This is a movie, not a film. Its purpose isn't to give you deep insights into the human condition or to probe the
psyches of its characters. It's here to thrill, surprise, and delight, and for me it succeeds on every level.
I suspect that most of the people who see the movie won't understand why I enjoyed it so much, but that's because they haven't had the same experiences I've had, didn't grow up when I did. Sure, they may have seen a Republic serial on DVD, but they don't know what it was like to be a kid and walk to the Palace Theater on Saturday afternoon where I'd sit through the western double feature with half the rowdy kids in town yelling and whistling and clapping, all the while anticipating the serial, which often got a bigger reception than the features. Because there's a little of that kid left in me, I tend to watch the Indiana Jones movies a bit differently from the whippersnappers, I think. Roger Ebert said something like "this isn't a Saturday afternoon serial. It's what those serials would have been if they could have." Exactly.
Be that as it may, I had a wonderful time at Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. The plot? Who cares? It doesn't matter. What matters is the action, the laughs, the fun. The Nasca Lines! Karen Allen! A bullwhip! Quicksand! (Okay, so it's not quicksand. Same difference.) And, of course, Harrison Ford! He might not be a great actor, but he's great in this role. Geezers rule. Don't believe me? You will after you see the movie. Shia LaBeouf? Gimme a break. He tries to come across like Marlon Brando in The Wild One, but instead he's Fonzie after the shark. If George Lucas thinks he can continue the series with LaBeouf, he's nuts. LaBeouf can't carry Harrison Ford's fedora.
Where does The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull rank in the Indiana Jones cycle? I'd say it's considerably better than The Temple of Doom and as good as The Last Crusade. Probably nobody will agree, but it's my blog, after all.