Movie Review
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
Indiana Jones 4 poster
By Scott Sycamore     Published May 23, 2008
US Release: May 22, 2008

Directed by: Steven Spielberg
Starring: Harrison Ford , Shia LaBeouf , Cate Blanchett , Karen Allen

PG-13 for adventure violence and scary images.
Running Time: 123 minutes
Domestic Box Office: $317,011,114
B
It really fills up the screen. People seem to be dissing it for being out of step with the traditional Indy mythos, but I disagree. It fits in nicely, playing different notes on the same well-worn grand piano.
This movie is good, I swear! It's damn silly and averagely-scripted, but still it's fun. Once again, the critical and fan-boy communities seem to be way overreacting, and just not "getting it" in general. Nerds across the globe are expecting this flick to awake their dormant sense of nostalgia from when they were 7 years old, and it just ain't gonna happen. Why don't they actually
listen to George Lucas and realize that a movie is just a movie; installing too much hype and expectation into something like this is just a down-home recipe for disappointment. I wasn't disappointed, partially because of my low expectations going in, due to my inability to block out the highly film-literate critics and their snarkiness towards this feature. The masses are wrong again! Who would've expected?

This flick is way better than Tire Iron Man (C/C+), which seems to be getting near-universal praise, yet I fail to see the difference in terms of criticisms between them. Indy 4 is better in part *because* of its history and the well it can draw from in terms of self-referencing and the like. Both are silly summer popcorn flicks of the basest variety, but Indy actually connects on an emotional and spiritual level. When the theme started playing at the end, I had a smile on my face, plain and simple. Or at least an inner smile. And isn't that the point? People don't wanna hear the messages but they are there.

I think this might be the best climactic artifact scene in any Indy movie. The scope and fury of it is bombastic. It really fills up the screen and goes above and beyond the previous stuff we've seen. People seem to be dissing it for being out of step with the traditional Indy mythos, but I disagree. It fits in nicely, playing different notes on the same well-worn grand piano. It's not about the human villains in this one, it's even more about the bad-ass nature of the magical item. The power of this thing can't be wielded or held down by any political or military group, which is of course part of the film's theme.

Basically this is a feel-good film that actually feels good, which is rare. I'm sorry but the film's flaws just don't kill it. What's cool too is that at a certain point early on I almost felt like it would be the flop everyone's making it out to be right now, but then it started ramping up and got better as it kept truckin'. That's rare in movies, and I loved to see it here. Way to hold back the heavy punches until the later rounds: That's called sly filmmaking.

I mean seriously, every week nowadays sees another soulless corporate turd pile of a movie being released, and people choose to pick on Indiana Jones for criticisms??? People really need to calm down with all this pathetic hypocrisy and come back to reality - it just makes no sense. I'm not really sure what else I'm supposed to say, just go watch this movie. Relax. Have an Icee.
Scott's Grade: B
Scott's Overall Grading: 417 graded movies
A15.1%
B59.2%
C24.5%
D1.2%
F0.0%
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'Indiana Jones 4' Articles
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  • Craig's review C+
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  • 'Indiana Jones 4' Weekend Outlook
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  • Summer Preview: May Openings
    May 1, 2008    Here's my initial take on the major US release slated for May 2008. As the summer progresses, I'll add and refine my analysis. -- Philip Friedman