This Tuesday sees the home video release of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, an unfairly maligned entry in the greatest adventure series ever put to celluloid. While many were content to write it off as George Lucas (who wrote the story) having somehow lost his movie-making touch, I personally found the movie to be incredibly entertaining. Indiana Jones has always been about paying homage to the classic pulp adventures that Lucas and Spielberg grew up on. When your influences include the Republic Pictures serials of the ’30s and ’40s, and the B movies of the ’50s, it would be wrong not to include outlandish, over-the-top action sequences.
I don’t mind so much that some poor unfortunate souls don’t care for this film, but when they argue that it’s not an Indiana Jones movie at its core, I just have to shake my head. Is it just nostalgia that tints people’s perceptions to think an adventure movie about finding a supernaturally powerful MacGuffin is a complete turnaround from a series where archeological artifacts are discovered that can, you know, melt people’s faces off, allow you to perform psychic surgery, or let you live forever?
At its core, Crystal Skull is an Indiana Jones movie. It may not be as good as as Raiders of the Lost Ark, but it fits comfortably into the series and puts to shame imitators like National Treasure or The Da Vinci Code. If you haven’t seen it, go in with an open mind, and I think you’ll have a good time. I was worried before I saw the film that Harrison Ford was too old to be an adventure hero; now I really hope they make another sequel.