Indiana Jones  

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal SkullImage via Wikipedia

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

2008, in theaters

You should know

Brian and I were making plans to go out, and he really wanted to see Indiana Jones. Though there were movies I wanted to see more, this was definitely on my list.

I did my best to go in with an open mind, of course. The common consensus seems to be that it's pretty good as a movie, but pretty bad as an Indiana Jones movie.

Also, I wore my fedora. That's right: I have a fedora. And it is awesome.


It was fun. The movie has nothing outwardly wrong with it, and makes for a fun action movie that updates the viewer on the fates of some beloved characters.

But the way it made those updates... It almost came across like a very well-written fanfiction. Entertaining, compelling, well-written, but not quite right. A touch out of character here, an original character who flirted with Mary-Sue-dom there.

The movie opens with Dr. Jones having been kidnapped by Communists, who are forcing him to help them find an artifact in a government storage facility. After several typically impossible near-misses, Jones escapes, only to be questioned by Federal agents who believe he was complicit to the heist. He is forced to take a "leave of absence" from the university, and decides to make the best of it by traveling, and perhaps teaching, overseas.

Before he can, though, he meets Mutt, a young man with a mission: an old friend of Indy's, Professor Oxley, has gone missing, and Mutt's mother has gone missing while looking for him. While Jones doesn't recognize the mother's name ("There've been a lot of Marys...") he's eager to help Ox and solve the archeological mystery Ox was chasing.

Given the apparently incestuous nature of the field of archaeology in the Indiana Jones-verse, it's no shock that Mutt's mother is Marion Ravenwood -- or what that means about Mutt's genetic background.

So the quest is on to save the captives, solve the mystery, and return some magical artifacts to their proper resting place. As one does.


See it -- with an open mind
No, it's not Last Crusade. Like I said above, there are moments where it seems like very good fan fiction. But note the words "very good." It was an enjoyable movie. You won't miss much if you hold out for the video, but seeing it in theaters isn't the waste it would be in some cases.

The rest of the Internet

Warning: spoilers ahead
Andy reviewed the movie and lamented that his fedora no longer fits. Mine does!
Jeff at Movie Hawk was pleased with most of the movie, but disappointed with the ending.
Andy Sayers and Ross Miller at BlogCritics were pleased enough with the movie as a movie, but didn't think it deserved to be part of the franchise.
Dana Stevens at Slate ponders how the Indiana Jonesseries, and Crystal Skull in particular, will be remembered in 1100 years.

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