Summer Film Series – Vol. 6, No. 1: INDIANA JONES AND THE KINGDOM OF THE CRYSTAL SKULL
May 27, 2008, at Cinemark 16, Allen, Texas
Naturally, there would be very little that would cause me to dislike the fourth (final?) installment of the Indiana Jones film series. First, it has everything going for it: a beloved character too-long-gone, a reteaming of the creative minds that first brought the genius to light, a contemporary cast of players to enhance the legend (Cate Blanchett and Shia LaBeauf being brilliant choices), and my first-ever celebrity crush once again donning the fedora. I had to love it! But I never counted on a story quite like The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.
It’s no secret that there is an extraterrestrial element to the story of the Crystal Skull. I was fully prepared for that “element”. I never dreamed it was as complex nor involved an alien story as it is. Your first clue comes near the beginning: an off-limits government site in the middle of the Nevada desert. A reference to Indy having been part of a secret research team on some “accident” in Roswell. And a glimpse of a corpse with elongated features emitting a highly magnetic aura. There’s really no getting past the concept once all of these pieces begin tumbling forward. And my suggestion to anyone unwilling to go to this place with Lucas and company is simply, rethink your reservations. This movie is worth the imagination stretches. It’s true to the thrill-ride of Indies Past. And though the ending will throw you into a completely new orbit (if you will), it’s still everything an Indiana Jones epic ought to be.
There are great little blink-and-you’ll-miss-them moments in Crystal Skull, and I have to say that these are the things I enjoyed the most. Yes, I’m a huge fan of young Shia and believed him to be a perfect complement to my beloved Mr. Ford, and yes, I enjoyed all the visual stimuli of Indy’s reluctant (again) adventure. But Lucas put some great little nuggets into the script that caused this fan’s heart to soar. From a brief glimpse of the Ark of the Covenant, locked away in that mysterious warehouse, to Indy’s comment about riding with Pancho Villa’s revolutionaries when he was young, a reference to the Young Indiana Jones Chronicles (and the one that made my heart leap!), the nod to the fans was half the fun for me. The filmmakers even chose to use the infamous line, “got a bad feeling about this” — a direct reference to Ford’s first blockbuster incarnation, though it eventually ran the gamut of the Star Wars universe. Love him or hate him, George Lucas knows how to hit the hearts of the fan, and he succeeded on all accounts with this girl. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull is a worthy addition to the legend and one I look forward to seeing over and over again.
image from Rotten Tomatoes