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Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

POSTER ART
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FILM DETAILS
Certificate
12A
Cast
Harrison Ford
Karen Allen
Cate Blanchett
John Hurt
Jim Broadbent
Shia LaBeouf
Ray Winstone.
Directors
Steven Spielberg.
Screenwriters
David Koepp.
Running Time
122 mins. minutes

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Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull
The man with the hat is back


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Plot
It's 1957, and Indiana Jones (Ford) is approached by a teenage rebel named Mutt Williams (LaBeouf), whose mother has been kidnapped. He tells Indy about a map and a crystal skull, which may lead to the lost ancient city of Eldorado...


Review
Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull
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Indiana Jones was born on a beach; quite literally, he was the result of a need to escape for his producer George Lucas and director Steven Spielberg. A new kind of hero who was the old kind of hero, and just as their instincts had proven right on films as different as Star Wars and Jaws, so Indiana Jones came to be a huge hit; a wry, warm antidote to the dark anti-heroes of the ’70s.
 
After the relatively quick one-two-three of the original trilogy, there then came the massive hiatus that brings us, after 19 long years, to the latest. The delay caused trepidation among the fans but, though there'll be those who disagree, the finished, and most likely final, instalment in the Indy saga is a minor triumph plucked from the jaws of disappointment. Indy is older, the old chemistry takes some time to reconfigure fully, and the thrill of where Indy might take us in a globe made smaller by the worldwide web and cheap airline travel has diminished. But Spielberg hasn't diluted the integrity of his keynote character. Indy IV preserves Jones' core credentials, celebrating his intelligence, his urbanity and his stubborn, scholarly kick-arse cool.
 
The story, too, cleaves close to the usual format: 1) the pulse-racing opening scenario, 2) the back-to-Marshall-College pause for breath, 3) the accidental treasure trail – because Indy is never so vulgar as to go looking for riches on purpose – and 4) the jackpot final highway, an exciting 45-minute rollercoaster that may test your credulity but never your attention span. The difference, though, is that – as promised – Spielberg has changed his palette, taking Indy from 1938 to 1957 in real time and switching the gaudy, Republic serial-inspired glow of the original movies for a beautiful, pastel-hued ’50s look.
 
Cast-wise, it's impeccable, but here's where the debits creep in. Though it seems on page to be an ensemble piece, Indy 4 is a crowded place where Jones comes first and everyone else follows. The upside of this is that Cate Blanchett and the excellent LaBeouf have a fantastic opportunity to play villain and sidekick respectively. The downside is that great character actors such as Ray Winstone and John Hurt don't have anything to play except hamstrung expositional roles. And similarly, with such great actors, it's a shame that the added effects don't always match what's actually there: as Peter Jackson proved with the wayward dinosaur chase in King Kong, CG spectacle can detract if there's no valid danger, and though there are squirmy scenes, Indy 4 struggles to find its peril level.
 
But the question is whether this is a real Indy movie, and the answer is a resounding yes. At 65, Harrison Ford isn't the whippersnapper he was, and maybe the opening athletic chase scene is a little too much to expect from him, but when he's punching big, bad Russkies on the nose, Ford hits the spot in more ways than one. He may be a little off on some of his comic timing, and the rekindled-romance subplot won't work for younger viewers – and, hey, neither will the “I like Ike” gag – but this is Indy as back in our world as he'll ever be. It's hard to conceive of another contemporary film that would please so many people today, but that's what Indiana Jones movies always did and what this one does right now. It won't change your life but, if you're in the right frame of mind, it will change your mood: you might wince, you might groan, you might beg to differ on the big, silly climax, but you'll never stop smiling. Think of Indy as an escape, which is all he was ever meant to be, and all he was ever really meant to help us do.


Extras

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
Released: 10 November 2008
A typically solid Laurent Bouzereau soup-to-nuts affair. From the warrior make-up to the editing, no stone is left unturned, although the downside is that we don’t spend much time looking under each stone. You’ll walk away loaded with trivia, though. For example, Moses’ staff (as wielded by Chuck Heston in The Ten Commandments) tumbles out of one of the trashed crates during the Area 51 rumble. And — look closely! — E. T., R2-D2 and C-3PO all appear on tiles in the spindly-skeleton-things’ throne room.


Verdict
A slick, fun film that has by no means sacrificed the fast action beats of the first three.


Reviewed by Damon Wise

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Your Reviews

Average user rating for Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull
Empire Star Rating

One of the worst films ever made

Enough said ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by luccewada at 12:33, 20 July 2013 | Report This Post


Gets a lot of stick!

Now this gets quite a lot of stick and I can see why it has upset some fans. The ridiculous sequences towards the end ( ie swinging through the trees with monkeys and surviving a fall down one of the biggest waterfalls in the world ) and of course the alien ending, but on repeated viewing I can't help but be entertained. Definitely the weakest of the bunch but by no means an utter disaster that will kill a franchise. Take with a large pinch of salt. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by dannyfletch at 21:37, 06 January 2013 | Report This Post


RE: In My Opinion....

L: Castor Troy Er, what's this extended edit you talk of? hoops I meant Essential Edit. It's a fanedit, look it up online. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by rich at 21:12, 22 August 2012 | Report This Post


RE: In My Opinion....

L: dolfinack I agree the first 45 minutes was crackin. Then.... the rest happened. hen Marion happened. ... More

Posted by Castor Troy at 20:38, 22 August 2012 | Report This Post


RE: In My Opinion....

I agree the first 45 minutes was crackin. Then.... the rest happened. ... More

Posted by dolfinack at 19:53, 22 August 2012 | Report This Post


RE: In My Opinion....

The film completely loses the plot about 35mins in after the brilliant motorbike chase, a pretty blinding opening sequence, despite CG gophers and the shear ridiculousness of it all. Le Beef swinging on CGI vines like Tarzan............ Nuf said !! Final spaceship sequence is quite beautiful though. ... More

Posted by Dirk Miggler at 22:51, 21 August 2012 | Report This Post


RE: In My Opinion....

Made the mistake of watching it again at the weekend, and it did nothing to change my opinion that it's awful. It's a charmless pig of a film. ... More

Posted by superdan at 14:00, 21 August 2012 | Report This Post


RE: In My Opinion....

L: rich L: Rgirvan44 Amazing that this fan fiction movie has got to 60 pages. o be fair double and triple posting is suddenly acceptable. Maybe the edit button isn't big enough. L: cerebusboy Have you been watching a no-Shortround Phantom Edit style cut or something? problem with Kate Capshaw. Can see while Spielberg married her! hort Round has a vastly more empathatic father-son thing going on than "The Beef". What I have seen in the Extended Edit of KOTC... More

Posted by Castor Troy at 07:34, 21 August 2012 | Report This Post


RE: In My Opinion....

L: Fluke Skywalker I know what you mean when you say it feels like fan fiction though think it's easily the worst Indy movie but I'm still glad they made it to see him get another run out. I just wish they hadn't taken so much from the other movies, you could almost tick things off, the brutal/ precarious punch up (killer ants/ rotor blades from ROTLA), fighting on moving vehicles, ridiculous drops from height etc etc. Yo Fluke, don't use this thread as an excuse to neglect the D... More

Posted by cerebusboy at 22:53, 20 August 2012 | Report This Post


RE: In My Opinion....

INAL: rich ORIGINAL: Rgirvan44 Amazing that this fan fiction movie has got to 60 pages. To be fair double and triple posting is suddenly acceptable. Maybe the edit button isn't big enough. Never knew it wasn't, and mods haven't corrected me. But that's noobs and non-regulars for you. Short Round has a vastly more empathatic father-son thing going on than "The Beef". What I have seen in the Extended Edit of KOTCS and it was still terrible, just about 10% less ... More

Posted by cerebusboy at 22:52, 20 August 2012 | Report This Post


RE: In My Opinion....

L: Rgirvan44 Amazing that this fan fiction movie has got to 60 pages. o be fair double and triple posting is suddenly acceptable. Maybe the edit button isn't big enough. L: cerebusboy Have you been watching a no-Shortround Phantom Edit style cut or something? problem with Kate Capshaw. Can see while Spielberg married her! hort Round has a vastly more empathatic father-son thing going on than "The Beef". What I have seen in the Extended Edit of KOTCS and it was stil... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by rich at 22:01, 20 August 2012 | Report This Post


RE: In My Opinion....

I know what you mean when you say it feels like fan fiction though think it's easily the worst Indy movie but I'm still glad they made it to see him get another run out. I just wish they hadn't taken so much from the other movies, you could almost tick things off, the brutal/ precarious punch up (killer ants/ rotor blades from ROTLA), fighting on moving vehicles, ridiculous drops from height etc etc. ... More

Posted by Fluke Skywalker at 19:16, 20 August 2012 | Report This Post


RE: In My Opinion....

L: Fluke Skywalker I think because he looked so old it just didn't seem like I was watching Indiana Jones, just Harrison Ford in his old age and that immediately put a downer on it. he age thing would have been fine - if they played into it. You know, like Kirk and Wrath of Khan. It was there...but it also wasn't. I just think no one really cared on set. I prefer not to think about the film as part of the series. I throw it in with the Young Indiana Jones series. Expanded Universe... More

Posted by Rgirvan44 at 12:19, 20 August 2012 | Report This Post


RE: In My Opinion....

Old Harrison Ford is still pretty cool though - he's still younger than Chuck Norris and about the same age as Arnie and Sly! ... More

Posted by cerebusboy at 12:15, 20 August 2012 | Report This Post


RE: In My Opinion....

Hey, it's not my fault that you people gave up on the DKR thread so early! ... More

Posted by cerebusboy at 12:05, 20 August 2012 | Report This Post


RE: In My Opinion....

I think because he looked so old it just didn't seem like I was watching Indiana Jones, just Harrison Ford in his old age and that immediately put a downer on it. ... More

Posted by Fluke Skywalker at 12:02, 20 August 2012 | Report This Post


RE: In My Opinion....

L: Fluke Skywalker L: cerebusboy L: Fluke Skywalker I found no problem with the alien story whatsoever - as I said before I felt it was a pretty natural progression from all the supernatural stuff and an excellent creative decision by Lucas/ Spielberg. Plus the final alien ship take off is a cinematic work of art Well said Fluke. Glad you don't think Crystal Skull has any "plot holes" ! ote] It's in the same boat as TDKR - a flawed but entertaining blockbust... More

Posted by cerebusboy at 11:51, 20 August 2012 | Report This Post


RE: In My Opinion....

Amazing that this fan fiction movie has got to 60 pages. ... More

Posted by Rgirvan44 at 11:49, 20 August 2012 | Report This Post


RE: In My Opinion....

L: cerebusboy L: Fluke Skywalker I found no problem with the alien story whatsoever - as I said before I felt it was a pretty natural progression from all the supernatural stuff and an excellent creative decision by Lucas/ Spielberg. Plus the final alien ship take off is a cinematic work of art Well said Fluke. Glad you don't think Crystal Skull has any "plot holes" ! ote] It's in the same boat as TDKR - a flawed but entertaining blockbuster rystal Skulls is the weak... More

Posted by Fluke Skywalker at 11:43, 20 August 2012 | Report This Post


RE: Disgrace...

L: Hobbitonlass Nope, next question.. have an itchy ballsack. Should I see a doctor? ... More

Posted by MonsterCat at 00:19, 20 August 2012 | Report This Post


RE: Disgrace...

I already answered that in post - ie if others don't like it they know what they can do. And we'll assume the point has been taken when the digs about status stop. No-one cares what anyone says on any non-Empire site - it isn't remotely relevant to this one. ... More

Posted by elab49 at 00:10, 20 August 2012 | Report This Post


RE: Disgrace...

L: elab49 L: cerebusboy L: jonson Oh lord, you've now infested another review thread quoting posts from about a year ago, are you for real? /quote] Infested? 'Another' I was at the DKR thread near the start, posting a damn site more than you, and it's been out a lot less than a year. But: apparently so. The block button's right fucking there, pal. I was unaware that the website of the world's most popular film magazine is actually a Private Fucking Member's ... More

Posted by cerebusboy at 20:11, 19 August 2012 | Report This Post


RE: Disgrace...

L: cerebusboy L: jonson Oh lord, you've now infested another review thread quoting posts from about a year ago, are you for real? /quote] Infested? 'Another' I was at the DKR thread near the start, posting a damn site more than you, and it's been out a lot less than a year. But: apparently so. The block button's right fucking there, pal. I was unaware that the website of the world's most popular film magazine is actually a Private Fucking Member's Club. f you... More

Posted by elab49 at 16:11, 19 August 2012 | Report This Post


RE: Not as bad as history has made out

L: rich Indy 4 IS as bad as history has made out. 77% on Rotten Tomatoes? It wasn't exactly just Empire that liked it. ... More

Posted by cerebusboy at 10:26, 19 August 2012 | Report This Post


RE: Not as bad as history has made out

L: rich Indy 4 IS as bad as history has made out. Temple of Doom is an absolute classic. 5 minutes of Kate Capshaw whining versus 2 hours of absolute shite? I think it's pretty clear. Have you been watching a no-Shortround Phantom Edit style cut or something? problem with Kate Capshaw. Can see while Spielberg married her! ... More

Posted by cerebusboy at 10:23, 19 August 2012 | Report This Post


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