We rewatched Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull again this past weekend. This is the third time I’ve seen the movie, and I think it has gotten better with every viewing. I enjoyed it in the theater, but remember wondering going into it what kind of space it was going to try and occupy within the franchise. After two more home viewings over the past year or so, I have to say it is by far the most humorous installment of the series. The comedy is definitely derived from the nod-and-wink approach to the title character and geared specifically to those of us who came of age with the franchise in the ’80s. I found myself laughing out loud more than ever on this most recent viewing, and the ending still has that perfect “eye to the future/hang on to the past” mix for me. I still maintain that nothing can ever touch the original Raiders of the Lost Ark, but Kingdom of the Crystal Skull is every bit as good as Last Crusade.
Though I didn’t know what to make of Shia LaBeouf when the movie first came out having only seen him in Transformers prior to Indy 4, I have since seen him in Eagle Eye and circled back to watch him in the Rear Window update, Disturbia. I think Spielberg was right in anointing LaBeouf a star and have no problem if Lucas and Spielberg carry on the Indy franchise with him in the lead. From what I’ve seen of LaBeouf’s work on these projects, I’m now looking forward to watching him alongside Michael Douglas in the continuation of another classic ’80s film, the "Money Never Sleeps" Wall Street sequel later this year.