Indiana Jones And The Spaceship Of Crap

The latest Indiana Jones movie went through several names before they settled on Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. There were Indiana Jones and the: Saucer Men from Mars, City of Gods, Destroyer of Worlds, Son of Indiana Jones, Mysterians, Atomic Ants, Phantom City of Gods. A couple of those have to be jokes, but honestly, it clearly illustrates the asinine journey this movie took.

Psychic alien skulls and inter-dimensional flying saucers are about as relevant to the Indiana Jones universe as the appendix to the human body- they’re unnecessary and you’re often better off getting rid of them. It could be argued that the religious relics of the previous three movies were just as ridiculous, but at least they’re existence would be applicable to a movie about an archaeologist. Last time I looked, Indiana Jones was no extraterrestrial researcher.

Well before the movie really got into the guts of the plot and most of the alien nonsense, it had already jumped the rails. Let me begin at the beginning.

The opening credit sequence was completely superfluous. The teens in the car and Elvis’ ‘Hound Dog’ had to be some sort of homage to American Graffiti, but it sets the wrong tone when it’s followed by soldiers being gunned down. If the purpose was to ground the audience in the time period, then it was pretty redundant since it’s directly followed by the date overlaid on the screen. It should have opened with the establishing shot of the military base as the convoy pulls up to the gate. It’s sets an ominous tone when the soldiers are killed and doesn’t jerk the audience around.

Then, and it continues for about 30 minutes or so, Harrison Ford looks utterly uninterested in what’s going on. He’s got no facial expression other than a half-grin and his delivery sounds the same way mine does when I tell a joke no one laughs at- it just hangs there waiting for a congratulatory remark. How can we be expected to take the movie seriously when he’s not?

The opening should have ended with the rocket sled escape, but noooo, they had to put him in the middle of a nuclear test site. It’s just more excess. Not only does it not serve any explicable purpose, but having Indiana Jones survive the blast by hiding in a fridge is just flat-out stupid. Somehow the fridge was not obliterated, but instead catapulted through the air and gently hits the ground. He’s really some dude if he can survive a nuclear blast, get thrown hundreds of feet through the air unharmed, and not suffer any ill effects from the fallout.

By the time Jones emerges from the refrigerator, George Lucas and Steven Spielberg have both shown they’re perfectly fine with throwing anything up on the screen, regardless of if it benefits the movie or even makes sense. There’s little doubt in my mind that the movie was made without any artistic intent and no one involved ever looked past the dollar signs. If you doubt that, ask yourself if this is what you expected as Spielberg’s directorial followup to Munich or what Harrison Ford had been doing lately. The answers are something better and nothing worth talking about, which both kind of sum up my feelings about The Kingdom of the Crystal Crap.

Image courtesy scragz via Flickr

7 comments to Indiana Jones And The Spaceship Of Crap

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  • Cole

    If you're gonna pick everything apart, then of course you'll find something to bitch about.

    I loved the move so fuck you.

  • Nikhil

    Also loved the movie…. Good points though. But this is what we like now…
    Go back into the 20th century if you don’t like it!!

  • Michael

    I also thought the film was great. My 2nd favorite in the series. I disagree with the article.

  • richard mclachlan

    Couldn’t bring myself to watch it – geriatric action stars are like old porn stars. Its a niche, but not mine. And fuck me… i do love abit of fantasy fun action but its still got to be belieavable. Sounds like this was just shit.

    Am having fun playing the wii lego game with my 7 year old though…

  • Nick

    Crystal Skull was fine – and better than temple of doom.

    So a cross can dissolve a swastika, and the ark of the covenant can release evil – all plausible. But aliens – no way?!

    In the real world aliens probably do exist – and the others are indeed impossible.

    The occult and paranormal are core to the Indy story. None of it is realistic.

    Your point is that Crystal Skull is ridiculous because it’s unrealistic? Quite the reverse.

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