Indiana Jones is back years after helping his father find the Holy Grail and this time he is searching for quite the odd McGuffin in “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.” Indy reunited with Marion Ravenwood, meets the son he never knew he had and gets betrayed by an ally, again. In the end, it ends up being his weirdest adventure ever, while teasing future adventures.

This is definitely one of the weirder outings for Indiana Jones. The opening sets him up with a very weird situation in some type of nuclear test site filled with mannequins that he somehow survives by hiding in a refrigerator. Then, he has to go find his ex-girlfriend with the help of her son who he doesn’t realize is also his son. The villains end up being Russians instead of Nazis, and Indy’s former friend ends up turning on him for money.

Eventually, the climax of the film reveals the Crystal Skull connects to aliens. That has been a point of contention for a lot of Indiana Jones fans. I know some who don’t mind this film, because, after seeing the Ark melt Nazis faces and the Holy Grail temple destroyed, the idea of aliens and surviving nuclear explosions in a refrigerator really doesn’t seem that far-fetched. I know others who hate this film, because aliens or surviving nuclear explosions is too much for them even after seeing some of the crazier aspects of the original three. I always fell somewhere in the middle. Having accepted the crazier aspects of the first three films, this one isn’t too crazy. That being said, this film still feels like that once great band playing together again when they are too old. They still do everything fine, but it just doesn’t click like it once did.

My issue with this film is Shia LaBoeuf. This is probably the film where I started to turn on him as an actor. I loved him on “Even Stevens” and enjoyed his performances in “Holes” and “The Greatest Game Ever Played.” And, while there is plenty to criticize in the “Transformers” films, I enjoyed the first one as a popcorn flick and felt he was fine in it. In this film, I always felt like he was trying too hard to match the gravitas of Harrison Ford rather than just being Shia LaBoeuf. I haven’t really enjoyed any other films he’s made since. He’s definitely talented but starting with this performance is where he started to rub me the wrong way as an actor. That doesn’t even bring up the issues in his personal life that disgust many. I’m able to compartmentalize a lot when it comes to actors, so I’ve never worried about much about his personal life on a conscious level when it comes to films. This is still where I stopped liking him as an actor.

Is this film as terrible as the most hardened critics claim? No, it’s really not. Is this film good? No, it definitely is not. It can be a fun popcorn flick, but it really feels like going to the well too often. And that is what makes me wary about the fifth film in the series.

Rating: 2.5 stars

What did you think of “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull?”


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Jeremy Brown

Jeremy has been a big Disney fan since he was a kid growing up during the Disney Renaissance. One day he hopes to go to every Disney Park in the world.

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