Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008)

Action, Adventure
Harrison Ford, Cate Blanchett, Shia LaBeouf, Karen Allen
Famed archaeologist/adventurer Dr. Henry 'Indiana' Jones is called back into action when he becomes entangled in a Soviet plot to uncover the secret behind mysterious artifacts known as the Crystal Skulls.
Though the plot elements are certainly familiar, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull still delivers the thrills and Harrison Ford's return in the title role is more than welcome.
  • Paramount Pictures Company:
  • PG-13 Rated:
  • IMDB link IMDB:
  • 22 May 2008 Released:
  • 14 Oct 2008 DVD Release:
  • $317.0M Box office:

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We have grown up .. Indy stays the same8/10
Sorry, but after reading all this negative comments, I like to give you my thoughts on this. When I walked out of the movie I was not really satisfied, because some things bothers me, like the monkey-rope scene and some other ridiculous and illogical things. But, then I remembered scenes from the first three movies, like jumping out of a plane with a rubber boat and then bob run with it down the Himalaya. Or Indy hanging on top of submarine and then swims with it through half of the ocean (isn't such a thing going underwater sometimes?). Well, what I want to say is that in the old Indy films there where tons of ridiculous stunts and it always was very cartoonish and yes, often cheesy. But as I child I liked those movies for that. They are just adventures with a lot of action, mystic and fun, not more.

We have all grown up (with all that logic and reason), and we want the movie to fascinate us again like the first three did as we were a child. The disappointment is programmed. The movie is still an Indiana Jones Movie, it has so many running gags and links to the first three ones, it's truly a tribute to the fans. (Even that Indy starts Mutt to call 'Junior' was a nice one.) Maybe this one is too much of an Indiana Jones movie, because it just delivers elements that can be found in the first three movies too (the car chases, insects, falling down of waterfalls, e.g.) - but what else do we want? Also I didn't think the CGI was too much, I even found it was decent. And yes, this one was made to make money. The first three were also made to make money. Films are supposed to make money - so what? So, maybe just watch the first three again, then relax and just sit back and enjoy this one. It's not supposed to be drop dead serious and realistic. And when I look back, I wasn't bored throughout the whole movie, it was very entertaining. It's maybe just the long time between this and the last one, some things have changed, if we like it or not. But I am thankful that this movie was made.

The only thing I was missing was the whip - it has one scene in the beginning and then Indi uses it never again in this movie. I always liked the whip, because it's not a normal weapon for a hero, and makes Indi a little more special.
Why, Lucas??? Why? Why...? ...Why??? Please! Tell me!!! Why???! Why?!!! WHY???!!!!1/10
There was a trailer beforehand of Kung Fu Panda somethingorother. The film then started with the Paramount mountain, formed from a gopher mound, and an unrealistic CG gopher poking it's head out of the mound. I actually didn't realise this was the film, and still thought I was watching a Disney trailer. This was my first sign that the film was going to be a filing cabinet full of soiled underwear.

This complete cowpat of a film is truly a sign of the shifting zeitgeist of what is expected from cinema. At least from Lucas et al.

There was so much wrong with this film, I don't even know where to start. Every scene was a howler.

Story has now been replaced by technical ability with CGI. Character development is now abandoned in favour of a panicked attention-grabbing frenzy of disconnected scenes. Comedy comes from prat-falling CG chipmunks, rather than wit or a character's reaction to a situation (remember the German bad guy and Indy's reaction to the Arab on the windshield of the truck in 'Raiders'? Hilarious!). The bloated chase scene was incomprehensibly ludicrous. Fantastical CGI renderings paved the way for unrealistic feats of human acrobatics that would not have been out of place in the Matrix Reloaded car chase.

Think of the scenes in Raiders where people are actually talking to each other for extended periods: Belloq and Indy in the Marrakesh bar; Indy and Sallah looking at the headpiece in the old man's house; Indy and Marcus talking about the ark with the CIA guys in his University. These are all great scenes. Classic scenes. They divide the action and drama nicely. They set the stage and peg the narrative so you know - without being patronised - what is going on. I didn't have a clue what was happening in Crystal Skull, and just as I was getting my bearings - an alien spaceship took off!!! I whispered to the guy next to me 'Please... make it stop.'.

I really thought that Lucas would have learned a very sore lesson from the reaction to the re-hashed Star Wars movies. We don't want Midichlorians. We don't want CGI. We don't want prat-falling comedy robots and gophers. We want soul, scene, story, character, mis en scene, tension, performance, dialogue, good casting, solid character relationships.

You will not get this from 'Crystal'.

Which scene scared you more: Marion hanging 15 meters off the ground from the statue of Anubis in Raiders, or Marion driving (giggling) off a cliff into a tree (with no guarantee that she wasn't going snap the branches or miss the tree altogether) only to be let down gently into the water by the flexing tree, still giggling?

This film has stretched tension and drama into the ludicrous and that's exactly what it ends up being.


When you come out of the cinema screen, turn around and look at the expressions of the people walking out behind you. I did, and it was a collective 'Has someone just farted?'

High Points: Denholm Elliot's breathtaking performance.

Low Points: Everything else.
Good to see Indy again....but a plot that falls way short of the mark5/10
I reached a movie buff conclusion after the 2nd set of Star wars films. It's simply not possible to top an iconic, legendary film or series. The original can't be beat, and is next to impossible to match. Doesn't matter who directs, stars, the effects, etc - can't be done. Being sure of this in advance made the Crystal Skull easier for me to take - but I still have to be critical - because they let us down on the simple stuff. My other movie buff observation is - its ALWAYS the writing first. The STORY. The other stuff flows from that, making the film better or worse. In Indiana Jones and The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, the writing failed us. The story does not hold together well and the dialog rings intermittently false throughout the film. I wanted to love the movie - but I was disappointed. When I heard they were all waiting for the "right" script to make another Indy film - that sounded good. But it appears that wasn't really true. I have to assume they all just decided the timing was "right" and it would be fun to get the old group together to do a flick - because the script was poor. The movie is more like an attempt at what an Idiana Jones adventure SHOULD look like - but with no real substance. A series of Indiana like dangerous situations and exploits strung together loosely with some attempts at humor thrown in. But no clear beginning to end plot. No disaster to avert, no one to rescue. Nothing in particular to root for... The actors seemed a bit uncomfortable to me - even Harrison Ford himself. Indy's love interest from Raiders (Marian) was underutilized and apparently a bit rusty in the acting department. She seemed to be just "thrown in" to add a nostalgic romantic element. The young Mutt character was well cast and did a good job with what he had to work with. The story arc regarding Indys age, his old love and young Mutt is dealt with - but could have been a better, more solid part of a more well written story. I'm glad I saw the film. I enjoyed seeing Indy again, but my hope that I'd be wanting to go again didn't pan out. It's worth only one visit - and that just to see some Indiana JonesLIKE adventures - in a story that doesn't make much sense. Sorry to break bad news to anyone who reads fan reviews - but that's my story and I'm sticking to it. George - you should have fussed over the writing a bit more and Harrison - I'd have waited longer for the right script. This was a weak effort and it didn't need to be. Mr Lucas and Mr Spielberg -you surprised me on this one - and let us all down on the story. Just my opinion :) Scott (an Indy Fan).
The weakest of the Indy films5/10
Before I start my review let me say I am a huge Indy fan and have been waiting for this movie for 19 years.

Bad news first : Number 4 is the weakest of the Indy films. Good news : It is still good entertainment.

Let me explain further :

The Good :

Harrison Ford still IS Indiana Jones. He still has the magic to impersonate this character. You really see his efforts to make this film work. Great camera work and sets. Shia LaBoef is actually quite good and not annoying at all, he has some funny lines and scenes. I never regretted that he was in the movie. Some really good action scenes, esp. in the first half of the movie with believable stunts and not too much CGI, e.g. the motorbike chase or the Warehouse battle. Great! Humor was OK and many jokes worked for me (best : the quicksand scene).

The Bad :

John Hurt as Oxley looked like Dumbledore on Ecstasy. I didn't like his character very much and was glad when he finally became "sane" again. Problem was by then the movie was almost over. Sorry guys, Karen Allen. She was overacting too much, smiling and laughing all the way even during the deadliest action sequences like a soccer mum. We know she is tough and so but it never felt believable. Also her interaction and reunion with Ford seemed a bit forced. The Villains : Blanchet was OK, but not very menacing or intimidating. You never felt she was a threat to Indy. She was always behind him. Russians? Give me Nazis as adversaries any day. Ray Winstons character (forgot the name) was confusing and underdeveloped : "I am on your side, no wait I am a traitor, oh wait I am CIA, never mind I am a traitor again". WTF? Ant scene : Stolen straight from "The Mummy". Shame on you, Spielberg.

The Ugly :

Sorry, but the last third of the film was the pits. The jungle chase was far "over the top" action, I thought Indy and Mutt were human beings, not supermen. They pulled off moves and jumps that even Spiderman couldn't do. Indy not using his gun once. At least he didn't carry a walky-talky instead. Nuclear explosion scene. OMG. How embarrassing, who came up with this idea? What was supposed to be funny only got howls of disbelieve and "Yeah right" from the audience. Indy survives a nuclear explosion in a fridge (!) and then is whirled away miles through the air, exits the fridge and walks off? Was Spielberg on drugs when he filmed this? Who on earth could survive such an explosion? I couldn't believe it! The plot : Not very suspenseful. Parts of it even boring. Aliens? They waited 19 years for this script? I believe almost anything would have been better. At least the Aliens only appear during the last minutes.

All in all a small disappointment but still a watchable Indy movie. I think "less would have been more" in this case. More believable stunts, less CGI and a better script and the movie would have rocked. I blame Spielberg and Lucas. Kudos to Ford. Should have made Indy IV 10 years earlier.

I give it a 5/10 despite all the negative points. First third of the movie 8/10, rest 2/10.
Who are all these people giving it 10???5/10
I find it very amusing to read all the reviews here. I mostly agree with all the ones who found it disappointing, I can see why the Michael Bay-loving GTA-generation could give this a '10', however: Lots of CGI, fake green-screen action and style over substance.

For me - a die hard Indiana Jones fan, who grown up attending premieres for the first three - this was a big letdown, primarily because of the script, which could have been written by a 11 year-old.

A lot of Indiana Jones fans all over the world are probably scratching their heads these days, wondering why a script (Darabonts) which Spielberg called "the best he has read since Raiders", was scrapped by Lucas. So he could give us this? Tarzan meets X-files?

It just didn't rock my boat, like the first three. I even found 'National Treasure II' more entertaining, than this mess.