I was with some friends this past weekend who wanted to watch a bad movie to make fun of, and that bad movie wound up being Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. I’m not really going to review the movie: after all, it’s been done before, and quite well at that. I’ll just say that it may wind up being the most influential film of the last decade. Note that I’m not saying good. It’s not a good film at all. But in terms of having all the elements of today’s dumb movies, it is, as they say, on point, and I can’t think of an earlier one that combines all the elements into one package, starting with just being an out-of-the-blue sequel that nobody particularly was clamoring for, plus returning characters that don’t much feel like what they used to be, new characters that aren’t really characters, an unengaging story that is papered over by fan service-y references to earlier, better chapters in the series (though compared to, say, The Force Awakens, it’s pretty restrained on that count), a fundamental misplacing of the spirit of the original thing, grotesquely excessive CGI and a “big” finale that makes no sense (though since it’s Spielberg, at least it’s visually easy to follow, which is more than can be said for a quite a lot of today’s blockbusters). Back when the movie came out, people had a hard time putting their finger on why they didn’t like it. Now we can put it into the context of blockbuster history since then, and so much of it is worse versions of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. What a dystopia.


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