Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (12A)

Film

Action and adventure

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Time Out rating:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>3</span>/5

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<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>3</span>/5
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Time Out says

Posted: Sun May 18 2008

Dr Indiana Jones: a hokey, old-fashioned movie action-hero from the childhood of many film-goers who was based, back in the burgeoning summer blockbuster days of the early 1980s, on a hokey, old-fashioned movie action-hero from the childhood of director Steven Spielberg.

Yes, in case you haven’t realised, Harrison Ford is back as the university professor with a sideline in battling bad guys in a strictly archaeological context and a skill for dodging bullets and boulders in comic book fashion – without suffering a graze. Other pop-iconic inventions, like Batman, have since enjoyed the post-modern treatment at the hands of younger filmmakers like Christopher Nolan, but Spielberg avoids any nod-and-a-wink approach. There’s the odd self-referential moment that points to Indy’s age and to past plots but mostly this is played as straight as the fringe on Cate Blanchett as the villain of the piece.

It’s 1957, Jones has a good war record behind him, the Cold War is in full thrust, and fetish fans can rest easy in the knowledge that Indy has kept that hat, whip and leather jacket from his younger days. He digs them out when Mutt (Shia LaBeouf), a young lad who rides into the movie in a nod to Brando in ‘The Wild One’ – all leathers and attitude – offers Indy the challenge of hunting down the Crystal Skull of Akator.

Of course, Indy’s not alone in the search. There are Soviet agents on his trail, led by Blanchett. These are the same agents, all with that glassy stare that American movies often attribute to commies, who we’ve already seen Indy battle with on an American air field in the film’s first action set-piece. For this episode, he narrowly escapes from a nuclear test-bomb that’s detonated on a mock-up of the typical ’50s town. This is surprisingly chilling in tone and slightly recalls the creepy suburban set-up of the early scenes of Spielberg’s ‘AI’. But only Spielberg would puncture this nod at nuclear horror with a quick cut to an anodyne shot of fluffy desert animals.

The rest is familiar. There are car chases, quick sand, river pursuits, poison darts, and exotic locations from the Nevada desert to the jungles of Peru and the Amazon. The only real additions to the mix are some new characters, including Shia LaBoeuf as Indy’s younger sidekick and Ray Winstone as a companion closer to his own age, and a recourse to computer imagery that becomes less and less hidden as the film unfolds. There’s a nod to alien involvement towards the end of the film that feels out of place, and the more the film relies on spectacle, both from special effects and from production design, the more it segues from what audiences really want: human stunts and up-close combat. It’s all perfectly acceptable as a minor thrill ride – nothing more. The film doesn’t feel as punchy, amusing or as fast-paced as the best of the other three films, but it’s passable both as nostalgia and old-fashioned action-adventure that favours impossible leaps from waterfalls over psychological insights and anything in the realm of plot that you could possibly need to believe.

It’s John Hurt as an old academic buddy of Mr Jones who utters a significant line as this fourth adventure, 21 years since the last, comes to a close in a scene that’s so sentimental – even by Spielberg’s standards – that you might be shoving your fist down your throat at the very sight of it. He ponders ‘How much of human life is lost in waiting.’ Is that Mr Spielberg suggesting we shouldn’t get our hopes up over these silly things? If so, he’s definitely right. Expect little, remember that the first three films were all basic affairs, and you might just – just – avoid disappointment.

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Release details

Rated:

12A

UK release:

Thu May 22, 2008

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<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>0</span>/5

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3.9 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:39
  • 4 star:12
  • 3 star:10
  • 2 star:9
  • 1 star:0
LiveReviews|130
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Andy S

Awful, just awful. Everything was bad, and Ford is well past it. Spielberg's worse film...well, I think The Terminal sucked more.

nibbeler

I loved this movie but one thing: when the atomic bomb thingy whent off and he was in a fridge and he went for absoulty miles and he was in it!! He would of died when he was in the air but hed just walked out of the fridge!!!

Chris

Absolutely awful. Nonsensical plot, rubbish dialogue and some of the worst CGI ever. Don;t bother.

BS

rubbish compared to the others. they were trying to hard to continue the great reputation for the other films but by making this film they have just lost my respect for the whole Indian Jones sereies. shame because i really enjoyed the other three. boo hiss boo steven spielberg

C

Does not compare to the other Indiana Jones movies. Does not have any charm. I would not waste my money buying the DVD.

wicca witch

brill kept me on the edge of my seat. adventure and comical quips throughout. very enjoyable. Also like the fact that they did their homework there is a book about the crystal skulls which is interesting if yuou beleive in the spiritula side of life. interesting read.

wicca witch

brill kept me on the edge of my seat. adventure and comical quips throughout. very enjoyable. Also like the fact that they did their homework there is a book about the crystal skulls which is interesting if yuou beleive in the spiritula side of life. interesting read.

wicca witch

Brill kept me on the edge of my seat advanture plus wit not bad for a sat nite when nought on the box

wicca witch

Brill kept me on the edge of my seat advanture plus wit not bad for a sat nite when nought on the box

iain

I reluctantly went along with my girlfriend to watch this and, as it turned out, i left feeling like i'd enjoyed myself. some parts of the film are ridiculously far fetched and i wasn't to keen on the alien storyline - very strange - but the film is generally entertaining and enjoyable. i also thought harrison ford still looked the part even though he has obviously aged a fair bit!...

Sia

I liked this movie...I am fan of Indiana when i was a child and the whole alien concept is a typical Spielberg thing just there was a few scenes that made me think hmm...like how can he survive a nuclear explosion in a fridge??? also what i was curious on why did the alien at the end do what he did...but overall it was a good movie lots of action and comedy.

Beth

Having never seen a Indiana Jones, I was worried that I would'nt enjoy the film. But trust me, this film is absolutely AMAZING!!!! Harrison Ford's age does'nt at all affect the movie, it makes you laugh, jump, and you'll find yourself drawn into the plot. Some parts are quite predictable, but does'nt at all spoilt it. I think the alien storyline was quite weird, but it should'nt bother you too much. And if the review considers this to be less "punchy, amusing or as fast-paced as the best of the other three films", the other films must pretty incredible, because this film was the best I've seen so far (ok, lets exclude Star Wars :D)

Beth

Having never seen a Indiana Jones, I was worried that I would'nt enjoy the film. But trust me, this film is absolutely AMAZING!!!! Harrison Ford's age does'nt at all affect the movie, it makes you laugh, jump, and you'll find yourself drawn into the plot. Some parts are quite predictable, but does'nt at all spoilt it. I think the alien storyline was quite weird, but it should'nt bother you too much. And if the review considers this to be less "punchy, amusing or as fast-paced as the best of the other three films", the other films must pretty incredible, because this film was the best I've seen so far (ok, lets exclude Star Wars :D)

Jojo

Take your kids, they will love this and not get up too much to go to the loo!! Very enjoyable and action filled from the onset. Harrison Ford still holds up pretty well even though hes about 200 now, shame Karen Allen looked really shagged out!! Not sure was a necessary sequel but hey, good fun.

megan

i thought the new indy film was a triumph thrill ride, the music at the beginning got me excited, the new period it is set in is perfect for a new story and the trtansition of indys character in the film, i thought there was much humour and Shia LaBoeuf as mutt indys sidekick was perfect. i have watched all three films and i had a very high standard when watching this film it is a perfect family viewing film, perfect, Harrison Ford and Spielberg has created a perfect masterpiece, although i have to say that the alien resemblance i didn't quite get but overall perfect 10/10!!!!!!

megan

i thought the new indy film was a triumph thrill ride, the music at the beginning got me excited, the new period it is set in is perfect for a new story and the trtansition of indys character in the film, i thought there was much humour and Shia LaBoeuf as mutt indys sidekick was perfect. i have watched all three films and i had a very high standard when watching this film it is a perfect family viewing film, perfect, Harrison Ford and Spielberg has created a perfect masterpiece, although i have to say that the alien resemblance i didn't quite get but overall perfect 10/10!!!!!!

Mary

Honestly, I thought it was great fun. Once I got over the fact that Indy had aged (honestly, what had I expected him to do?) the film ticked all the boxes. Perhaps my favourite moment was Indy saying, "if you want to be a good archaeologist, get out of the library..." (you need to see why that's so hysterical) but the whole story line dealt with issues of human mortality (favourite characters have died, and are getting older) and redemption. It's possibly got the most satisfying happy ending ever in action fiction, and I wish I'd been invited to the wedding! Perhaps you need to be an old biddy to get how sweet the theme of redemption is in this film, and all you blokes need to wait a while to see what's really important... Also, as usual... big moral themes hidden in the subtext. DO NOT EAT OF THE TREE OF THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOOD AND EVIL!!! No seriously... don't... or you'll end up like Kate Blanchett...

Mary

Honestly, I thought it was great fun. Once I got over the fact that Indy had aged (honestly, what had I expected him to do?) the film ticked all the boxes. Perhaps my favourite moment was Indy saying, "if you want to be a good archaeologist, get out of the library..." (you need to see why that's so hysterical) but the whole story line dealt with issues of human mortality (favourite characters have died, and are getting older) and redemption. It's possibly got the most satisfying happy ending ever in action fiction, and I wish I'd been invited to the wedding! Perhaps you need to be an old biddy to get how sweet the theme of redemption is in this film, and all you blokes need to wait a while to see what's really important... Also, as usual... big moral themes hidden in the subtext. DO NOT EAT OF THE TREE OF THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOOD AND EVIL!!! No seriously... don't... or you'll end up like Kate Blanchett...

rajesh

not as great as i hoped for , very average , not up to the std, but good it parts

bloy

Bored me a little as too much family fun for my (adult) liking. Strangely, the original movies have had so many other films copying it's action formula that it feels really unoriginal! left cinema feeling mildly satisfied.

Olivia

I went to see Indiana Jones with my dad last saturday and I thought it was great! It has some humerous parts and I would definately go to see it again. I have never seen any of the other Indiana Jones films, so I couldn't compare it to the others, but I thought that the Crystal Skull was amazing.It wasn't very scary but I thought it was interesting and entertaining. I reccomend it to any people who love adventure/action films.

Olivia

I went to see Indiana Jones with my dad last saturday and I thought it was great! It has some humerous parts and I would definately go to see it again. I have never seen any of the other Indiana Jones films, so I couldn't compare it to the others, but I thought that the Crystal Skull was amazing.It wasn't very scary but I thought it was interesting and entertaining. I reccomend it to any people who love adventure/action films.

usman

THIS MOVIE IS A DEATH SENTENCE FOR THE CAREERS OF SPIELBERG AND HARRISON ,i have never seen a movie where there is a loophole and flaw in every scene ,if you want to witness that ,it is a must-see , i feel sorry that some people are actually going to make a profit out of cheating us the poor audience -what a shame and spielberg will find it difficult to get anyone to go see his next turkey -this was cheating and they ought to be sued for fraudulent behaviour towards the poor fans .

Taylor

I don't know what everyone has been complaining about. I am a HUGE indiana jones fan, i have the boxset and all. I went to the cinema full of excitement at being able to see jones on the big screen and i was well and truly satisfyied with what i got. Sure the CGI was perhaps used a bit too much and some of the plot edged on unreal and unbelievable but i think people are focussing too much on these bad points. The good points FAR out number the bad. Jones is back as his old self we all know and love and people saying he's old? well duh he wont magically stay the same age but he still performs wickedly with the same humour we all want. The addition of Shia LaBoeuf was, in my opinion, a great one. It gave Indy someone to have jokes with and i thought he acted excellently, definatly up to the standard of Indy's sidekicks. I found myself smiling and laughing throughout and I really would advise everyone to just go and see it for yourself. People have too high expectations; sequels can never be quite as good as originals. Basically, this is a fast-paced, edgey, funny and thrilling film of today and i loved it!!!!

Taylor

I don't know what everyone has been complaining about. I am a HUGE indiana jones fan, i have the boxset and all. I went to the cinema full of excitement at being able to see jones on the big screen and i was well and truly satisfyied with what i got. Sure the CGI was perhaps used a bit too much and some of the plot edged on unreal and unbelievable but i think people are focussing too much on these bad points. The good points FAR out number the bad. Jones is back as his old self we all know and love and people saying he's old? well duh he wont magically stay the same age but he still performs wickedly with the same humour we all want. The addition of Shia LaBoeuf was, in my opinion, a great one. It gave Indy someone to have jokes with and i thought he acted excellently, definatly up to the standard of Indy's sidekicks. I found myself smiling and laughing throughout and I really would advise everyone to just go and see it for yourself. People have too high expectations; sequels can never be quite as good as originals. Basically, this is a fast-paced, edgey, funny and thrilling film of today and i loved it!!!!

Joanne P

Really bad, all the action scenes were really unbelievable. I just can't believe they approved this film for release they way it is. The worst bits for me have already been mentioned by other disappointed fans - the monkey bit and the fencing bit. They were driving through the jungle for goodness sake and yet their bodies remained completely stable on the back of their vehicles as if they were driving very slowly along a smoothly tarmaced road. I couldn't wait for it to end! Just stayed for good old Indie - he's still lovely with all his gear on! Don't waste your money - this film will only upset you when you remember how brilliant the other films were.

Madara

ps. i rather have the movie title change from indiana jones and the crystal skull to magnetic skull..

kerry jo

I grew up watching these films and if you go into it with the same mentality as you did when the last one came out you won't be dissapointed. ( I was 8 at the time) Combining two of Lucas's fav themes its worth a watch after you have got your sugary SITC fix i kind of felt for Harrison Ford, time to hang up the whip now indie?

Paul

Nobody tells me what to do in my place.... Karen Allen (Marion Ravenwood) played a tough kicking, sexy, independent jaw cracking drinking gal who took no nonsense from anybody. All Spielberg's got her doing in the latest flick is smiling, oh and driving everywhere looking 'frumpy'. When Harrison Ford changes into the Indy attire it's a relief as the suits he wears in the film make him appear too old. (Harrison plays the part so well). The Last Crusade it isn't, nor Raiders, nor Temple of Doom, but there are those moments which make you feel - ah! there’s the old Indy I know. Unfortunately, the things it misses are the Cario Sword swinging, Mirror jaw breaking (priceless), Lao Che bullet ridden gong moments. Ray Winstone (annoying), Jim Broadbent (all due respect) is no substitute for Delholm Elliot, John Hurt (not required), Cate Banchett Russian accent kept dropping, no Sallah, no Connery. no apparent torture devices which turn into coat hangers and no perfectly timed Belloq (Paul Freeman) type moments of wit. However it's worth going just for the Indy mannerisms you know and love.

ND

If you are expecting a nostalgic trip to the 80s trilogy you will be very much disappointed. The movie has lost all of the magic of Raiders and has resulted in a weak movie with over use of CGI, a poor plot and poor villains. Before dressing a movie with special effects you must have characters you love,characters you hate and a good plot. THIS FILM CONTAINS NONE OF THIS. The only character you warm to of course is Indy,who even at 65, delivers a believable performance, and is far less of a relic than the rest of the characters. The film's early moments with the Nuclear Explosion was a great idea, but spoiled by the introduction of fluffy desert animals. The character Mutt is as annoying as the unbelievably bad 'tarzan' swinging scenes and surviving 3 waterfall moments. The ending is poorly planned and disappointingly executed. It was like a bad Close Encounters meeting x-files. In terms of end product and overall feeling of disappointment, I think George Lucas decided that he would go back to 1999 and make us all suffer through another dose of Phantom Menacitis. To sum up, the good points..Harrison Ford. The bad ones...the plot, the other characters, the over use of CGI, unbelievable and very very impossible action scenes, a villain which wasnt evil enough, and the ending. Bring back a solid script and use cgi in patches....sorrry Spielberg I am a fan of yours but this was no Minority Report or Jaws.

kevin

actually, adults, the film is slyly coded as a massive visual puzzle. have you decoded what oxley is being offered, why an obelisk is a 'key' and even the sliest reference: the opening shot. if you can sit back, put your 11 year-old hat on, you might just forgo the angst and slide into an unusual puzzle of the mind...just what really is the crystal doing when material is drawn to it

kevin

actually, adults, the film is slyly coded as a massive visual puzzle. have you decoded what oxley is being offered, why an obelisk is a 'key' and even the sliest reference: the opening shot. if you can sit back, put your 11 year-old hat on, you might just forgo the angst and slide into an unusual puzzle of the mind...just what really is the crystal doing when material is drawn to it

Laura Jones

What is everyone going on about, this movie was classic Indiana Jones. Too many people are entering the cinema with huge expectations of old Indie, it contained all the elements sought after in an adventure flick such as this, Action, Great acting (Shia Lebouf was excellent, and Harrison ford genius as always) and a great comic script that keeps you engaged throughout. The story line was thrilling and exciting, it kept you wondering and on edge of your seat up until the end. Strange the movie may be, but what do you expect from talents such as Lucas and Spielberg. Oh and the sets mostly hand built were jaw dropping! I do not know about everyone else but i am not a film critic i have no film or media qualifications, i am merely a viewer who wants to be entertained, and i was it delivered for me i went out with a warm feeling and i for one am glad of the return of the snake fearing adventurer!!! So thank you Spielberg and Lucas for allowing a 21-year-old Indiana Jones fan to see him on the big silver screen, Historic!!!

Laura Jones

What is everyone going on about, this movie was classic Indiana Jones. Too many people are entering the cinema with huge expectations of old Indie, it contained all the elements sought after in an adventure flick such as this, Action, Great acting (Shia Lebouf was excellent, and Harrison ford genius as always) and a great comic script that keeps you engaged throughout. The story line was thrilling and exciting, it kept you wondering and on edge of your seat up until the end. Strange the movie may be, but what do you expect from talents such as Lucas and Spielberg. Oh and the sets mostly hand built were jaw dropping! I do not know about everyone else but i am not a film critic i have no film or media qualifications, i am merely a viewer who wants to be entertained, and i was it delivered for me i went out with a warm feeling and i for one am glad of the return of the snake fearing adventurer!!! So thank you Spielberg and Lucas for allowing a 21-year-old Indiana Jones fan to see him on the big silver screen, Historic!!!

sarah

This was so awful and dissapointing. What a waste of money. The storyline didn't follow and noticed people yawning halfway through. For a Steven Speilburg film i feel he has let himself down big time. I read that Harrison Ford wanted to do this for his fan's but he now has no fans. What an insult to the previous Indianna Jones film's that have made him a household name. It was a waste of good actor's , everything was so unbelievable especially the fencing scene which was cringeworthy. Was so bored that was thinking about work!! Please do not go see this film unless you are 10 years old or under as this will be the only age range which would enjoy it. Even as left the cimema could hear people talking about how dissapointed they were and how let down they felt. Overheard someone wanting a refund . RUBBISH , go watch sex and the city

Tom McMaster

At last, a rollicking good film which holds your attention throughout. Unlike all the utter dross which is showing these days.

Tom McMaster

At last, a rollicking good film which holds your attention throughout. Unlike all the utter dross which is showing these days.

Josh Gray

Ok, i am going to be honest here. I am a massive Indy fan, have the DVD box set, VHS the works. I just saw the movie and i was so disappointed, it is the worst one. Predictable story line, extremely far-fetched scenes and to top it all off the death of the villain was poor. Now, there are good points to this film, Stunning CGI work, and of course the return of the one and only Indy himself (the nostalgia comes flooding in) but in my opinion thats where the good essence of the film fades. Its worth watching to release some of the happy memories you had watching the first three, but don't expect something spectacular.

JUDI J

Superb, Indy never lets you down. Although I have to say I preffered the older films with less CGI. Good, escapist fantasy. Bring it on!!

JUDI J

Superb, Indy never lets you down. Although I have to say I preffered the older films with less CGI. Good, escapist fantasy. Bring it on!!

Ben

This film is pure action adventure entertainment for the family and we dont get a lot of films like this nowadays. Harrison Ford is back to his best and stills fits the Indiana Jones role like a glove. I love the opening 20 minutes or so, pure class. This is a must see twice movie. After seein it the first time i was impressed and enjoyed it very much but after the second time i loved it. Bring on Indiana Jones 5.

Ben

This film is pure action adventure entertainment for the family and we dont get a lot of films like this nowadays. Harrison Ford is back to his best and stills fits the Indiana Jones role like a glove. I love the opening 20 minutes or so, pure class. This is a must see twice movie. After seein it the first time i was impressed and enjoyed it very much but after the second time i loved it. Bring on Indiana Jones 5.

pac-man

Went to see it last night. Was very excited as I loved the first few films. It was OK. Disappointed. Didn't get the whole sci-fi thing. Other half enjoyed it and told me that the other films were just as far fetched.........but somehow I found them more believeable.

andy

A fantastic film. Worth the 19 years wait, this proves that film series can be brought back and still be great. I went in expecting it to be not as good as the origonal but was extremlly impressed when it finished. It had amazing special effects and a good story to back it up. Shila la bouf was great casting as Mutt and the banter between him and Harrison was funny. Overall i was extremlly impressed with the movie and would definetly see it again.

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