Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull is a strange little test if you want to look at reviews versus how the film is regarded a few years later. The film registers a “Certified Fresh” rating on RottenTomatoes, the site’s highest honor, with a 77% rating, although “Top Critics” award it a 62%. It was a film I think more people wanted to like than actually liked it and that helped it to a higher score in many reviews.
However, now, it’s not regarded so highly. Whether people are making fun of Shia LaBeouf swinging around with monkeys, the nuking of the fridge or the film’s ultimate climax, it finally seems people are coming to a general consensus that it just wasn’t too good, or to quote my C- review, “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull is a blemish on the much beloved franchise.”
And now, three years later, Steven Spielberg is beginning to continue the conversation LaBeouf began last year when he told the Los Angeles Times:
I think the audience is pretty intelligent. I think they know when you’ve made [shit]. And I think if you don’t acknowledge it, then why do they trust you the next time you’re promoting a movie… We [Harrison Ford and LaBeouf] had major discussions. He wasn’t happy with it either. Look, the movie could have been updated. There was a reason it wasn’t universally accepted… We need to be able to satiate the appetite. I think we just misinterpreted what we were trying to satiate.
As for how Spielberg would react to his comments, he added:
I’ll probably get a call. But he needs to hear this. I love him. I love Steven. I have a relationship with Steven that supersedes our business work. And believe me, I talk to him often enough to know that I’m not out of line. And I would never disrespect the man. I think he’s a genius, and he’s given me my whole life. He’s done so much great work that there’s no need for him to feel vulnerable about one film. But when you drop the ball you drop the ball.
Whether he got a call or not, I know Harrison Ford referred to him in an interview with Details magazine saying, “I think he was a f–king idiot. As an actor, I think it’s my obligation to support the film without making a complete ass of myself. Shia is ambitious, attentive, and talented – and he’s learning how to deal with a situation which is very unique and difficult.”
Well, Spielberg has finally spoken out about the film, more specifically the MacGuffin and he wasn’t too impressed either. In a comment that should be considered a spoiler for anyone that hasn’t seen the film, Spielberg told Empire recently, “I sympathise with people who didn’t like the MacGuffin because I never liked the MacGuffin… George and I had big arguments about the MacGuffin. I didn’t want these things to be either aliens or inter-dimensional beings. But I am loyal to my best friend. When he writes a story he believes in – even if I don’t believe in it – I’m going to shoot the movie the way George envisaged it.”
As for whether there will be an Indiana Jones 5, he adds, “You have to ask George Lucas. George is in charge of breaking the stories. He’s done it on all four movies. Whether I like the stories or not, George has broken all the stories… He is working on Indy V. We haven’t gone to screenplay yet, but he’s working on the story. I’ll leave it to George to come up with a good story.”