Showing 1 - 1 of 1 Reviews for Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
Posted on 5/26/08 12:27 PM
The fedora. The whip. The adventure. After 19 years, the cinematic icon Indiana Jones has returned to the screen.
Since the release of the highly anticipated Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, there has been much debate over the quality of the film. General audiences and critics alike have given the fourth entry a quite favorable response, but there are many that have voiced great disappointment and even disgust over the movie. Many fanboys of the series have complained about the film supposedly having a different feel from the others, the use of too much CGI, extreme silliness, a confusing plot, boring characters and so forth. Personally, I find most of the complaints regarding the film empty and without real merit.
Speilberg and Lucas did their best to recreate the Indiana Jones feel in the film and succeeded quite well in my opinion. It has been twenty years and not only has Indiana and his world aged but cinema as well; you can't expect the film to feel like it's from the 80's when it's the 00's. As for the CGI, I found little worth complaining over in the film. They filmed as much as they could without using animation and filled in only what needed to be, such as the jungle, the aliens and some of the creatures. I also found the film to be no different than the other three in terms of tone; the only silliness to be mentioned was the groundhogs which I thought were used well, especially in the opening shot. The alien plot was no more ridiculous than the originals and was a perfect fit for the time period. I'll admit that it was a little confusing at times, but it didn't matter because it wasn't the heart of the film(will address later). I enjoyed most of the characters, especially Cate Blanchett's sexy Russian villain. The only new addition I didn't really enjoy was Mack, who was a very bland and boring character but still necessary for the spy/McCarthyism subplot and as a counterpart to true heroism.
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull is not simply another addition to the series, but an intelligent ode to the originals and the aging of our larger-than-life heroes. From the opening shot of the film, it is easy to see that Indy's world has changed drastically and so has Lucas' and Speilberg's plans for him. Instead of simply a fun adventure film, the creators decided to add a little more depth to the filmmaking of Indiana Jones. Clever metaphors can be seen throughout the film, such as the opening car race(American vs. Russia), Indy in the fake town(a man out of his element), his survival of the nuclear blast(time hasn't beat him yet), and so on. The film is also filled with small touches that define the period it takes place in: Russians, McCartyism, Mutt/greasers/50's social climate, our fixation with extraterestrials, advancing technology, rock n' roll, etc. There is much depth to be found in the film, but it all pertains to one overall theme: the aging/death of heroism.
Throughout the film, our hero seems to be a man out of his elemnet. A cowboy lost in a world growing increasingly dependent on technology and an American society rife with hypocrisy and rebellion. Old heroes, such as Mack, are beginning to fall by the wayside. Only a few remain to continue the legacy in an ever-changing world. In the end, Indiana Jones is still able to save the day and solve yet another archeological mystery, but not without the help of someone a little younger. The film finishes with our hero choosing to take a step towards settling down by marrying his old flame Marian and accepting an administration positition at his college. It appears as though Indy has finally met his match: time. However, he hasn't given up yet. Eventually, Indy will grow too old for his time and will have to give up the passion that has ruled his life and let the younger generation take over. In the meantime, however, he will continue on with his adventures and save the passing of the torch for another day. The hat is still were it should be: resting firmly on the head of Indiana Jones.