opinion. If you’ve avoided it so far you’re not really missing out but I don’t think you’re any worse for enjoying it.
Is Kingdom of the Crystal Skull that bad?