I’ll start this review with two confessions:
1. For years, I have always conceded that my favorite film of all time was none other than Raiders of the Lost Ark. And it’s true; I’ve loved it since I was a kid and well into adulthood; I think it’s a near perfect film.
2. What I’m about to write pains me—pains me—for that reason.
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull is a ridiculous film.
It’s a ridiculous, stupid, waste of time film, for the most part. It has its high points, sure. There are, as you’d expect, some great action sequences and stunt sequences, some tense fighting and chases, some laughs, some drama, and some liberal use of the term “archaeology.” It has Shia LaBoeuf (yay!). It has Karen Allen. (er, okay.)
Pretty much the best part of the movie right here.
Downsides: the plot. Since I don’t want to give away any spoilers, let me just say the following: the plot is completely ridiculous, even by the series’s standards. Last Crusade pushed it some, as did the magic stones from Temple of Doom, but wow. You won’t even believe what Lucas, Spielberg, et al have cooked up this time. It was such a huge disappointment that I can barely even talk about it.
Let’s talk about Karen Allen for a minute. I’m all about crazy people coming back from the edge to be productive members of society (I’m talking to you, Anne Heche and Mariah Carey). It’s fine. Bygones, etc. But I don’t think Karen Allen made it all the way home. She spends most of her time in the movie looking so delighted that there is a camera crew filming her, that she’s in a real movie, that her lines get all chewed up. Her emotions are twofold: flustered and amourous. That is the range of her performance. It’s heartbreaking to see as she was really one of the most compelling aspects of Raiders.
This is Karen Allen’s expression through most of the film.
Overall, I think they should have waited for a better script. One of the last shots of the adventure sequence was so misguided and just WRONG…Wow. It was worse than the knight standing on the seal of the Grail Temple, holding up on tentative gauntleted hand to wave goodbye…as he is then crushed by falling boulders.
Don’t waste your money seeing this unless you want to tell me I’m right when you get home.