Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

I propose a new rule: George Lucas is no longer allowed to write or direct any movies, and any creative input he has on any production he is funding needs to be approved by someone who is not senile.

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Suck is a new low for the series. If you thought that after the next installment of the series could not possibly be worse than The Temple of Doom, oh boy, you are in for a ride brother. George Lucas outdid himself this time, and managed to make a movie that is not only silly, improbable, over the top, and infantile but also disjointed and incoherent.

At least in the Star Wars prequels he made some small attempts to create some sort of a plot continuity – with little success of course, but he tried. In retrospect perhaps, what little continuity was there in these three horrible movies that raped my childhood, were influenced by the natural constraints of making a prequel. The story had to lead to a logical conclusion that would set up the events we knew from the original trilogy. And the Star Wars universe was already fairly well fleshed out and established so he had only so much wiggle room.

In Indiana Jones all the common sense and continuity concerns don’t seem to exist. I really think that the way Lucas writes movies these days is by jotting down notes for random special effects sequences. Once he has these set pieces, chase scenes, explosions and stunts done, he writes bunch of segways that loosely connect them.

But don’t take my word for it. I will tell you some of the components that create the swirling vortex of suck that is The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull and you can tell me whether or not it is stupid and infantile. And no, these are not spoilers. I’m not going to reveal how these elements are worked into the story, or what is their significance. I will just list them here. I don’t think I will reveal any plot twists by doing this because to have a twist, first you need to have a plot and as we established this movie has none.

But if you really paranoid about spoilers, just skip the list and go to the end of the post.

The following elements can be found in this movie:

  1. CGI prairie dogs that look as if they are about to break into a song
  2. Silly Russian accents
  3. Lady Galadriel in a ridiculous wig:

    That whole outfit is ridiculous!

  4. Experimental Jet engine
  5. Nuclear explosion
  6. Indiana Jones surviving nuclear explosion by hiding in a refrigerator
  7. The Jannitor From Scrubs
  8. This guy:

    Holywood's Most Prominent Furry

  9. Roswell UFO crash conspiracy
  10. Alien corpse
  11. “Luke, I am your father” scene
  12. A car chase in a warehouse
  13. The Ark of Covenant
  14. A motorcycle chase in a library
  15. Quicksands:

    quicksands-custom.jpg

  16. Indy is still afraid of snakes
  17. A car chase in the jungle
  18. Sword fighting while standing on two speeding jeeps parallel to each other
  19. CGI Monkeys beat up bad guys
  20. CGI killer ants eat the bad guys
  21. Indy beats up guys who are like 10 times younger and 10 times bigger than him:

    beats_up-custom.jpg

  22. Driving off a cliff onto a tree which then gently lowers the car to the ground and then snaps back and kills some bad guys
  23. Mind reading
  24. El Dorado
  25. Savages with blow darts
  26. Savages with slings
  27. Savages with spears:

    savages-custom.jpg

  28. A greedy guy stays behind to collect treasure as everything collapses around him
  29. Oh no, this shrine is really a flying saucer
  30. Actually these are not space aliens, they are extra-planar aliens
  31. Hi, I know I was insane, and incoherent for all the movie but I just got better and I’m fine now
  32. Galadriel gets “exactly what she was asking for” and it ain’t pretty
  33. Incredibly cheesy happy ending

Now tell me, do you think all these things should be put in a single movie? I didn’t even tell you about the atrocious, crippled plot – but just look at the above, and tell me if there is any possible way to write a coherent, engaging and intelligent story that ties all these components together in a meaningful way?

The script of this movie has as much finesse, and subtlety as the script to Scary Movie 4. Bad film making doesn’t even cut it. If I was Steven Spielberg I would request that my name was removed from the credits of this piece of shit, and then deny up and down that I had any involvement with it.

In the end, I kinda feel bad for poor Harrison Ford. This was supposed to be his big comeback into the action movie genre. This was supposed to be a return to one of his most memorable characters (other than Han Solo of course). But instead a great comeback, he gets thrown into this horribly embarrassing mess of contradicting plot elements, paper thin characters and crazy space alien bullshit.

I really wasn’t expecting much from this movie. I know George Lucas is going through some weird stage where he insists on completely destroying all the good movies he made in the past. But I kinda hoped that perhaps Steven Spielberg and the other 4 people on the writing team will inject some sanity and common sense to this project. I was mistaken. This is possibly worst movie George Lucas has written so far.

[tags]indiana jones, harrison ford, steven spielberg, kindgdom of the crystal skull[/tags]

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22 Responses to Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

  1. zOMG r u 4Seruz? … NO CAN HAZ REVIEW POWER!

    But seriously, I didn’t think the movie was all that bad… I watch a movie for entertainment, not plot… I was entertained…

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  2. Eilleen UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    The only good part of the film: the prairie dogs! Too bad they only had 2 shots. :-/

    Lucas needs to call it quits. He has enough money. WTF.

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  3. Eilleen UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    Best (and only) part of the film: the prairie dogs.

    Lucas needs to call it quits. He has enough money. WTF.

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  4. Jason UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Linux says:

    Oh, man, that was hilarious! I enjoyed the movie, but everything you wrote above is true. I laughed so hard reading this. In fact, I quoted you twice on my tumble log. Thank you.

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  5. Luke Maciak UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Windows Terminalist says:

    True, but I believe that serviceable plot, and believable characters are important for any movie.

    So is suspense of disbelief. I know that action movies are generally very unrealistic, but there is a point at which I just go – “how stupid do you think I am”. At that nuke scene I heard like two 10-12 year old kids two rows behind me go “yeah, right – like he would survive that”. It’s just silly – and completely unnecessary. It wasn’t really crucial to the plot or anything.

    I also believe that once you establish a brand, you should not deviate from it. When I think Indiana Jones I think tomb riding, ancient mysteries, riddles, booby traps and ancient magic and mystery. Nukes, Roswell and flying saucers are definitely the last thing I expected to see in this movie.

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  6. Luke Maciak UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Windows Terminalist says:

    [quote comment="9208"]The only good part of the film: the prairie dogs! Too bad they only had 2 shots. :-/[/quote]

    Actually, they kinda annoyed me. LOL I thought they are gonna start singing or something.

    @Jason – lol, thanks!

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  7. vacri AUSTRALIA Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    Perhaps Lucas is aiming for the dizzying accolades given to Uwe Boll?

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  8. I just liked the movie.

    Oh btw, have you read my post on economies in video games yet?
    http://www.travismccrea.com/2008/05/31/please-let-us-create-an-economy  /

    let see what else I have to tell you:

    Chuck Norris is now a columnist http://www.creators.com/opinion/chuck-norris.html

    and I made this, I assume your not much of a fan, but I will show you anyway:
    http://www.travismccrea.com/images/oreilly.gif

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  9. Llama PHILIPPINES Internet Explorer Windows says:

    Great comment! I am so intrigued about the movie.
    I’ll make it a point to watch Indiana Jones, maybe tomorrow. I’ll be a critic for an hour or so… then I will be sharing my opinions too. :-)

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  10. Teague UNITED STATES Internet Explorer Windows says:

    I enjoyed the movie. I think a lot of people are holding it up to their childhood memories of how cool the earlier ones were when they were kids. I have accepted that my 35-year-old brain will never again see anything through the eyes of a 12-year-old. That said, the atomic-bomb-accelerated refrigerator survival was lame, even by the standards of the actual 12-year-olds in your theatre. ;)

    What was the last movie you saw that you would call great? Or even good?

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  11. Caroline PHILIPPINES Mozilla Firefox Mac OS says:

    I didn’t think it was that bad, really, but I can see your points. The prairie dogs were probably the silliest bit in the film aside from the refrigerator of course. I quite enjoyed the movie, actually, but only probably because I liked the first ones, plus I have a huge crush on Harrison Ford even though he’s totally too old to be doing this shit. I also like movies that don’t really require too much brain power to enjoy. God, what does that say about me???

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  12. Luke Maciak UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Ubuntu Linux Terminalist says:

    [quote post="2486"]Perhaps Lucas is aiming for the dizzying accolades given to Uwe Boll?[/quote]

    Ah, but the difference is that Uwe makes horrible movies on purpose. He is funding them in Germany via private investors. The German law then allows him to write off 100% of the investment as a tax deduction, but only if the movie losses money. Boll probably gets to pocket the change and creates a safe way to move large amounts of money for his investors. It’s all shady as hell. Oh, and notice how he is primarily interested in popular video game franchises – and he always secures the rights to future adaptations. Meaning that if someone wants to make a real adaptation at a later time, or if the game company wants to take back the movie rights he can sell at premium. :P

    George Lucas is a different case though. He actually produced few good movies, but then at some point he forgot how to do it. It seems that the bigger the budget he has, the worse movie he produces.

    [quote post="2486"]Chuck Norris is now a columnist[/quote]

    Chuck Norris doesn’t write columns. He roundhouse kicks the keyboard and a well thought out article is automatically sent to his publisher.

    [quote post="2486"]I think a lot of people are holding it up to their childhood memories of how cool the earlier ones were when they were kids.[/quote]

    Well, I watched these movies many, many times. The way I felt about them as a kid, changed on subsequent viewings. The point was that while the early Lucas movies did have spectacular (for that time) special effects, they also had an engaging story, and this sense of mystery, and adventure. The had that specific feel to them that made us all fall in love with them.

    The new installments don’t have that. There are complete departures from the old model, re-made to suit whatever the fuck Lucas things is cool these days.

    Oh, and there is another strange pattern here – he always seems to lose it around the third movie and then it all goes downhill from there.

    [quote post="2486"]What was the last movie you saw that you would call great? Or even good? [/quote]

    I saw Memento the other day. It was good. Not perfect, but good. There are good movies out there. So it’s not like Hollywood is churning out total shit all the time. But it seems that all the major blockbusters with big budgets are turning out horrible these days.

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  13. e UNITED STATES Safari Mac OS says:

    OK, definitely will wait till this comes out on video. Thanks for the thorough and extremely entertaining review. When I read it, I couldn’t stop laughing (and I was in a seminar so it was really hard to hide that I wasn’t paying attention to the speaker!). I can’t believe that practically every hollywood cliché was woven intertextually into the script. Sometimes less is more…
    I wonder if this was Lucas’ test to see whether his & Ford’s loyal fan base would come out and make them a few more bucks. I think another comment had it right…you would like to suspend your beliefs, even if only for the briefest and most innocuous reason.
    If you want to see a movie where prairie dogs do sing, watch James Gandolfini in Romance & Cigarettes

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  14. Luke Maciak UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Windows Terminalist says:

    [quote post="2486"]Sometimes less is more…[/quote]

    You said it. It’s funny how most good movies have somewhat limited budgets, and the multi-million dollar productions are usually really bad. Why is that?

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  15. because they are forced to be innovative… of course

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  16. Phylevn MEXICO Mozilla Firefox Ubuntu Linux says:

    I think that the movie was funny.. Althoug the movie confused the prehispanic civilizations in America.. for example the Incas in Peru not is the same that the Aztecas in the center of Mexico or Mayas in the mexican caribbean .

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  17. Biggamer PHILIPPINES Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    Nice man, I’ll make sure to catch it in the cinemas… :)

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  18. jambarama UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Windows Terminalist says:

    Looks like the movie has spawned a new phrase: “nuke the fridge”. As in, “Star Wars didn’t really nuke the fridge until Jar Jar Binks was introduced.” It is the movie version of jumping the shark. Ouch.

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  19. Luke Maciak UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Ubuntu Linux Terminalist says:

    LOL! Nuke the fridge! Brilliant! I will be sure to use it in movie reviews from now on!

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  20. Pingback: Terminally Incoherent » Blog Archive » Live Free or Die Stupid (aka Die Hard 4) UNITED STATES WordPress

  21. area rugs ISRAEL Internet Explorer Windows says:

    What really galvanized me (even choked me up) was to think back to that golden, sun-crisp, horizon-fade of LAST CRUSADE – with Brody and Jones, Sr. in tow – after we’ve learned of their passing (via some expository convo with the Brody stand-in, Jim Broadbent). It’s a beautifully crafted moment, and just one of many that I can’t wait to see again.

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  22. James UNITED STATES Internet Explorer Windows says:

    Absolutely loved the fact that Harrison Ford WAS Indiana Jones – not pretending to be an old character of his – he really nailed Jones for the fourth time! The over all arc of Jones’ life (Young Indiana Jones, Movies, Books, etc) fits well with this movie; although I have to admit, I feel weird when Jones gets too close to the present time period… It seems to make the character less credible – go fig…

    Although Steven Speilberg did a good job as director, I felt there were a couple of “hero” shots that he completely missed out on. When Jones is about to open the tomb and discover the old explorers, he looks over his shoulder – and Steven should have dollied in for a “hero” shot while Jones delivers his line! I just think that if Steven had been ten years younger, he would have never missed that opportunity!

    The ending was fine – but didn’t we already see it in one of those Brendon Fraiser Mummy movies?

    All in all, I enjoyed it! And I was glad they could get everyone back together for it!

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