Right off the bat I want to say that I am giant fan of the previous three Indy films. Just behind me on the wall is the original poster from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, while not my favorite of the three it is my favorite Indy Poster. That being said…
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Chrystal Skull is pretty decent. I think the largest problem I had with the movie was the very distant totally unbelievable, far-fetched Lucas inspired ending. Aliens? *rolls eyes* Really?
Now I know I am getting ahead of myself. The beginning was stellar. With Elvis playing and some 50’s styled kids racing some army guys. Yeah it was an awesome beginning. The great part was it only got better. Indy is apparently in that Army racing car’s truck. He has been kidnapped by the communists and is being taken to Area 51 for the single best fight scene of the whole movie. While at Area 51, Indy shows the soviets (at gunpoint) this box that seems to contain an alien skull. This skull idea is one of the pinnacle points of the movie.
From here we get a great fight scene. Some awesome footage of Indiana fleeing into a town that he thought was some average town but it turned out to be testing for the A bomb. Nice stuff. Classic Indy.
Then it gets weird. The weirdness starts with the entrance of Mutt. Mutt is played by Shia LaBeouf, an actor whom I admire and respect. Even in this movie Mutt is a decent addition, like short stack before him in temple of doom he adds some much needed youth and humor. Now if you haven’t heard by now (or guessed for that matter) Mutt is Indy’s son. Mutts mom is Marion Ravenwood who plays Indy’s woman in the very first, Raiders of the Lost Ark. The catch is Indy doesn’t know this is his son and Spielburg wastes no time in letting the audience find this out.
So as Mutt pulls in the weirdness for awhile it is okay and then it goes down hill. About the halfway point the movie gets confusing and difficult to follow. The CGI seems to take over and no real stunts are done from this point on. And the aliens get more involved.
Now I know that everyone has been claiming they wanted Indy up against space for oh 20 years but needless to say I don’t think this is what everyone was looking for. I don’t want to fully spoil the movie but the last 15 minutes are pure crazy, confusing, star wars meets National treasure meets James Bond in Space kinda thing. Amongst all the things that it is the one thing it is not is Indiana Jones.
I guess the hard part is the Indiana Jones to me is the symbol of struggling faith. He never quite declares in the previous movies that he believes in God, but he does. Especially in Raiders and Last Crusade Indy teaches us something about faith in God and the divine. Sadly this movie teaches us more about believing in aliens. It steps away from it’s religious message to place itself with a more politically correct ending. And this ending left me bitter. If I would have written this the day after this review would be a lot more harsh but naturally time heals all wounds and so I am less against this movie now.
Overall while the ending was posh CGI garbage, the story of Indy, his son, and his son’s mom holds quite a bit of the movie up from sinking. Coming in at a very decent B average this movie is good enough to see in the theaters, good enough to own on DVD, but not quite good enough to stand up with the previous three.