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Monday, June 23, 2008

Indiana Jones and The Kingdom of The Crystal Skull - A Review

I feel that if making a bad sequel was a criminal offense then both Spielberg and Lucas would be serving a lifetime sentence. Although the death penalty would be too harsh for these once great film makers it would be too kind for the feature itself. I don't think anyone would miss this movie if it walked off a cliff or got trampled by a herd of angry Star Wars fans. Seriously this was for me the most anticipated film of the year. I longed for the Indiana Jones that captured my imagination when I myself dreamed of robbing graves and finding buried treasure as a young 6 year old lad but alas, what I was served with was what I like to call the "Gospel According to Steven" wherein our saviours will ultimately be skinny grey men from a galaxy far far away as seen in E.T, Close Encounters of the Third Kind and that painful mini series Taken. All that said, there was nothing in this movie that was obviously offensive and if you had never actually seen an Indiana flick before then you might be lucky enough to enjoy it because there is no shortage of action. However I did take my 8 year old nephew to see this installment and I wondered if maybe I had made a mistake because there are a few scenes that could be quite scary, my favourite being the giant man eating ants that drag a man into their butcher shop of Doom underground... Crystal Skull is set decades after the Last Crusade where we we find Indy held hostage by the Russians who breaking into a top secret military installation in Nevada use our hero to locate a certain relic retrieved from a famous crash site we've all come to know as Roswell. In good true Indy fashion he gets into fisty-cuffs with a few of the Reds and makes his daring escape to a small town full of mannequins. Then a siren sounds and it takes Indy 10 seconds to realize that he has stumbled upon a nuclear testing site. Thanks to a nearby lead lined fridge he escapes with only a cut lip and the humiliation of being brushed down in the buff by hard bristled brooms which seem to be all a man needed to defeat nuclear fall out in the 1950's. Back in civilization Indy finds himself a victim of a McCarthy style witch hunt because of his involvement with the commies and is forced to take long service leave from his teaching position where we find out that Marcus Brody and Henry Jones senior have long since passed away and have been replaced by photographs on his desk. As he departs he meets up with a young angsty James Dean type teen called Mutt seeking Indy's help to find their mutual friend Harold Oxley who has gone missing in Peru while in search of the Legendary Crystal Skull of Acapulco or Eldorado or whatever... Obviously from the long paragraph I've just written you can see that this is a long winded tale which wouldn't be so bad if it didn't end with (spoiler alert) putting the said skull back onto the crystal skeletal remains of an ancient alien who was one of a counsel of 13 who taught the ancient Mayans how to plant crops and set booby traps. If you think you can sit through nearly two and a half hours just to see Kate Blanchett evaporate and a flying saucer smash its way threw an ancient South American monument then be my guest. They also somehow manage to squeeze in a wedding and a ridiculous scene where Mutt swings through the jungle at the speed of sound with a group of angry monkeys. Then, as if we couldn't see this one coming, Mutt discovers that Indy is in fact his long lost father and then has to rescue him from the dark side... or am I getting my movies confused? You just can't tell any more with these guys... Lots of fun - yes. Lots of good old fashion Indiana Jones - No. It was a terrible shame to see Spielberg depart from Biblical subject matter. The first and third movie (not the second) had a certain reverence for something truly sacred. (even though the Holy Grail isn't really scriptural it was still linked to Christ). The spiritual elements in those movies was enough to spark more than general interest in the Bible whereas this recent addition reduced the supernatural and mysterious to the material and unbelievable. Although it does prove an interesting trend prevalent in our culture today and that is the massive turning away from the Christian Faith for belief in Eastern Mysticism or from a belief in God to a belief in just about anything but God. (Matt 24:10) For a great analysis of this film and its implictions check out INDIANA JONES AND THE SPINNING OF TALES By Amanda Robertson. If you find yourself curious about what the Bible may have to say about Alien's and their influence on our culture today then check out


  1. You took an 8 year old to an M rated movie? Or did you think 'Indiana Jones - it will be fine' Think back to the first three movies - you'll recall some pretty horrific scenes including people being burned alive, zombies and aging into skeletons (does the screaming face spring to mind? It's stuck in mine). I love the 1st and 3rd Indiana Jones movies - but I watched them as a teenager and again as an adult. They just aren't suitable fare for children.

  2. I agree... I think in my mind at the time I was thinking that I saw the first movie when I was as young as 5 or 6 years old... and I loved it! I know the rating says M but as a projectionist I had seen enough of the movie to think it was Ok, it wasn't untll I saw the ant scene that I began to reconsider! In anycase my Nephew is doing fine and hasn't needed psychiatric treatment since then but I wouldn't rsik it again!


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