Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

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Reviewed by: Alicia Glass
Published on: March 3, 2022 (URL is not
Available on: Netflix
Content release date: 2008-05-22

Review Rating: 6

Warning! Spoiler Review!

Everyone’s favorite whip cracking fedora-wearing archaeologist adventurer is back, hunting crystal skulls!

Indiana Jones is a fabled movie character for most everyone who’s heard of him. He’s tough enough to survive Nazis, black magic cults, femme fatales and collapsing ancient structures, all with an incredibly sexy grin and a witty comeback. Sadly, this latest work that features our beloved Indy is little more than a farce and makes him look like a buffoon.

We’re all used to there being the proverbial bad guys in every Indy movie, it’s usually the Nazis, fine right? This time it’s the Russians, and hey, I can hang with that. However, they have Cate Blanchett as the head Russian femme fatale, Colonel Irina Spalko, complete with black hair in a severe pageboy and a sword. And while she gamely goes chasing Indy through jungles in jeeps, declaiming how she’s going to get him in a thick Russian accent, the effect is nowhere near that of Alison Doody as Dr. Schneider in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, telling Indy that he should have listened to his father.

Far too much emphasis is placed on Shia LaBeouf in the dubious role of the heretofore unknown son of Indiana Jones, strangely named Mutt. It isn’t as though LaBeouf’s acting is lacking, it’s that the character they gave him to play was virtually empty.

And here we come to the crux of the problem: kingdom of the crystal skulls. The movie starts off with Indiana Jones and an associate of his already having been kidnapped and being escorted, by Russians, to…Area 51. Any American with a healthy interest in the Sci-Fi genre can tell you what that means, and it sets the tone for the rest of the movie. Which is to say, the crystal skull that everyone’s chasing indeed does have extra-special (or is it extra-terrestrial?) powers that they can use as weapons, but it also fits into a much larger puzzle that of course only Indiana Jones can find and solve. And while that’s more or less fine, the spinning disc of alien goodness that lifts out of the who knows how old Nazcas stone structure to ride off into the idyllic sunset makes me want to throw popcorn at the screen.

Indiana Jones has become a franchise and that makes me sad. But hey, just because I didn’t like it doesn’t mean the legion of fans used to being spoon-fed ‘entertainment’ won’t.