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Movie Review: Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

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Author/Source: Marty Martin

Topic: Movie Review

A review of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull including description of the movie, areas of concern, teachable themes, discussion questions, and scriptures to use.

Movie Review: <i>Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull</i>

Overview

One of the greatest memories I had as a middle school student was getting the chicken pox. That's right staying home sick from school for 3 days! Not only getting to stay home from school but add to that my family had just bought -- for an outrageous amount of money -- this new technological wonder... the VCR! So I stayed home and watched Raiders of the Lost Ark about 19 times. A love affair began.

Noting this and the fact that my three favorite modern cinema characters are Indiana Jones, Han Solo, and Jack Ryan, you can understand why I was so anxious for the fourth installment of the Indiana Jones series to come out. After all, we have been waiting for almost two decades! So was I disappointed? With all that build-up, how can you not be disappointed? I placed Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull third in the series ahead of Temple of Doom but far behind The Last Crusade. It was still a very good movie from the "just having a fun time at the movies" standpoint.

Many kids will enjoy this movie, but many will have nightmares as well. Many parents who take their children to see Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull will wish they hadn't. The special effects, hair-raising adventure scenes, and the classic sarcastic Indiana Jones humor will please fans of this series.


Concerns

This movie is not for younger kids. In fact many parents may be concerned to let children at any age see this film. We took our 11-year-old and as he said, "there were some really "creepy things" and it was "way scarier than Revenge of the Sith"."

As with the other movies in the series, gross and disgusting are standard fare in this movie. Killer army ants eating people alive push the limits set by the other movies in the series. There were several swear words and some mild sexual innuendos, however there was no nudity.

The spiritual element in this movie was far from the Christian experience. Maybe the reasons so many liked Raiders of the Lost Ark and The Last Crusade was because the spiritual element in those movies was centered on the power of the one true God. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull was closer to Temple of Doom in that its spiritual content was from a non-Christian source. Astral projection and auto-writing, considered to be satanic by many Christians, were both featured in this film. Powerful and all-knowing alien-like beings, who were worshiped by early South American tribes, were the source of power in this movie.

Another concern was the obvious pre-marital relationship between Indiana Jones and his love interest, Marion Ravenwood from Raiders of Lost Ark. The two have a grown son together which is news to Indiana Jones. This part of the storyline can easily be used as a teaching tool for kids by parents, stressing the importance of waiting until marriage, noting how Indiana missed seeing his only son grow up.


Teachable Themes

  • Lust of Money
    One of the characters, Mac, continues to let his love of money shape his decisions. It eventually leads to his downfall.

  • Lust of Knowledge
    Another character named Irina has a unquenchable thirst for knowledge and desires to use it to gain control over others. This leads to her downfall as well.

  • Priorities
    Indiana spends so much of his life driven by his own pursuits that he almost misses entirely the true loves of his life. He was almost too late but he got a second chance and makes things right.

Biblical References

  • Lust of Money:
    • Hebrews 13:5 - "Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you"."

    • 1 Timothy 6:10 - "For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs."

  • Lust of Knowledge:
    • I Corinthians 13: 1-2 - "If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing."

    • Genesis 3:1-4 - "Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, "Did God really say, 'You must not eat from any tree in the garden'?" The woman said to the serpent, "We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, 'You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.'" "You will not surely die," the serpent said to the woman. "For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil"."

  • Priorities:
    • Revelation 2:4 - "Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love."

    • Malachi 1:7 - "When you say, 'The altar of God is not important anymore; worship of God is no longer a priority,' that's defiling."

    • Matthew 22:35-38 - "One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: 36 "Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?" Jesus replied: "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself'."

Discussion Questions

  • Lust of Money:
    1. What is the one thing you wished you could have more than any other?
    2. Is there any chance of that one thing being too important in your life?
    3. Why do people tend to love money so much? Where does the love of money take you in the end?
    4. How did the love of money affect Mac and his friends?

  • Lust of Knowledge:
    1. Why did Irina desire knowledge? In the end could she handle infinite knowledge?
    2. What do you think would really happen to a person if they suddenly became all-knowing like God? Is this even possible?
    3. Can knowledge by itself save us? Can true knowledge help us and others? What is one thing you would really like to know? How can that help you be more like Christ?

  • Priorities:
    1. What is a priority? How do you decide what is most important in your life?
    2. What role does the Bible play in helping you make these decisions?
    3. How were Indiana's priorities messed up?
    4. How did his wrong priorities affect others in the long run? How did they affect him?
    5. Indiana Jones was given a second chance to make things right? Does everybody get a second chance to make things right?

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