Film Confessions: Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

By Christian DiMartino

When a sequel to a classic comes along, there is obviously a lot of hype. Take, for example, probably the most highly anticipated film ever, Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace. Think about just how much hype that film received… and then think about how much backlash it received.

History could repeat itself again next month with Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens (lets hope not, even though I do not even hate The Phantom Menace). Such backlash has even apparently broken George Lucas, who admitted that he will never make a big budgeted film again.

Steven Spielberg’s Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull is another highly anticipated sequel. How could it not be? It is a sequel to one of the greatest trilogies ever. So when it didn’t meet up to expectations… well… it got crapped on.

I will admit that it is the worst of the four films, but I must also admit that I’d be damned if I didn’t enjoy it. I do like it. There, I said it. That said, I am not proud of it. Let’s call it a guilty pleasure, shall we?

The film opens in the 50s, and Indy (Harrison ford, still in great shape) is taken to Area 51 with some Russians (the lead Russian is played by the great Cate Blanchett, sporting a damn good Russian accent might I add). You’re not sure why they’re there, other than the fact that they’re looking for something.

One thing leads to another, Indy gets in a fridge, and it soars out of a nuclear testing site. Wait, what? Exactly. Much of the film is goofy as hell, but it is never less than fun.

Then we’re taken back to Indy’s college. From there, the plot thickens. A young lad named Mutt (Shia Labeouf, miscast in a greaser role) comes to Indy, asking him to help him find his mother (who I won’t spoil, in case you still haven’t seen it) and a professor, played by John Hurt.

Alright, where am I going with this? Well, there are some crystal skulls involved. What are they? Well, other than what the Soviets are after… I feel like that is something you should just figure out for yourself.

The film is absolutely preposterous. From the fridge thing, to the giant ants, to the fact that none of these characters die, to the other worldly twist… I get it. I get why you people hate it. So, why do I like it?

Entertainment value aside, I think much of it falls upon nostalgia. It is great to have Dr. Jones back in action. Yes, the film he is given could be better, but I was just grateful to have him back in general.

It is also a great looking film, featuring beautiful art direction, beautiful cinematography from regular Spielberg collaborator Janusz Kaminski, and John Williams’ score is as thunderous as ever. Not to mention, the action sequences, despite how outrageous they are, are a doozy.

I also like, with the exception of the now berserk Labeouf, like the performances. Ford is as great as ever, it is nice to see Karen Allen back in business. Ray Winstone has some fun as a double agent, Blanchett goes without saying as always.

So, sue me. I have confessed that I, unlike most people, like Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Am I the only one? Or are people just afraid to admit it because IMDB told them it was crap?

It isn’t a film to be taken seriously. It’s fun, dammit, and I’m sticking to it.

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