Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008) – Movie Review

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Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull is the fourth film of the series and is directed by Steven Spielberg and co-written by executive producer George Lucas. Harrison Ford stars as the older but wiser Dr. Henry Jones Jr. a.k.a. Indiana Jones.

SPOILER WARNING: Plot and/or ending details follow.

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford), “Mutt” Williams (Shia LaBouef) and Marion Ravenwood (Karen Allen) in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

The movie opens with a group of teenagers joyrides through the Nevada desert in a vintage car, listening to deafening rock music from the radio. It is obviously the 1950′s. Indiana Jones and his friend George “Mac” McHale (Ray Winstone) have been kidnapped by the Russian military led by Irina Spalko (Cate Blanchett) and are brought to Area 51. Spalko wants Jones to locate a mysterious object in the warehouse and when they have found the box and unearthed it, it seems to be something from another world. Before long, Indy escapes after realizing his friend “Mac” works for the communists.

After surviving a nuclear test by hiding in a refrigerator, Indy’s back to the classroom teaching. While in the train, he is pursued by a young man called Mutt Williams (Shia LeBeouf) who looks like James Dean with slicked hair, motorcycle and a pocket knife. Mutt tells Indy that an old colleague, Professor Oxley (John Hurt) is going to be killed and gives him letters from Oxley. This leads them to find a crystal skull in Peru without knowing “Mac” and Spalko are following them relentlessly.

Indy and Mutt manage to find and rescue Oxley and Mario Ravenwood (Karen Allen), Indy’s love interest from Raiders of the Lost Ark who happens to be Mutt’s mom. Together, they make a daring escape not once but twice, the second time succeed after a rough topsy-turvy battle through the jungles. Along the way, Mutt displays some superb skill of swordplay and even he even swings like the monkeys and ends up in the jeep with Indy. When Indy encounters “Mac”, “Mac” tells Indy that he works for the CIA and Indy believes him as easy as a pie. Everyone runs helter-skelter after they all landed on the colony of gigantic siafu ants. Miraculously, the ants avoid crystal skull, so Indy and Colonel Dovchenko (Igor Jijikine) are able to battle it out hand-to-hand combat on the ant’s colony.

After escaping from the Russians, Indy and the gang (including “Mac”) ends up in the water when Ravenwood makes an unbelievable attempt at driving through the cliff only to land on a tree besides the cliff which safely brings Indy and the gang down to the ground. After falling through three waterfalls, everyone survive without barely a scratch (we are not talking about the normal waterfalls, these waterfalls are almost like the size of Victoria Falls). Through the final waterfall, they have discovered the entrance without knowing “Mac” has secretly dropped a tracking device for Spalko to track their location.

The Indiana Jones movies are always exhilarating and bring never-ending excitement and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull is no different. Though there are flaws in the movie like none of core characters got injured, jumping jeep from the cliff and landed safely, falling and surviving waterfalls, surviving nuclear bomb in a refrigerator, we all know Indiana Jones is an action hero and Harrison Ford does it right again. Shia LeBeouf has apparently grown up from the Transformers movie into a rougher young adult while Cate Blanchett plays her role well as a Russian communist, in fact, she even speaks flawlessly in Russian accent. Besides the usual heart-pounding excitement, the movie is somewhat lightheartedly funny. Like it or hate it, the movie is put together perfectly by the brilliant Spielberg and Lucas and are played well, every bit of it.

My ratings: 9 out of 10.

  • http://www.kogmedia.com/ patrick

    it would seem that the recipe of a good Indiana Jones film would be 1 part Nazis and 1 part Biblical Artefact… the Soviet army does a pretty good job of replacing the Nazis, but the other thing…

  • http://www.kogmedia.com patrick

    it would seem that the recipe of a good Indiana Jones film would be 1 part Nazis and 1 part Biblical Artefact… the Soviet army does a pretty good job of replacing the Nazis, but the other thing…

  • http://www.yowazzup.com yowazzup

    @patrick: I have to agree with you.

  • http://www.yowazzup.com james pong

    @patrick: I have to agree with you.

  • moon

    It’s SIAFU ants…

  • moon

    It’s SIAFU ants…

  • http://www.yowazzup.com yowazzup

    @moon: Gigantic siafu ants perhaps?

  • http://www.yowazzup.com james pong

    @moon: Gigantic siafu ants perhaps?

  • Avalanche

    Have you ever been to Niagara Falls? The falls in this movie were like three times that size. ….and completely unsurvivable.

  • Avalanche

    Have you ever been to Niagara Falls? The falls in this movie were like three times that size. ….and completely unsurvivable.

  • http://www.yowazzup.com yowazzup

    @Avalanche: Nope. Thanks for sharing. I’ve changed it to Victoria Falls instead.

  • http://www.yowazzup.com james pong

    @Avalanche: Nope. Thanks for sharing. I’ve changed it to Victoria Falls instead.

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  • http://surfjedi.blogspot.com/ SurfJedi

    I thought this movie was pretty good. A lot of the critics gave it a hard time for unbelievable stunts and action sequences, but isn’t that why we watch Indiana Jones? This was definitely better than Temple of Doom.

  • http://surfjedi.blogspot.com SurfJedi

    I thought this movie was pretty good. A lot of the critics gave it a hard time for unbelievable stunts and action sequences, but isn’t that why we watch Indiana Jones? This was definitely better than Temple of Doom.

  • Lynn Angela Pisco

    No matter how hard work you have done as an actress, Karen Allen has proven herself time and time again through her years developing each of these remarkable characters on film she knows how to delivered a wonderful dialogs especially when providing the new and improved Marion Ravenwood in this particular film . I think she has done a great job providing different elements of taking charge in certain situations and have Harrison Ford as Indy has gotten the point that she really loves him that much in a way it seems . Even though they are much older and more wiser and hasn’t changed since then come on now. Yes, I have seen this movie at least six times because of Karen Allen . The way she took control was absolutely fantastic indeed. Driving shot gun in front of a Russian truck and then going into another vehicle that looks like a boat during these jungle chase scene was unbelievable indeed. Also there was another part of this movie when she has to drive full throttle towards into the water rapids while Indy was ordering Marion’s the directions on which way to turn obviously he didn’t enjoyed as well as she does perhaps but however it seems she knows exactly what to do incase anything else happens and it did apparently . Although it seems most likely there was when these actors have to put enough energy in doing their physical training efforts in stunts especially Karen Allen’s part because it was difficult for her to do it but she kept her level to reach a certain hype for this and I think she is out a doubt one of the most recognizable actresses who can take on any challenges there is and hopefully there’s no one else who can’t do it better than her come on now . She is capable to do whatever it takes but apparently no other Hollywood actresses like Kathleen Turner or perhaps Julia Roberts themselves can’t resistant to do their own part of doing any of these action films unless they have to train hard inorder to get in a physical shape at the age of 56 like this lovely and devoted woman here Karen Allen herself !

  • Lynn Angela Pisco

    No matter how hard work you have done as an actress, Karen Allen has proven herself time and time again through her years developing each of these remarkable characters on film she knows how to delivered a wonderful dialogs especially when providing the new and improved Marion Ravenwood in this particular film . I think she has done a great job providing different elements of taking charge in certain situations and have Harrison Ford as Indy has gotten the point that she really loves him that much in a way it seems . Even though they are much older and more wiser and hasn’t changed since then come on now. Yes, I have seen this movie at least six times because of Karen Allen . The way she took control was absolutely fantastic indeed. Driving shot gun in front of a Russian truck and then going into another vehicle that looks like a boat during these jungle chase scene was unbelievable indeed. Also there was another part of this movie when she has to drive full throttle towards into the water rapids while Indy was ordering Marion’s the directions on which way to turn obviously he didn’t enjoyed as well as she does perhaps but however it seems she knows exactly what to do incase anything else happens and it did apparently . Although it seems most likely there was when these actors have to put enough energy in doing their physical training efforts in stunts especially Karen Allen’s part because it was difficult for her to do it but she kept her level to reach a certain hype for this and I think she is out a doubt one of the most recognizable actresses who can take on any challenges there is and hopefully there’s no one else who can’t do it better than her come on now . She is capable to do whatever it takes but apparently no other Hollywood actresses like Kathleen Turner or perhaps Julia Roberts themselves can’t resistant to do their own part of doing any of these action films unless they have to train hard inorder to get in a physical shape at the age of 56 like this lovely and devoted woman here Karen Allen herself !

  • http://www.yowazzup.com yowazzup

    @ Lynn: Wow, what a long comment. Well-said. Karen Allen is a great actress indeed.

  • http://www.yowazzup.com james pong

    @ Lynn: Wow, what a long comment. Well-said. Karen Allen is a great actress indeed.