Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

I recently saw the latest Indiana Jones movie. After a two decade hiatus, this last version is sure to be a fun thrill. On the cheap-o-meter, I?d say it?s worth a matin?e fare price for those that want to see an action movie but perhaps only the cost of a rental for those that are purist to the original movies.

I don?t want to spoil things so continue only if you want to read some spoilers. Well, pretty much the entire synopsis.

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull is a movie that fills a special Indiana Jones sized hole in my heart but then turns from the lovely pastry filling into a questionable meat filling. It had the potential to bring tears of joy; it brought tears of sorrow. Yet again George Lucas decided to touch something and destroy the worth and meaning it had created in so many fans. I have little respect for a man who has taken so many childhood memories and wrangled them to fit one of his visions or dreams. Would we, as a society, allow Stalin or Hussein to fulfill their dreams? Absolutely not: Lucas only gets away with it because he hasn?t broken any laws.

Before I go on a tirade about my distaste for Lucas, let me mention that the original title Lucas wanted to have for this movie was to be Indiana Jones and the Invaders from Mars. Like many lost childhood fantasies, Lucas remembers the cheesy and unfortunately memorable moments of 50s Americana and decides to enshrine the highlights into a movie series built on revisiting clich?s of the past.

In the previous three movies we appreciated what the movies were about. The exaggerated personalities, unbelievable fight scenes, and stupid bad guys: it made him a hero. And upon watching the previous three movies I caught several moments that were cheesy indeed. In those, however, they were cheesy in ridiculous nature. The supernatural was kept to a minimum were it border lined believability. All stops are taken out in the Crystal Skull.

I forgave the cheesy Russian accents, Indiana Jones surviving a nuclear blast within the confines of a lead lined refrigerator, his young prot?g? swinging from vine to vine like Tarzan, the waterfalls shaped like a skull, heck, even reprising Miriam as Jones? true love, though hard to swallow, didn?t leave a bad smell on my finger.

No, it was when, in the end, the entire valley disintegrates and a flying saucer takes off and flies into the sky that I felt an unimaginable thirst for the blood of George Lucas. You see, even in Temple of Doom, arguably the worst of the original three movies, there was some sort of archaeological redemption. The diamond was returned to the villagers and the people saved of a curse they had placed on themselves. He saved the Ark of the Covenant from the Nazis and then later saved the Holy Grail from them too. I went to bed after those three movies thinking, I am so glad Indiana Jones saved those things from evil men.

Now, this movie was nothing like that. They took a crystal skull, placed it on the skeleton of some dead alien, and the space ship took off. It was so lame I almost cried. What had Indiana Jones done? He hadn?t saved anyone. There was no satisfying taste in my mouth after this. I felt cheated. Lucas had taken the cheese of the 50s and made it into some horrible mockery of everything sacred Indiana Jones used to be. He was a hero who saved archeology from the bad guys. Had they left everything in but the alien plot line, I would have been happy. Even the atomic blast and other ridiculous occurrences were completely acceptable when comparing these things to exploding chests that kills Nazis, Indiana Jones riding the top of a submarine underwater, knights living 700 years, ripping hearts out of people without leaving no scars and the victim was still living, and the list goes on and on.

If you are a purist who loved the original movies, make yourself believe it is someone else. Call it Ronald McDonald and the Crystal Skull. At least then you won?t be disappointed and filled with rage that someone like Lucas took your childhood fantasies and shat on them.

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