So last weekend I watched the three great (okay two great and one okay) Indiana Jones movies and I made a smart aleck remark about the fourth film not really existing. Of course, we know that the infamous fourth film of this franchise did indeed exist and it was also on NetFlix. So, in spirit of completion and in second chances, I decided to give Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull a second look.
It was absolutely as bad as I remembered.
Now, I told myself at the beginning that I would specifically look for parts that I liked, because there had to be some, and, in fact, I did find some parts of the movie that was directed by Steven Spielberg and written by George Lucas that I liked.
What I liked:
- Harrison Ford is always fun, even if he was way too old for this.
- The early part of the film’s motorcycle chase.
- During that chase scene, there was a moment where Mutt (Shia LaBeouf) looked at Indy with a “look what I did” look and Indy looked back with an unimpressed glare that was taken directly from The Last Crusade. It was meant to hearken back to the relationship between Indy and his father (Sean Connery). That was cute.
- There were some classic Indy lines and banter
- Cate Blanchett. You’ve got to respect her as she always throws herself into the role, even with a terrible Russian accent.
Unfortunately, that is where the “What I liked” ended.
What I did not like/hated:
- Mutt. He was really forced, and yet, in the third act, he disappeared.
- Almost everything in the jungle chase.
- The “Call it a rope, not a snake” gag.
- Marion Ravenwood did not fit in this film and forcing her in just did not work.
- All the peripheral characters (Oxley, Mac, Dean Stanford) took away from what should have been the focus of the film, the relationship between Indy and Mutt.
- Mac, in particular… the “triple agent”?
- The sci-fi ending was just stupid.
- Why can’t Russians hit anything with a machine gun?
- The monkeys.
- Oh… I nearly forgot… “Nuking the Fridge.” All of that. And groundhogs.
- The FBI hating on Indy only to drop out of the story completely after the first act.
- Most of the comedy was over-the-top and missed badly.
- The story was confusing and you could not connect to any of it.
In the end, this was one of the most disappointing film going experiences I had had. I remember walking out of the film with my friends in shock. We turned to each other and we all just admitted that Kingdom of the Crystal Skull sucked. Nothing about the rewatch or second chance made me change that opinion.