Thursday, May 29, 2008
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
"As they age, good men will become temperate, dignified, self-controlled role models, sound in faith, love, and endurance." Titus 2:2
Indiana Jones has aged well. When I was a kid growing up, Indiana was my hero, so much so that I took up Biblical theology in college and throughout my graduate studies thanks to Dr. Jones' inspiration on the silver screen.
It was a risk bringing Indiana out of "retirement" for Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, but thanks to an incredibly fun performance by Harrison Ford, the adventurer-hero looks great 19 years after his last Crusade.
Set in 1957 in the height of the Cold War, this adventure follows Indiana and new sidekick "Mutt" (Shia LaBeouf) from Marshall College in Connecticut to South America in search for Mutt's mentor Harold Oxley (John Hurt) and mother Marianne Williams (Karen Allen).
What sets Indiana apart from other action heroes is that he doesn't just search for the priceless artifacts or the fortune and glory (as he boldly said, but hardly meant), but he goes on a journey to save others first and foremost, like Oxley and Marianne. On the way, of course, he discovers incredible treasures (like the Ark of the Covenant, the Shankara Stones, the Holy Grail, or in this case, the Crystal Skulls), but even when he finds these, he selflessly puts them back in their rightful place instead of hoarding them in his own private collection.
That's not to say that Crystal Skull, like previous films, aren't a lot of fun. In fact, this movie is two great hours I highly recommend to anyone this summer. From the action-packed opening in Area 51 in Nevada to the motorcycle whirl through academia to the jungle race sequence in the rainforests and waterfalls of Peru, this movie is a non-stop rollar coaster ride.
What makes the movie even more enjoyable is that Indiana Jones is not just exciting to watch with his bullwhip and fedora hat, but he is someone worth looking up to.
In this year's outing, Indy exemplifies Paul's description of the older Christian community on Crete in the New Testament: "As they age, good men will become temperate, dignified, self-controlled role models, sound in faith, love, and endurance." (Titus 2:2)
Crystal Skull shows us a mature, honorable (and incredibly active and fun) Indy that a young adult like Mutt (and any of us of any age in the audience) can aspire to be. Let us pray that we may all grow up to be our own version of Indiana Jones.