(Spoilers) Initial Reactions and Discussion for Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

Discussion in 'Lucasfilm Ltd. In-Depth Discussion' started by HanSolo29, May 17, 2008.

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  1. ezekiel22x Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 9, 2002
    star 4
    After an initial viewing I pretty much agree with the common assessment:

    - Some of the action scenes were over the top even by Indy standards
    - Excluding Mutt, the "tag-a-long" characters didn't feel as developed as in the past films
    - All the 50s tropes were very nicely integrated ? Reds, double agents, black-listing, greasers, Roswell, aliens...er, inter-dimensional beings.
    - The first half did feel a bit more polished. Mutt's intro scene followed by the motorcycle chase through the campus was pure, unbridled Indy.
    - Contrary to what I read in a few published reviews, I didn't feel the nods to the previous films were contrived at all. Quite the opposite, in fact.
    - Ford still has an undeniable screen presence.
    - Indy snatching his hat from Mutt at the end was sheer brilliance.

    It's hard for me to rank the film in relation to the others after one viewing, especially since I kind of had a TPM-like out of body experience throughout a lot of the film where I couldn't quite believe I was seeing a new installment of the franchise. I definitely liked it, though. Won't supplant Temple of Doom as my favorite, I know, while Raiders and Crusade are probably cemented as filmic icons in a way Crystal Skill likely won't be able to top given that I grew up with the trilogy. I'm certainly satisfied with new film, however, and am quite certain that no other blockbuster-type films in the next few years are going to grab my attention like Crystal Skull did.
  2. HanSolo29 Manager Emeritus + Official Star Wars Artist

    Member Since:
    Apr 13, 2001
    star 6
    I'm gonna have to agree with both of the above assessments. In terms of the ending, I had no problem whatsoever with the wedding. I was actually quite happy to see Indy finally settling down with Marion. It was a long time coming(started back in Raiders) and seeing it on screen brought a goofy grin to my face. Add onto that the fedora rolling up to Mutt's feet and Indy snatching it away at the last second and you have the perfect ending. I loved it. I really think Spielberg nailed that.

    The actions sequences were a bit more to swallow, but I had to keep reminding myself that I was watching an Indiana Jones film and things got a lot better. You expect that type of over the top antics in those films and I thought the action we saw (with the exception of Mutt and the Monkeys) was right on par with the rest of the trilogy.
  3. Hammurabi Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 14, 2007
    star 4
    Even though it makes some sense (from a certain perspective) for that subplot to vanish when Indiana leaves the country, the film breaks a narrative rule by including an idea in the first act and then never mentioning it again. A plot point such as that is unnecessary. Though it could conceivably go in the film, overall things would flow better without it. It should've been sliced out, and we should've had either a shorter film or more character development. Mac and Marion both could've used a little extra development, and that's quite a bit more important than devoting precious screen time to a theme that simply vanishes. It's just a plot point, and it really doesn't contribute to the film.
  4. GhostbusterGuy Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    May 25, 2007
    Well I don't talk much on the boards but I had to share my thoughts on the movie. First off I didn't have big expectations or anything, but I did expect less CG. I mean during production that was a key theme I remember being reiterated "Oh we're doing this old school as much as possible". However the film was chock full of it! Now I liked the SW prequels with all the CG (when others complained), but it was b/c it fit into that universe. The indy universe was more rough and tumble, dirty, and real feeling. I want to make a really clear distinction though, I don't have a problem with CG being used in place of old stlye visual fx, I was expecting that. I mean look at the end of raiders with the ark opening, of course that would be cg now. Same goes with all the matte paintings that were in the old trilogy, they'd be CG. What I *do* have a problem with, is when they cheat an action sequence and use CG.

    For instance: The mutt-tarzan moment completely jumped the shark for me (and the audience, I'm not lying when I say there was a collective 'What?' and groan). This was after I barely swallowed Indy surviving a nuclear blast in a fridge...and barely accepted the "Obi vs Ani mustafar" sword battle on the jeeps. Of course even that sword fight lost all credibility when Mutt got stuck between two jeeps, KEPT FIGHTING, tried protecting his groin, and KEPT FIGHTING. I mean if they had tried doing this movie back in the 80s (and I know I'll get yelled at for that comment with "BUT THIS ISN'T THE 80s!!! THEY DID SOMETHING DIFFERENT") you would not have had the totally unrealistic action.

    Oh and let's not forgot the car being driven off the cliff, onto a tree, gently lowered into the water, and then being propelled back up at the commies. Whoever said "looney tunes" esque was right on the money. Honestly, who can tell me that these moments didn't utterly destroy the realism and take you out of the movie? Again I KNOW Indy has always been over the top...but this just isn't over the top, it's a 100 miles above.

    Character wise- Indy was back and awesome. Mutt was pretty good. (not holding vine swinging stuff against him cuz that's not his fault) Didn't like crazy Ox. Mac wasn't bad until the end when he gave up his life for no reason. It was nice to see Marion back but the instantly rekindled relationship between her and Indy was forced/rushed.

    Plotwise- I was fine with the whole alien plot until the crystal skulls formed a living one for some reason, and for some reason killed the soviets, and for some reason left 'our dimension'. Overall the plot twisted and turned a lot and seemed to lose focus at the end.

    I know I'm just focusing on the negatives but that's all I have running through my head right now. I just...I don't know. Like a lot of people have been saying the first half was good, but not the last. I'm going to see the movie again (even though deep down I don't want to) because I am a die hard fan...but I don't see how any of those problems can get better on repeat viewings.
  5. Princess_Tina Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 10, 2001
    star 6
    It isn't even a subplot. It's just part of setting up the 50's era mentality, really - just like the campus rally and the signs of "Better Dead than Red". And it really isn't like the whole thing isn't mentioned again. When Indy leaves the U.S., he's on a permanent (albeit paid) leave of absence from his university (to which he has devoted probably most of his professional life) and the Dean has turned in his resignation. When he gets back, the Dean is back in place and Indy's been made an Associate Dean (which should help him ease back more completely into academia).

    I think it makes perfect sense to include that development (hardly a subplot) and serves to include a nice "welcome back to America" touch to the ending. It's just perfect, as far as I'm concerned.
  6. Vortigern99 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 12, 2000
    star 5
    Since this "Initial Reaction" thread actually contains more in-depth discussion than the thread called "Initial Discussion" (which itself is confusing), I recommend that we combine both threads into one "Discussion" thread about the movie. It's pointless to keep toggling back and forth between two identically-themed threads.
  7. HanSolo29 Manager Emeritus + Official Star Wars Artist

    Member Since:
    Apr 13, 2001
    star 6
    I was just looking into that. Originally, this thread was meant for "OMG! It was great!" type responses and the other one for more in-depth discussion. However, this one has evolved to deal with more casual discussion, making the other one redundant. With that in mind, I'm going to put the other one to rest and just leave it with a spoiler and non-spoiler thread for discussion.
  8. halibut Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 27, 2000
    star 8
    The big difference though is that in the trilogy, the supernatural stuff is unexplained which is (for me) the core of Indy's adventures. Giving the explanation behind it goes against what the Indy films are.
  9. Icebreaker Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 20, 2001
    star 4
    I've now had a decent nights sleep now and have had time to reflect on the film. Now I think I am ready to fully evaluate the film:


    With the vintage Paramount logo that flashed on screen to start the film I got the initial reaction that this was going to be an Indiana Jones film in the same vane as the previous three. Rough and raw. But as the logo faded out to a CGI mound of dirt and a computer generated gopher (or prairie dog, or whatever it was) I was immediately taken aback. What was all this talk I had heard from Speilberg and those involved claiming that there would be very limited CG, mostly just to remove strings from action scenes and such, yet here we are with the very first shot of the film being computer generated. Okay... minor qualm, That wouldn't really reflect on the overall tone of the film... right?

    To be honest with you the very beginning of the film was good. I got an American Graffiti vibe from the car action on the road and it was fun. It was brief but it felt right, even the entrance onto the base was decent, except I was constantly distracted by the mismatching of set and location, the lighting was off between set and location shots. Something else bothered me actually, but this may have been the theater I was in: something was wrong the with sound. Indy's voice sounded distant compared to the rest of the characters during scenes and it sounded like an obvious post-production re-recording of dialogue, that is just a technical complaint and it might have had more to do with the theater that I was watching the film in, but I wanted to note it because I am curious if this happened with everyone else.

    The scene in the hangar was fun. It was cool to get a quick double cross from Indy's sidekick. It was interesting to see it so early in the film and I for one didn't expect it. The chase was good, the fight felt like vintage Indy. It was kind of an iffy sort of beginning to the film. I wasn't sure I liked it at the time, because it just throws you into the story, but the more I had time to reflect on it, I think that was an asset. I enjoyed it. The whole nuclear city scene felt unnecessary, it served no purpose except to show off some stellar effects (the best of a nuclear explosion I have ever seen) It was almost as if you could feel the heat ripping by you. I was impressed... but one point did it serve? Nobody noticed the events that had taken place at the hangar the previous night? The Army continued with the exercise anyway? I was a little lost on that plot point. Then having Indy survive in a refrigerator really forced a suspension of disbelief, but it was entertaining and got a good laugh from the audience. It was funny.

    The following scenes were good, we get to learn a bit about Indy in the war. Being a decorated hero, a Colonel, a spy... This is some good stuff that people will hopefully get to touch on in future comics/novels or something. I can see Indiana being a James Bond type, all while rescuing ancient artifacts. Not bad. But then we get our first reference to what this film was really going to be about. Indy was taken to the Roswell crash, but hey he never saw a body...so at this point I am thinking... government was behind it or something. I had no problem with them alluding to the incident, though I am not sure how Jones would have been an asset in the recovery of the wreckage.

    The movie moves into Indy at school, Indy meeting Mutt (Shia was not bad, he was my biggest concern heading into the film, but surprisingly he was very good), the car/motorcycle chase was pure Indy. Seeing his home was good, the picture of his father... all those things helped us settle down into the movie and made it feel like an Indiana Jones movie. I was starting to feel a bit more comfortable. We were off to Peru with the traditional map montage and it was all good.

    The details of the film from that point were good. The 'grave-robbing' scene felt the most like an Indiana Jones film to me, but then things started to turn. I felt like the capture of Indiana Jone
  10. Princess_Tina Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 10, 2001
    star 6
    I respect your opinion, but it just sounds like you expected a carbon copy of the original Indy movies, just set in 1957. I'm sorry but I like the fact that Lucas and Spielberg were willing to take some chances, to do a few things that perhaps people wouldn't have been expecting.

    And I also think they totally nailed it in being sort of faithful to the spirit of the B-movies of the 50's, while at the same time using the best special effects available at the time. I am sorry, but that's exactly what they did with the original trilogy of Indiana movies... they were *always* using pretty much the most advanced special effects that they could.

    Sorry, but 1957 just isn't 1935-38, just like 2008 isn't 1981-89.

    Let's not even get started with the SW PT, which I personally like just fine save for very minor quibbles. It's about time people realized that you can't possibly get the same kind of kick from repeated viewings of certain movies once you're 20 years older. Even with classic movies like Casablanca and Lawrence of Arabia, which I still appreciate every bit as much as I did when I was in college, there's just a lot less need for repeat viewings (or at least less frequent repeat viewings) than I would have been happy with in my late teens/early 20's. Those movies haven't changed, but my general tolerance for repeat viewings (no matter how good a movie) has changed. It's normal.

    Even as far back as American Graffitti, Lucas was already quite aware of the fact that you just gotta move on, can't get stuck in the past... gotta roll with the times. ;)
  11. halibut Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 27, 2000
    star 8
    Matthew.

    That was a superlative review, and I take my Fedora off to you. I've read through that 3 times, and I cannot find one single thing I disagree with. You have put succinctly into words exactly what I felt whilst watching it. It was like watching it all over again as I read through it. =D=

    The only thing you missed was the awful use of the Wilhelm scream ;)
  12. odj_310388 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2002
    star 5
    Aliens?

    ...

    Aliens!?

    Are you clucking kidding me!?

    What a cop out. :mad:
  13. Princess_Tina Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 10, 2001
    star 6
    Sorry guys, don't mean to put you all down for pointing out the things you didn't like about the movie... but I can totally sympathize with George Lucas at this point, when he just shrugs and says something like "There's always going to be lots of whining from some viewers, a lot of people complaining that we've destroyed their whole childhoods" and stuff like that.

    It's just a popcorn movie, meant to entertain and make you laugh a little for 2 hours. I didn't expect anything more than that and perhaps that's why I was mostly glad about just getting to watch Indy again. [face_flag]
  14. halibut Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 27, 2000
    star 8
    " Sorry, but 1957 just isn't 1935-38, just like 2008 isn't 1981-89. "


    Of course. Which is why changes such as using Russians instead of Nazis made sense. What didn't make sense is nothing to do with changing times, or VFX developments etc. It was changing the "core" of Indiana Jones. It used to be about unexplained supernatural treasures. Now it's explained aliens. That makes it a completely different type of film.

    Consider Star Wars. The science isn't explained because it doesn't need to be. Now if we had a huge scene in "Engineering" in the prequels with loads of technobabble trying to explain exactly why the hyperdrive didn't work, that wouldn't fit in with the established universe. This is what happened (IMO) at the end of IJATKOTCS
  15. odj_310388 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2002
    star 5
    Indiana Jones: Adventure/Fantasy.
    Star Wars: Adventure/Sci-Fi.

    George seems to have got confused. >_<
  16. Princess_Tina Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 10, 2001
    star 6
    I totally disagree with that. Having read and novelization and watched the movie, there's still a lot that I feel is left unexplained, but, more importantly, I don't think it makes a huge difference. The core of the Indiana Jones movies is partly to pay homage to movies of an earlier era (while still trying to make a very polished movie that benefits from up-to-date technological advances in filmmaking, and bigger budgets than the old B-movies) and to set up lots of exciting action sequences, which may challenge our suspension of disbelief in some cases... though it's all in good fun. On a deeper level, it's also about relationships.

    All the mumbo-jumbo about hyper magnetization and interdimentional beings is just that, it's part of the "MacGuffin" of the movies.

    What has really happened after all of the Indy movies?

    Indy 1: Indy reconnects with the true love of his life - he gets to have a drink with Marion at the end of the movie. Oh yeah, and the Ark goes to Area 51.

    Indy 2: Indy gets an early taste of a family dynamic, with Short Round as the son figure and Willie Scott as an admittedly flawed wife/lover figure. Oh, and the Indian village gets its rock and its children back.

    Indy 3: Indy and his father finally come to terms with each other, in an oddball way. Oh, and the Holy Grail gets buried again in the temple.

    Indy 4: Indy gets into a real family dynamic, finds out he has a son, bonds with son, marries Marion. Oh, and the mystery of El Dorado gets sort of solved.

    All the parts that start with "Oh, and..." are ultimately secondary to the real story, they are a distraction and/or eye candy. Not really important per se.

    There's just a lot of rigidity with the whole concept of "the supernatural thing cannot be explained" that to me makes me feel you have missed the forest for the trees... but if that's the main thing you got out of watching Indy 4, then so be it. Peace. :)
  17. JadeSolo Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 20, 2002
    star 6
    I saw the midnight show, and except for the guy two seats down, who was wearing a UChicago sweatshirt and once in a while whispering dumb comments to his girlfriend (just because you went to Indy's alma mater, that doesn't make you cool), I had the time of my life. I wasn't old enough to see any of the Indy movies in theatres, so this was amazing for me.

    I was skeptical when they started talking about aliens (mostly just annoyed because I bet a friend $1 that the movie wasn't about aliens), but the plot grew on me quickly. The Indy movies are supposed to be fun, entertaining, Saturday-morning adventures, and that's exactly what this film was for me. "Last Crusade" will still be my favorite, but I felt this one was made in the same spirit. Stories have to evolve - Lucas and Spielberg took a chance with "Temple of Doom," and they took the same chance here. The first three movies dealt with paranormal activities coming from religious artifacts - why not expand that concept to actual aliens?

    As for the CG, it may have looked silly in some scenes, but think back to "Last Crusade" when the tank went over the cliff - that always looked silly to me, but I loved it anyway because that's part of its B-movie charm, as Princess_Tina said.

    I think dissecting the movie too much makes you forget why it was made in the first place. It's not supposed to be some grand comment on society, or some cinematic masterpiece. It's just supposed to be a good ride. Maybe that's sappy, but "Last Crusade" is my favorite movie of all time for that reason. To me, it's a perfect movie. "Crystal Skull" isn't quite perfect, but I have zero problems with it as a follow-up to "Last Crusade."

  18. halibut Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 27, 2000
    star 8
    I think we approach these films very differently. I certainly don't think the focus of TOD is "Indy gets an early taste of a family dynamic". You missed out the whole Kali element, and the slave children element - both of which are big elements of the movie.

    But it's good that different people see different things in movies. You see the "family" thing as integral to IJ, and I can see that too. For you, that is a core element. If the family element was missing from this film, you'd probably raise that issue - and rightly so. For me, the idea that the "Mystery" doesn't get explained is a core element, and that element was missing from this film :)

    EDIT: I said in another thread that I don't really have a problem with the concept of aliens. It's the fact that the "mystery" is explained when it really didn't need to be. As you said, the adventure part is by-the by (though I disagree with that). So why does it need to be explained this time when it hasn't in the other films (with great success)
  19. HanSolo29 Manager Emeritus + Official Star Wars Artist

    Member Since:
    Apr 13, 2001
    star 6
    I'm not really sure I agree with the 'overuse of CGI' comments. Throughout the entire jungle chase sequence(where the most complaints have been), I hardly noticed the background flying by as our heroes fought over the skull. Maybe I'm in the minority here, but I wasn't interested in picking apart the effects and how fake the background shots looked, I was more worried about our heroes and whether they would win the day or not. Sure, some things were really out there. For instance, Mutt's escapades with the monkeys, but overall, it was just plain fun. And it certainly didn't detract from the experience.

    As for the other CGI shots of the film, I thought they were beautiful. Especially the atomic bomb at the beginning and yes, even the dreaded alien and the flying saucer's departure.
  20. ezekiel22x Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 9, 2002
    star 4
    I didn't have a problem with the "supernatural element being explained." The holy artifacts in the previous films explained that God/divine power does exist. Explanation is not the same thing as human mastery of these artifacts, though, and I think that is the key to all the supernatural elements in all the films. Indy sees the ship and thus gains validation in regards to the role the inter-dimensional beings played in human myth, but at the end of the film the power stemming from this source is not something that can be mastered or maintained, and thus I don't consider it truly known.

    In the context of the films, I don't see how an alien body is much different from a 700 year old knight. Both are physical specimens that indicate an other-worldly power that can merely be glimpsed or tasted, not harnessed or completely understood.



  21. Princess_Tina Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 10, 2001
    star 6
    Did you actually read what I wrote -- as opposed to skimming quickly through the post????

    As I said before,

    The core of the Indiana Jones movies is partly to pay homage to movies of an earlier era (while still trying to make a very polished movie that benefits from up-to-date technological advances in filmmaking, and bigger budgets than the old B-movies) and to set up lots of exciting action sequences, which may challenge our suspension of disbelief in some cases... though it's all in good fun.

    I didn't "miss out" on any element of Temple of Doom, thank you very much. I know the movie by heart (just like all other Indy movies). Just because I don't mention every single detail doesn't mean that I don't know it's there! :p

    No, I do not. You have completely misunderstood what I said, or you are trying to misrepresent me. There are certain things that seem fairly integral to the movies, individually, and I have never said the "family" thing is integral to it -- that is 100% false. What does strike me as interesting is that the most important progression in the series does appear to be related to Indy's personal and closest connections - there is a clear progression, or arc, that is advanced in each of the movies. When you think about the series in retrospect, I think it becomes a bit more clear. But even then, I'm not saying that's the focus or the main part of the movies. I think it may certainly be one of the most important things you may come away with, once you forget the plot devices and MacGuffins. But I have never argued it is the "integral" part of anything, that is just a complete misunderstanding or misrepresentation on your part.

    And again, there is as much of an "explanation" of the Aliens in Indy 4 as there was of other things in the earlier movies, which basically means there really isn't anything to be truly explained because it's just a silly plot device!

    I disagree, I don't think it was "explained" as much as it is used as a plot device, a MacGuffin if you will. The exact nature of the MacGuffin doesn't change the fact that it's still a MacGuffin.
  22. ShrunkenJedi Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 26, 2003
    star 5
    I thought it was fun, very fun. I also thought it was way overdone in action and special effects, even for an Indy movie, and used every cliche in the book...

    Mutt, I am your father anyone? :p

    It was just too much for easy suspension of disbelief, even in a person who was inclined to it. Just stop banging us over the head with all the references, please, I know it's an Indy movie, I want to enjoy it that way and not be constantly reminded that it's just a movie! It's Indy, that should be enough. The situation is just like Last Crusade with the submurged graveyard... great, we've already been there. That situation is just like Temple of Doom with the bugs... we've already been there. Harrowing and unrealistic tumble down into a river? check. Army caravan chase? check. South American indians who defer to you if you have a certain head in your posession? Yep.

    But yeah, I enjoyed it :p
  23. Princess_Tina Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 10, 2001
    star 6
    I agree with you on one thing -- it would be kind of fun, even if it was just an outtake/blooper on the DVD extras:

    Indy turns to Mutt, looking very serious:
    Indy: Marion never told you what happened to your father.
    Mutt: She told me enough! He was killed in WW2!!
    Indy: "No, Mutt... I am your father!" [face_shhh]
    Mutt: Aww, man, you gotta be kiddin' me! :p
  24. halibut Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 27, 2000
    star 8
  25. Charlemagne19 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 30, 2000
    star 7
    Oh, I'd like to recommend Indiana Jones and The Crystal Skull.

    (Potential Spoilers---I'll avoid the major plot points)

    Indiana Jones holds the position as the 2nd best of the Indiana Jones movies, replacing the Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade as the holder of 2nd best after Raiders of the Lost Ark. I went to see it today and I have nothing but high praise for the movie and some piddling complaints.

    The obvious question of "Is Harrison Ford too old to be Indiana Jones?" The answer is, unfortunately, yes. Harrison shows his age in the movie and it does make several of the fight scenes unconvincing even with the help of Shia Labeouf to carry out some of the legwork.

    However, the stunts are still elaborately presented and the fact that Harrison Ford is 62 (my mother's age where she can barely walk) and yet is able to sell the Area 51 Fight Sequence plus all the dramatic work, makes the fight sequences that do fail seem to be just small potatoes.

    Shia Labeouf manages to convincingly play the role of Indiana's sidekick and actually does what none of the other sidekicks but Sallah was able to do in that I actually want to see more of him in the future (and almost certainly will see him given what we learn about "Mutt" Williams). Mutt William's character actually manages two genuinely entertaining stunt fights in the film up with traditional Indiana Jones fair; a motorcyle ride/chase sequence through Marshall College (which I attend) and a sword fight where he holds his own against the Stalinist Colonel Spalko.

    The movie, unfortunately, moves away from Judeo-Christian mysticism like the Temple of Doom and instead does 1950s Science Fiction with the theories about the Crystal Skull/The Pyramids/Aztec connection/Aliens/Roswell. This isn't much of a spoiler since its revealed in the first part of the film but manages to make it convincing enough that I don't feel incredibly cheated.

    Cate Blanchett plays the role of Colonel Spalko well enough that we don't really notice the substitution of Russians for Nazis without difficulty. George is smart enough to put lip service to the Red Scare and thus the complex role of US-Soviet relations is not made a simple case of Good-Bad even as the villains are suitably cartoon-evil. She manages to be sexy and yet kid-friendly horrible at the same time.

    I'm pleased to say that while the movie can't match Raiders of the Lost Ark (which was totally unexpected and new at the time), the film manages to stay at an entertainment level to the other Indiana Jones pastiches of our time in the Mummy films. It's rather shocking that while Jacen Solo is committing atrocities and Revenge of the Sith is slaughtering younglings while engaging in spouse abuse, George actually hasn't lost the ability to tell a family-friendly kids drama. Likewise, I'd thought Stephen Spielberg had forgotten how to do family movies.

    The movie genuinely manages to surprise you in several places with at least a few action sequences actually throwing me for a loop (Indiana Jones vs. the Atomic Bomb will go down in my most remembered sequences for his solution). The violence is cartoonish at times as its clear our heroes are as indestructible as Wily Coyote towards the end, but I don't think that's a bad thing by any stretch of the imagination.

    So, Bravo George, you've regained your lost credibility with me.

    8/10
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