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« on: December 28, 2008, 01:29:45 PM »

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
Rated PG-13
2 Slimes
Copyright Paramount Pictures 2008
By: InformationGeek


THE CHARACTERS


Dr. Henry “Indiana” Jones, Jr.: Harrison Ford!  Oh come on!  Does this guy really need any introduction?  You already know who he is!  The only difference from the first 3 films is that he is a lot older now.  Otherwise, he is still as cool as he was all those years ago.

Henry “Mutt Williams” Jones III: Shia LaBeouf!  He is a greaser kid who calls in Indiana Jones to locate his mother and Harold Oxley after they disappear looking for the Crystal Skull.  He would be Indiana Jones’ son, because it is very obvious.

Irina Spalko: Cate Blanchett! She plays the main villain who is a KGB operative who is trying to harness the power of the Crystal Skull in order to gain vast knowledge and… psychic powers?  She disintegrates after being consumed by… knowledge?  I’m still baffled by what happened to her, it is just weird.  I read the book version and it still didn’t make sense!!!

Marion Ravenwood: Kate Allen!  She would be “Mutt’s” mother and that’s pretty much it.  You already know who she is from Raiders of the Lost Ark.  If you don’t, why are you watching this film?

George “Mac” McHale: He has gone with Indiana on countless missions (Not seen in the movies or books of course) in the past and then he double crosses him because he never gains any riches out of their work.  In the end, I believe he is sucked into another universe when the space ship takes off.  I don’t know how else you can explain it.

Harold “Ox” Oxy: John Hurt!  This guy went off to look for the Crystal Skull and came back a crazy man for some reason, mostly because something happened between him and skull.  It’s never clearly explained.  Near the end of the film, he returns back to his normal sane self.

Colonel Dovchenko: He works with Spalko and is a big time KGB member.  He has two fights with Indiana in the film and in the end, he is overtaken by a swarm of ants and dragged back to their nests, where he is devoured alive.


LESSONS LEARNED
+ El Dorado is actually the location to a spaceship landing sight.
+ Siafu ants can also live in the Amazon, instead of their usual home in Asia.
+ Ants do not like it when you crash vehicles into their mounds.
+ You can climb down the side of 4 cliffs and up another in less than an hour or so.
+ You can survive a nuclear bomb drop if you hide in a fridge.
+ If you combine 13 crystal skeletons, you get one complete alien!
+ Area 51 is currently working on rocket sleds.
+ Alien bones are actually made of crystal.
+ Some people are not fazed when a motorcycle almost crashes into them.
+ Alien bones are magnetic.


STUFF TO WATCH FOR
15 min – So this where the Ark of the Covent went after the first movie!
34 min – RANDOM ACTS OF VIOLENCE AGAINST A GATE!
35 min – I find this very ironic.
45 min – Well this random.
69 min – Hmm, who says you can’t learn anything in a movie?
72 min – See!  This is why the rain forest is disappearing!
75 min – RANDOM ACTS OF VIOLENCE AGAINST AN ENTIRE GROUP OF CARS AND TRUCKS!
84 min – Wait a minute!!  Weren’t all the trucks destroyed earlier?  Where did this one come from?!!
106 min – Why are you all still standing around?  Get out of there!
111 min – RANDOM ACTS OF VIOLENCE AGAINST AN ENTIRE VALLEY AND ANCIENT RUINS!


NOTABLE QUOTES
Col. Dr. Irina Spalko: Imagine... To peer across the world and know the enemy's secrets... To place OUR thoughts into the minds of YOUR leaders... Make your teachers teach the true version of history, your soldiers attack on our command. We will be everywhere at once, more powerful than a whisper, invading your dreams, thinking your thoughts for you while you sleep. We will change you, Dr. Jones, all of you, from the inside. We will turn YOU into US. And the best part? You won't even know it's happening.

Mutt Williams: You're a “teacher?”
Indiana Jones: Part-time.

Indiana Jones: Marion, take the wheel!
Mutt Williams: That's not fair, she drove the truck!
Indiana Jones: Don't be a child. Find something to fight with!


THE PLOT

Have you ever seen a movie from a successful series come out years later after the original franchise has passed on and totally upset you because it wasn’t necessary and it wasn’t good.  Star Wars: Clone Wars the movie is a good example, but that’s a whole another discussion.  However, what I said isn’t completely case with Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.  Sure, it wasn’t necessary and it wasn’t as great as the originals, but it did provide an enjoyable experience throughout the entire ride… most of it did at least... I guess…

The story opens up strangely with a bunch of teenagers racing between military cars and vehicles.  Why is this scene important?  I don’t know why, I just fast forward through this part.  Anyways, the military trucks arrive at a top secret military base, you know, Area 51.  It’s there that it is revealed that the military personal that just entered are KGB agents under the leadership of Irina Spalko and Colonel Dovchenko, who have kidnapped Indiana Jones and George McHale in order to find a mysterious object that is hidden inside a warehouse on the base.

Indiana Jones shows the agents where the crate is, where it is revealed to hold the contents from the crash landing in Roswell a couple of years ago.  Indiana makes an escape from the warehouse, after being double crossed by George.  During his escape, he and Dovchenko have a classic big fight, which ends up knocking them onto a rocket sled that sends them both off into the desert.  Once the ride ends, Indiana escapes while Dovchenko has passed out over the intensity of the ride.

Indiana makes his way onto a nuclear test town during an atom bomb test.  He takes cover in a fridge when the bomb drops and survives the blast.  Yeah, strange isn’t it?  Don’t worry; there’ll be far stranger things in the future.

The government comes along and picks up Indiana from the fallout site.  They inform him that they’ll be watching him from now on since his connection with the traitor McHale.  They accuse of being a KGB agent, which was a popular past time for people of that time.  He returns back to his school where he is forced into a long leave of absence in order to avoid being fired during the government investigation of him.  He heads off to a train station to leave the area, but he is stopped by Mutt Williams who needs his help in order to find his friend and Indiana’s old colleague, Harold Oxy.

Mutt explains the whole situation to Indiana at a diner about how the Russians kidnapped Harold and also his mother because of Harold’s knowledge of a real Crystal Skull in Peru and Akator, which is better known as El Dorado.  Mutt also hands a letter from Harold to Indiana, explaining that it has some type of code on it that the KGB wants.  Speaking of which, the 2 of them are ambushed by 4 KGB members, which leads them into a big chase scene with Indiana and Mutt escaping on a motorcycle while the others chase them down in two cars.  It’s pretty decent chase scene and you even get to hear the famous Wilhelm Scream near the end.

Indiana Jones decodes the message from the letter that leads him and Mutt to Peru in search of Oxy.  After following a few clues in a local town’s mental asylum, the two of them come to ancient ruin where they are attacked by two… random people.  I do not know why they attacked by them or who they are, so don’t bother to try to rationalize what you saw.  Anyhow, Indiana and Mutt discovers a tomb in the ruins where they discover the crystal skull that Oxy has brought back after taking it away in the first place.

The two of them take the skull and run into the Soviets and George again outside of the ruins.  They kidnap the two of them and take them to their camp in Brazil, where they discover that Harold Oxy and Mutt’s mother, who turns out to be Marion Ravenwood, are being held.  Indiana learns that the Soviets believe the skull is from an extraterrestrial being and that it holds great psychic powers.  They also explain that Oxley has suffered a mental breakdown due to over-exposure to the skull's powers… sure… why not?

Indiana manages to determine a location for where El Dorado and the rest of the crystal skulls are located.  Indiana, Marion, Mutt, and Oxy try to escape, but are caught and are taken with the rest of the KGB, Irina, George, and Dovchenko on the search for the location.  Indiana, Marion, and Mutt escape the villains’ custody, highjack a car, and take off after Irina, who has the crystal skull.  Then they go through a big car chase scene that seems like a throw back to Raiders of the Lost Ark.  During the chase, Mutt and Irina have a sword fight on top of two moving vehicles; Indiana attacks the vehicle with George in it and discovers that he is a CIA agent who supposedly is a double agent against the Soviets; and Mutt ends up in the treetops where he swings from vine to vine in order to catch up with the rest of the team with a bunch of monkeys who help him out.  Yeah… that part is very stupid isn’t it?

Anyways, when the two of three remaining cars crash, which have George, Oxy, Indiana, Mutt, Irina, and her driver in them, they discover they have crashed into a large ant hill which causes the ants to attack them.  The 6 of them take off from the hill with thousands of ants swarming after them.  Irina’s driver falls to the ground as the ants overtake him, cover him, and eat him alive, while Irina heads up a tree to get away from the ants.  The other 4 keep running from the angry ants.

One last truck carrying the remaining Soviets (Which is odd, since I thought all the trucks were destroyed earlier), rescue Irina and drop off Dovchenko to fight against Indiana while ants swarm in closer.  Oxy, who has fallen behind and now is in possession of the Crystal Skull, reveals the skull to ants, which causes them to quickly move around him, Indiana, and Dovchenko for some reason.  Indiana and Dovchenko duke it out in the small safety zone free of ants (That’s best way I can possibly describe this scene).  Indian knocks the colonel into the ants, which quickly cover him, with some of them crawling into his mouth.  The ants then start eating him, as they drag him back into the ant hill, where he is completely devoured.  I swear, the scene where the ants eat the driver and Dovchenko looks strangely similar to the scene where the tiny insect monsters devour the kids from head to toe in The Drifting Classroom manga.

Marion comes along in a car, rescues the heroes, drives off a cliff, and lands safely in the water below.  The heroes and their car then fall down 3 waterfalls, without even a scratch on them for some reason, and discover the location for El Dorado.  They head inside the ruins and are ambush by natives.  They, however, cower in fear and back off when they discover that the heroes have the crystal skull.  The 5 survivors then make their way into a temple where they discover 13 crystal skeletons, with one of them missing its skull.  Irina and the remaining 4 survivors of her troops arrive and once again, George ends up betraying Indiana.

Irina places the skull back on the skeleton and then, apparently, the skeletons all speak psychically to Oxy who then tells everyone in Mayan, while Indiana translates, that the skeletons want to give them a “great gift”.  Irina tells the skeletons that she wants to know everything, which causes the room to spin and open a passageway to another dimension.  Oxy regains his sanity for some reason and he, with Indiana, Marion, and Mutt, escape the temple.  George and the 4 KGB members are sucked into the dimension portal, while Irina is fed information of the universe into her mind from the skeletons.  The knowledge becomes too much for her, and she disintegrates for some reason or another.  Alright, this is getting beyond crazy…

The 4 heroes escape the temple and valley, just in time to see a flying saucer take off and Amazon River flood the valley.  Once back at home, Marion and Indiana marry each other, because there is nothing like an insane and death defying adventure to remind them that they love each other.  Ok then, let’s go with that.

This movie is alright, but it is insane and extremely weird upon closer inspection.  Is this a good sequel?  I guess, as long as you don’t have too many high expectations for this film and you don’t try to put much logic and reason into it.  I didn’t and I liked it, however, this film may and most likely being off-putting to long time fans and people who have high expectations for this film.  I say just watch it and avoiding thinking about what you see.
« Last Edit: March 31, 2009, 05:08:20 PM by InformationGeek » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: December 28, 2008, 07:55:46 PM »

It was better than the TEMPLE OF DOOM, but not as good as LOST ARK or LAST CRUSADE.  In all, a fun popcorn movie.
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« Reply #2 on: January 04, 2009, 12:23:41 PM »

Ok then, I have reread the entire review and made changes to it.  I have corrected grammar and spelling errors, rewrote some parts of the plot to make it more understandable, and I have changed parts of the Characters and Lessons Learned section.  So, everything should be better now.
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InformationGeek
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« Reply #3 on: March 31, 2009, 05:08:08 PM »

I decided once more to give this review and further inspection, so I fixed even more things. I rewote more of the plot section, removed things from the Lessons Learned and Things to Watch For.  I also added onto the Character Section and put in a new Lesson Learned into the section.  This should seem better now.
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Kapagna
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« Reply #4 on: June 13, 2009, 01:00:13 PM »

You forgot to mention the monkeys, which was my favorite part of the ant chase.
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Retrorussell
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« Reply #5 on: August 04, 2009, 03:20:56 AM »

Information Geek,
Nice review.  I saw this in the theatre and nearly developed vision trouble from rolling my eyes so much.. I realize all the Jones movies have ridiculous moments, but this one went far and beyond the call.  I put this about on par with Temple.. but Karen Allen is just a TAD more likeable than Mrs. Spielberg (Kate Capshaw).  There were some good action scenes but just too much stupidity to overcome IMO.
Looking forward to more good reviews from you.
retrorussell
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