Movie Review “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull”

Indiana Jones possesses a memorable past time within my heart. I remembered I watched the Raiders of the Lost Ark when I was studying at UCLA in 1981 and then the Temple of the Doom in 1984. It was the movie that brought out the youth and the craving for adventure of the audiences. Especially in this day and age of working constantly, having a little adventure can really satisfy one’s fantasy. Indiana Jones does that and does that well. This new movies provides the same setting and added a little new wrinkles to the now older Indiana Jones. Unbeknown to him, he has a son and a sweet heart who loves him dearly. Why not? Indiana always gets his woman. He’s a quintessential 007 with a whip and a trade-marked hat.

This Indiana Jones movie is still fast pace – very little dull moments. He’s constantly moving into and out of danger zone: running from machine gun bullets, surviving the atomic bomb blast in a lead-lined refrigerator, falling through 3 water falls in a jeep, surviving many fist fights among the killer ants, being rescued from quick sand with a snake, fighting with the bad guys on a car without falling out, and etc. He probably uses up his nine lives in a few short minutes – statistically improbably. But it’s a movie for everyone who hopes to have the same kind of luck.

As far as the storyline, I think it’s a little dull or should I say skull. The skull with a huge magnetism kept people guessing what it is and what it does. Linking any supernatural things to the extraterrestrial is the forte of Steven Spielberg. The old Astec castle with many hidden traps and short cuts turn into a giant space ship. It’s a big stretch but it’s almost predictable because many historians have speculated on the extreme high level of intelligence of these people. It’s a cop-out. Why not give these aboriginal people the credit? Perhaps, it’s a tough sell.

Throughout the movie, this tough young kid, who turns out to be his son, had to comb his greased hair constantly brought back to the old ’50 culture of the Harley Davidson gangs. It’s a bit cliche but if it appeals to the aged baby boomer (probably the targeted audience) – more power to them.

The new villains this time are the Russians, communists Given the Iron Curtain, Cold War era of the ’50 and ’60, this is probably a good fit. Besides, you can’t keep blaming the Germen or it gets pretty dry. The stated motivation for Russians to pursue the skulls is for the mind control – a Stalin’s passion, I suppose. It didn’t seem to be very believable in that era when surviving economically as a whole is the main argument for the communist ideology. I can imagine this would be a good weapon of mass destruction for the extremist nowadays though.

One of the villains is Dr. Jones’ colleague who betrayed him that got him in trouble. But I don’t understand why he kept having him tag along just to be sold out again later. It seems to point to Indiana Jones’ poor judgment of character or simply too bent on friendship.

Overall, it’s not bad entertainment value at $6 (matinĂ©e) each but no more. It certainly saves me lots of gas and $ if the whole family has to go out for a similar adventure, if I dare take on one like that.