Hey kids! Play the Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull Drinking Game!
It’s easy! It’s fun! You’ll get boozed out of your mind! Here’s how to play…
1) Every time someone refers to how old Indy looks, have a drink;
This alone will get you off to a smashing – and smashed – start. Shia LaBeouf delivers the best line here: “what are you, 80 or something?” Interestingly, Ford looks in pretty good shape in the action sequences, but noticeably older – wrinkled and white-haired – when he’s teaching his classes.
2) Every time Spielberg references a movie, have a drink;
Shia as Marlon Brando in The Wild Ones is a total gimme, The Atomic Café a bit harder to pick up on, but the bad guys’ car not quite outracing an A-bomb blast comes from an obscure favorite of mine: 1953’s Split Second, directed by Dick Powell.
3) Every time Spielberg references one of his own movies, have two drinks;
Since this whole movie is a rehash of every other IJ film (chasing the bad guys for an artifact of unearthly power), you won’t have a chance to put down the bottle – and you saw the glimpse of the Ark of the Covenant coming a mile away, didn’t you?
4) Every time a plot thread is dropped and never referred to again, have a drink and a chaser;
The commie agents find Indy in the corner malt shop, chase him all over campus – but don’t think of looking for him back in his house after he eludes them?
Or the psychic powers the commie lady seems to have early on in the film?
And then there’s the little matter of the Red Scare witch hunt that gets Indy suspended from his teaching position – and is totally forgotten about by the end of the film. Perhaps a DVD-deleted scene will explain this one.
5) Every time third-world natives are depicted as quaint background extras, have a drink;
i.e., most of the middle third of the film.
6) Every time third-world natives are depicted as bloodthirsty, savage menaces, have two drinks;
Just about the entire last third of the film.
7) Every time an action sequence continues eons beyond human endurance, have three drinks;
Good Lord, they could lift that jeep chase/battle through the jungle out of the movie and make it a film unto itself!
8) Every time an eons-long action sequence is immediately followed by another eons-long action sequence, drain the bottle and open the next one;
Not totally exhausted by the end of the chase? Don’t worry, the fistfight while surrounded by zillions of bloodthirsty CGI ants, followed immediately by a group plunge over three waterfalls in rapid succession will do you in. Didn’t this guy ever hear of pacing – giving the audience a chance to catch its breath and look forward to the next big action blow-out?
9) Every time something absolutely inexplicable and/or unbelievable happens – it’s time for a new case;
Which will make you a two-fisted drinker since you’ve been putting it away nonstop since number 3 above. We know this film isn’t supposed to make any particular sense – it’s just Saturday matinee serial fun. Even so, it feels as if Stevie boy is testing us to see how high we can suspend that disbelief.
Try as you might, there’s no doubting the Mighty Spielberg’s command of visual storytelling: the camera placements and moves that make his stories live in three dimensional space; the compositions and lighting that create absolutely emblematic images. Props to him for having Indy mention his late dad (even if Sean’s still around) and ‘Marcus Brody’ (Denholm Elliott, who isn’t) and for acknowledging time is indeed moving on for all of us – action heroes and superstar directors alike.
Still, if only he used his awesome filmmaking skills for good (storytelling with actual characters and emotions), instead of evil (overkill thrill-ride direction, calculated button-pushing and emotional manipulation). But then, he wouldn’t be Steven Spielberg…