Say Goodbye to Your Morning: Mr. Plinkett Reviews Indiana Jones

I know this video is a bit old, but Red Letter Media’s lengthy review of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull is on YouTube for the first time now, and I never caught it when it was just on their website. You’ll remember Mr. Plinkett from his Star Wars prequel reviews, which are in fact, the best video movie reviews of all time.

This time, he takes on another hated film where George Lucas was involved, albeit less so. He examines why it is that people hate Crystal Skull so damn much, and it can’t really be blamed on one thing. I actually don’t hate the film as much as most, certainly not as much as the Star Wars prequels, but he really captures why it doesn’t sit quite right with me, and most other people too.

The review is over an hour long and well worth it, but a few major points can really sum up the issues. 1) It’s full of references to past films to the point of absurdity. 2) Harrison Ford is old, and no one wants to live vicariously through an old Indiana Jones. People like the idea of the character, not the character himself. 3) The movie is more kid-friendly than it seems as Indy literally kills maybe one person, and never shoots a single enemy, whereas the previous films were full of violence. Indy can’t be a badass by simply through a few punches. He has to crush people under tank treads or shoot three people with one bullet. 4) While I actually didn’t mind the idea of an alien plotline, when you go through and actually try to deduce the story behind the crystal skull and the Mayan temple/spaceship, it doesn’t make any goddamn sense at all.

Watch the review, it’s an hour I don’t think you’ll regret.

  • David R

    Crystal Skull is pretty much the weakest movie of the series, but I like it. It’s a fun afterward to the core trilogy, and has some nice things to say about the character. Shia LeBeouf is really strong in it and there are a number of scenes that really pop.

    That said, I actually don’t disagree with the idea that this movie feels like a couple different movies mashed together. From what I understand, Lucas wanted to go further into ’50s sci-fi movie territory but wound up compromising because he couldn’t get people onboard. IMO, he had the right idea and it would have worked out better if he hadn’t met so much resistance.

    Also, Lucas was the one who came up with the Holy Grail story in The Last Crusade, after his initial Haunted House concept didn’t take hold. Plinkett conveniently leaves this part out, because it doesn’t fit his anti-Lucas narrative.

    The blanket anti-Lucas bias has got to stop. I like Spielberg as much as anybody, but he’s not bulletproof, and David Koepp is just as likely to write a bland movie as a good one. Lucas has proven himself a guy with good story sense, who’s willing to be ballsy and upset the status quo. Regardless of the perceived quality of the Star Wars prequels, there’s real darkness and real ideas in there. Even in Phantom Menace.

    The parts of Crystal Skull that don’t work feel a lot more like the E.T. special edition than the Star Wars prequels. To me, at least.

    (Plinkett also doesn’t seem to really understand Indiana Jones, whose main trait as a hero is that he’s NOT awesome. Raiders of the Lost Ark is an adventure movie where the main character essentially fails at everything he tries to do, from beginning to end. To compare Indiana Jones to Fast and the Furious is to miss the actual appeal of the series.)

  • Steve

    “Where’s Paul Veerhoven when you need him”.