WARNING: If you have not seen “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of The Crystal Skull” and you don’t want the movie ruined for you, then stop reading now! Spoilers up ahead!
As you can tell from the release date on the poster above, this movie came out almost a month ago. The word “fanatic” doesn’t even begin to describe how crazy I was about the Star Wars saga (yes, all of them, including the prequels! I’m a loyal fan, lol), but being a Star Wars aficionado/nut/geek/nerd subsequently made me a huge fan of Indiana Jones, since the character is an ingenious creation of George Lucas as well. For those who don’t know, Steven Spielberg and George Lucas have been best friends for a very long time. They were both in Hawaii during a vacation and building sand-castles on the beach (as Lucas claims), and Spielberg said to Lucas, “I want to make a James Bond movie.” Lucas replied, “I got someone better than James Bond.” And so, Lucas introduced the character of Indiana Jones, an archaeologist who travels on daring adventures to collect mythical, Biblical, and the most extraordinary of artifacts. Spielberg falls in Love with the character. Production begins. Lucas writes and produces; Spielberg directs. And both of them change the film industry forever. Again.
The first time I saw Indiana Jones was in 1989 when I was five years old. It’s the oldest memory I have of being in a movie theater when I was a child. Fans know I’m talking about the third installment of Indiana Jones (“The Last Crusade”) since it was released that year. The scene I remember the most is that unforgettable tank-chase where Indy (Harrison Ford) is trying to rescue his father (Sean Connery), and I remember being so tense in the seat when the tank drove off the cliff. I remember my father sitting next to me, and I remember how much I was bugging him, lol. He was so absorbed in the movie though and he wouldn’t let my tugging his shirt distract him. He would keep pointing at the screen, saying “look, look.” I never would have imagined that I would become a die-hard fan of this “old” movie series when I reached my teens.
The “Star Wars” films will always be my favorite films of all time (yes, I see all 6 of them as ONE MOVIE, lol), but the Indiana Jones films are also special to me. They may not be as deep as the “Star Wars” films, but they have elements of adventure that make me feel like a kid again. When I told my father about Indiana Jones 4, he couldn’t wait to see it, but he has been so busy with work lately. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to plan things sometimes. I saw the film with a friend of mine when it came out and I was really blown away. There is an addition of a new character (played by Shia Labeouf) who actually turns out to be Indiana Jones’ son! The father-son element was really beautifully done, unlike in other movies like “Superman Returns” or “The Mummy Returns.” Spielberg and Lucas have portrayed father-son relations before in their previous films, especially in Lucas’ “Star Wars.” I just knew that I had to take my dad to see this film with me.
There are some really unexpected surprises in the movie that I didn’t see coming. It’s the kind of surprise that stays with you for a couple of days, and you just think “wow, that was really awesome.” I didn’t know how my dad would react to it though. Most of the critics gave the film a very positive review, but the user reviews on yahoo, for example, were completely different. So many people expressed how disappointed they were by the film, and most of it was due to the ending. Most of my friends and family even found it disappointed. So what was it that upset people so much?
Well, the “crystal skull” is actually a skull that belongs to an alien. Yes, aliens from outer space that, according to the story, came to Earth about 5,000 years ago and taught the Mayans farming, irrigation, technology, etc. When a supporting characters asks about how old the crystal skull is, Indiana Jones says, “5,000 years ago; as old as the Pyramids.” So this suggests that the aliens used to roam all over the Earth, and they are also responsible for building the Pyramids in Ancient Egypt. Anyone who has ever had interest in UFOs or extra-terrestrials most likely recognizes this far-fetched theory of aliens teaching human civilization things that were ahead of their time, and building the Pyramids and other ancient wonders (like Stone Henge). It’s obviously a very fascinating concept and it has been explored before in other films (see Roland Emmerich’s “Stargate”), but many people didn’t believe it fit in an Indiana Jones film. I personally felt it was a really spectacular twist — to see a science-fiction element in a film that you would probably least expect it from. At the end of the film, a flying saucer emerges from beneath an Mayan Temple, and like Indy, I gazed at the visuals in awe. Indy is teary-eyed because the vision is so super-natural, so unusual, and so unexpected — these were the feelings that I believe Spielberg and Lucas were trying to invoke.
My father gave me a nudge yesterday at that scene and I looked over at him to see him smile. I felt like I was five years old again, sitting next to him and watching “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade” in 1989. On our way back home, we were talking about how much we liked the movie, and for once, we were away from all the stresses of every day life and discussing the world of fiction and imagination. I looked up at the moon and was reminded of my childhood, when I would go out in the field with my nerdy friends and search the night sky for a UFO.
I can’t believe so many people are disappointed by the new Indiana Jones film. This movie is pure escapism, and in the kind of world we live in today, we all need to take a break, even if it’s just for two hours, and just explore our gift of human imagination.