Watching the Indiana Jones Series – Backwards

Before last night, I had never seen an Indiana Jones movie.  So when the opportunity presented itself to view Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull on its opening day rather inexpensively via email coupons from Fandango.com, I couldn’t resist the temptation to see what all the fuss was about.
I walked away entertained, but still a little bewildered about why the character is SO popular.  The people I saw the movie with (both have seen all of the movies in the series) said this was not the best of the Indiana Jones movies.  Not that it was a bad movie, but I would have chopped off about an hour of it.  A few of the chase scenes ran a little long, and there was a little too much hokeyness in my opinion.  Before I went, I was hearing critics talk about the Indiana Jones movies and how they are a throwback to the adventure movies of the 1930’s and 40’s.  I thought this might be a good explanation for some of the cheesy action; for example, characters swinging through the air and falling exactly where they need to in order to avoid certain death or to land the perfect punch, etc.  I can deal with hokey action sequences.  What was a little hard to swallow however, was the origin of the movie’s namesake, the crystal skull.  Since I’m at risk of spilling some major spoilers here – and don’t read any further if you’re worried about learning anything about the movie you don’t want to –  it will suffice to say that I did not appreciate the supernatural element they gave the fourth Indiana Jones movie.

The acting wasn’t anything Oscar worthy, but that is to be expected in this type of movie.  I didn’t see Shia LeBeouf as the kid from Disturbia, so he must have some diversity in his acting.  Cate Blanchett was really good as the villianess, and I found it funny when I read that when people heard she was in the movie, they just assumed she was Harrison Ford‘s love interest.  People were so critical that an older man’s love interest was going to be a much younger woman, then they had to eat their words when it was leaked that she was playing the part of the evil enemy.  Indiana Jones’ actual love interest in the movie was a character played by Karen Allen that had been in some of the previous movies, which I liked.  What I didn’t like is that there were 2 characters in the movie who were supposed to be former friends of Indiana Jones, however, my Indy experts tell me that neither of them were in the previous movies.

I was entertained throughout the entire movie, and there were funny jokes and interesting characters.  Also a few plot twists anyone with half a brain could see coming from a mile away.  During most of the action sequences, I couldn’t help but feel like I was watching a video game.  I was really appreciating the components of the quest to obtain the crystal skull, at least until the supernatural element came into play.  Parts of the movie also made me envision a Universal Studios ride – it would probably be really cool, maybe a splashdown ending…  I didn’t fall asleep during this movie, but as you just read, my mind did wander a bit, probably because of the lengthy action sequences.    Overall, I’d say the movie was exactly what I was expecting, perhaps even a wee bit better.  And hearing from 2 experienced Indiana Jones viewers that this was not the best movie makes me willing to give the others a try – providing they are not over 2 hours each, of course – that’s just too long to sit through an action movie in my opinion!

5 thoughts on “Watching the Indiana Jones Series – Backwards”

  1. Sorry to disappoint but each of them are just over 2, but great movies nonetheless. It was not the best but still enjoyable. Karen Allen was in Raiders of the Lost Ark and Indy had a different leading lady in the other two but she is definitely the best of the three… her return was among the best elements.

  2. Speaking of watching the movies “backwards” Raiders takes place in 1936, Temple of Doom in ’35, and Last Crusade ’38. Not really important but a nice bit of trivia.

  3. Seeing Karen Allen’s picture on imdb made me realize where I know her from – Scrooged. I verified it on the site and yep – she’s Bill Murray’s love interest in Scrooged.

  4. Just saw the Crystal Skull tonight. If I were to rate the movies in order of how much I liked them…

    1 Raiders of the Lost Ark
    2 The Last Crusade
    3 The Crystal Skull
    4 Temple of Doom

    So, no this wasn’t the best, but in my opinion not the worst either. I won’t spoil them for you, but the Temple of Doom was a darker picture. There were some light hearted bits, but the overall theme was dark.

    The Crystal Skull was good, but the alien part was way over the top, especially the end. I think that spoiled what could have been a better movie. I originally thought, based only on previews, that this would be a movie I would want to see in a stadium seat theater. I may go see it again, just because I’m a big fan, and I will buy the DVD when it comes out. At $3.00 early show price, yeah it is worth that. I have to find the Star Wars tie ins.

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