I'll try and keep this above the line, but it may be hard. "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" is terrible.. a disgrace to the franchise... and the epitome of everything that is wrong about special effects-laden spectacles that have insinuated themselves into the culture of modern filmmaking.
Right from the opening scene, the artificiality of the film's overwhelming CGI effects removed me the experience. For God's sake, this is a scene in the desert in front of a warehouse and instead of feeling or even looking real, Speilberg chooses to shoot the whole thing against a blue screen. Is it too much to ask for a film crew to actually go on location in front of a warehouse (or hell, build a set!) and do filming? From there, the artificiality of "Indiana Jones" grows exponentially, placing us (unbelievably) inside an Amazon rain forest where a sword fight occurs on two jeeps (complete with cutesy humor where plant shrubs whack Shia Lebouf in the groin) that never once feels dangerous. Then we're given an episode where giant ants carry off a soldier into their pit. And on, and on, and on... each set-piece growing larger and more uninteresting due to the fakeness of their creation. The days of location shooting, which created such a great atmosphere in the first 3 Indiana Jones films, have been replaced by digital technology that continually usurps human drama, craving the attention of "bigger and bolder" while minimizing any tension between real people. I hate it. I hate the direction that modern Hollywood blockbusters are going. I hate that we can no longer trust our eyes about the images being displayed on the screen before us. For all I know, one scene in a 50's cafe between Lebouf and haggard 65 year old Harrison Ford (who looks and feels just as disingenuous as the entire film) didn't include anyone but Ford and Lebouf and everyone else was digitized. When we remove living, breathing people from the experience, we're left with empty, soulless images. "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" is certainly soulless.
Beyond the overall artificiality, this is a film made for 4 year olds. Now granted, the kid in me always appreciated the attempts at humor in the first 3 films, but here we're exposed to some sort of "Caddyshack" gopher observing the opening set-piece, cute flying monkeys that help Lebouf swing like Tarzan through the rain forest, and quirky one-liners that serve as nothing more than to draw in the uninterested, casual movie goer who tags along for 'dumb-downed' commercial appeal. It's sickening, cringe-worthy and yet another example of the wayward intentions of Lucas and Spielberg to cash in on a franchise that is bankrupt on new ideas, existing only to transform a nice series of films into yet another over-produced, digitized lie that'll do 400 million dollars. This is one of the worst movies I've ever seen. Now, did I manage to stay above the line? Probably not.