Review: Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008)

Any kid born in the 80’s grew up knowing that Indiana Jones was the epitome of cool. I was a little too young to catch the first few when they came out (heck, I’m only 10 weeks older than the franchise), but long before my mom deemed me “old enough” to watch them, I knew Indiana Jones was as awesome as they come.

It’s not surprising then that Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, released 27 years after Raiders of the Lost Ark, makes me and the rest of my generation feel a little nostalgic, a little wistful, and irreversibly grown-up. Very few of us actually did grow up to be archaeologists, the way we swore we would be when we thrilled to Indy’s adventures. (And I suspect those of my generation who did become archaeologists find they have a somewhat less exciting career than depicted on-screen.) I for one am not digging up tombs in Egypt — I’m… I’m working on knowledge management at Slightly Evil, LLP — and there’s no way to avoid being reminded of that when watching this film.

Not only has my generation grown up and changed, the world around us has too — not just our perceptions and understandings of it, it’s really changed since the 80’s, when AIDS was a mysterious illness you could avoid by simply not being gay, terrorism only happened “over there,” airplanes had a smoking section, people could beat computers at chess, and we were all still holding out hope for flying cars and personal jet packs by the end of the millennium.

(Minor league spoilers ahead.) Continue reading