Steven Spielberg and George Lucas bring you the greatest adventurer of all time in "a nonstop thrill ride" (Richard Corliss, Time) that's packed wiht "sensational, awe-inspiring spectacles" (Roger Ebert, CHICAGO SUN-TIMES). Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull finds Indy (Harrison Ford) tyring to outrace a brilliant and beautiful agent (Cate Blanchett) for the mystical, all-powerful crystal skull of Akator. Teaming up with a rebellious young biker (Shia LeBeouf) and his spirited original love Marion (Karen Allen), Indy takes you on an action-packed adventure in the exciting tradition of the classic Indiana Jones movies!
With it’s legion of fanboys like Star Wars franchise, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull opens to much fanfare. Like the latest Star Wars installments (and incidentally under George Lucas’s direction too), Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull received much hate and some loving fanboy denial cum protection.
Where to start with what went wrong with this “B Grade –esque” film dressed up as a Hollywood blockbuster? Much hate was pointed at the over the top implausible action moments such as “nuke the fridge” scenes (which became a memorable quote like “jump the shark” to describe such unbelievable moments) to “three time it falls” waterfall scenes.
There are fingers pointing at Shia LaBeouf, the sci-fi revelation behind the Crystal Skull, the Tarzan/monkeys swinging on the tree top as an excuse to showcase the Lucas’ Light and Magic Industry special computer generated images ability for causing the downfall of this installment.
Personally, it was the editing woes that stood out for this film. Particularly the action sequences such as the chase scene between the Indy’s jeep and the Russian’s jeep in the thick forest. One moment, Indy’s car was doing the chasing and the next moment (after jumping to Shai doing Tarzan) Indy’s car was being chased. Simple scene of showing how the switch happened between these two cars is totally neglected which made the editing stood out as a sore thumb and it actually took out a lot of excitement out of the chase sequences.
But then again, watching this movie in a Dvd format (as compared to watching it in the cinema with much anticipation after so many years) which is in a more relaxed and unhurried pace, it’s not that difficult to see why there are some folks who enjoyed Indy 4 for what it is.
With a more forgiving perspective and without expectation, the crampy fun seep in abundance and all the silliness was suddenly forgivable and easily overlooked. It’s still not as exciting or cool as the Raiders of the Lost Ark but it’s definitely not as irritating as Temple of Doom. It’s just a darn good B Grade Movie.
Hardcore fans would most likely protect this installment till the end of the world (which I suspect because they are hopping for another installment) and haters would go on and on about how bad this film was. For those who are in between, looking for some mindless entertaining fun on a lazy Sunday, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull will do that job.
The Return of a Legend - Steven Spielberg opens this segment by explaining how this franchise was meant to end with The Last Crusade but how various factors that got this film going again and finally a finished product which we reviewers could maul at. It revealed interesting tidbits information as how it could have been named as “Indiana Jones and the Saucer men” (Title idea courtesy of George Lucas which frankly didn’t surprise me one bit).
Pre-Production - This 11 odd minutes feature showcase what went on during the Pre-production. With the short time span, it’s easy to figure out that this feature won’t be going in-depth on the making of this feature. Some trivial information revealed here would be how Shia LaBeouf learned to play with a switchblade knife on his own to how Harrison Ford managed to fit into the same Indiana Jones clothing back from the last installments and still managed to handle the whip.
With a THX logo played right before the movie presentation, it should be good enough to guarantee a proper presentation of a movie that carries the household names of George Lucas and Steven Spielberg. Visually it looked as great as the previous trilogy and with equally good sound effects to go along.
Review by Richard Lim Jr