Saturday, May 24, 2008

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

"Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" brings the famous adventurer back for one (last?) jaunt some twenty years after his last outing. Did I watch it? Absolutely! Did I laugh and cringe at all the right places? You betcha! Is it the best Indiana Jones installment ever? Well.... (warning: minor spoilers ahead)

Don't get me wrong, I did enjoy "Crystal Skull" quite a bit, but towards the end, I felt that it could have been much better.

While it was great to see Indiana Jones back in action, it's also quite clear that he's gotten, well, old. Following the timeline, the story finds Indy in his 60's. It stretches credulity to see him swinging on his bullwhip, but it just doesn't seem right for even the bad guys to be beating on an old man.

What bothers me more is how Spielberg and Lucas fudged the Indy mythos to fit in with his more modern environment. The central plot device of Indiana Jones films was always the mystical -- the Ark of the Covenant, the Shankara stones, the Holy Grail. "Crystal Skull", while coated in ancient mysticism, is sci-fi at its core. And that, I feel, is a deviation from the character.

All in all, it's still an enjoyable romp, but it doesn't beat "Raiders of the Lost Ark" or "The Last Crusade" or even "Temple of Doom."