Alphabetical Movie – Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
A lot of people call me an “Indiana Jones fan” and I always correct them. I’m not an Indiana Jones fan. I’m a Radiers of the Lost Ark fan.
Every other movie that has ventured into the realm of Indiana Jones has been imperfect. Some more imperfect than others.
Even so, there is something about the character that is appealing enough for me to have ended up owning – and enjoying – all of the films that feature him. Both Crystal Skull and Temple of Doom are problematic films with more wrong than right but I like the parts that are right just enough to give a pass to the parts that are wrong.
I think what appeals to me (and other fans) about Indiana Jones is the fact he is part action hero and part nerd. When we see him in a tweed suit with glasses, we identify with him a little bit. He’s bookish and smart and can also punch the crap out of Nazis, commies and Thuggies.
The guy speaks any language required by the plot, no matter how dead it might be. He can also use a whip, a gun and fly a plane. Just don’t ask him to land one.
To me, Marion Ravenwood is central to the character of Indiana Jones. He never felt like the right character without her as a complement. I could almost forgive Temple of Doom because it is set in that period when Indy and Marion are estranged. I’ve never really forgiven The Last Crusade for dumping her without even telling me why.
Crystal Skull does so many things wrong but the thing it does right is it brings back Marion.
I never thought of Indy as a James Bond archaeologist who has a new woman in every movie. It didn’t make sense for him because Marion was the one. She is brassy, tough and could probably drink him under the table.
Yes, she sometimes ends up as the damsel in distress but it isn’t because she just fainted and got carried off. She tries to come up with her own way out of whatever mess she’s in. That is the kind of girl Indy would be attracted to.
I can’t for the life of me figure out why he’d be attracted to Willie Scott. All she does is scream and encurage Indy to not get killed. Marion hits pilots over the head before they shoot him.
Marion wouldn’t die because she was obsessed with the holy grail and she wouldn’t slap Indina after he nearly had her burned up in a lava lake. She’d slug him.
Hell, if Marion drank the blood of Kali, Kali would fall into the black sleep of Marion Ravenwood.
So when Indy tells Marion that the reason he never settled down with someone else is because they weren’t her, I forgive a lot of Crystal Skull.
That one piece of dialogue shows that Spielberg and Lucas finally recognized what was wrong with the other women in the other Indiana Jones films. They weren’t her.
It doesn’t quite make up for nuking the fridge, but it still made me happy.