Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull is exactly the type of summer-blockbuster, action-adventure, good-guy vs. bad-guy, Spielberg/Lucas, movie extravaganza that I expected it to be. The cast is great, the film is well paced, the stunts are expertly choreographed, the visual and audio effects are stunning, the music is inspiring, the story is fun (if not formulaic) and everyone seems to have a great time watching it!
Of course, Indy fans of all ages have been nitpicking and conjecturing about the film ever since it was first announced: Will this film be another Raiders of the Lost Ark, or will it be more of a Indiana Jones and The Temple of Doom? (Will either outcome really stop you from going to see it?) Is Harrison Ford too old to play Indiana Jones? (Yes he is older, but he can still throw a convincing punch, so who cares?) Was bringing back Karen Allen to play Marion Ravenwood a good idea? (Absolutely!) Was Shia LaBeauf a good choice to play Indy’s cocky protégé? (I certainly think so.) Does Cate Blanchett look totally bad-girl hot as the slinky Soviet scientist, Irina Spalko? (My wife occasionally reads this blog, so I must respectively decline to answer…)
I’ll leave these and other fine points to be debated by the rest of the Nerd-o-rati. The question is, is Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull safe for kids? See details (but no big spoilers) after the jump.
Nudity: No naughty bits. Indy is shown bare-chested, being scrubbed down in a decontamination chamber.
Sexual Content: Practically non-existent. Indy and Marion kiss near the end of the film.
Adult Language: Not many epithets are used. A BS is exclaimed, plus an SOB and a few other mild obscenities.
Alcohol: Not much. A friend of Indy’s drinks a glass of wine. Beer is shown being served in a diner. A character holds a half empty bottle and appears to be slightly intoxicated for one brief scene.
Smoking: One man has a cigar in several scenes.
Violence: Aww, yeah! There are lots of guns fired and lots of punches thrown. A rocket launcher is used and there are fights with swords. And if that wasn’t enough, an atomic bomb is detonated at a Nevada test site. All of it is in the grand Indiana Jones tradition without being terribly gratuitous.
Gore: Soldiers are consumed by flames coming out of a rocket engine. Test mannequins burn up when the aforementioned atomic bomb goes off. The ickiest scene is when a Russian soldier is completely swarmed over by giant ants and dragged head-first into an anthill, presumably to be consumed.
Other Scary Stuff: Of course there are have to be snakes. The ants mentioned above are kind of gross, mostly due to the clicky sounds they make. And there are the obligatory crypts with bones and spider webs and mummys.
Bottom Line: As always, you know your child best. This movie is rated PG-13 for a reason. If your kids have seen the other Indiana Jones films, and have not awakened you in the middle of the night talking about "the creepy bald guy who can pull your heart out of your chest" (that’s just cinematic gold, in my humble opinion) then you should be fine taking them to this film. For more details, you can check out kids-in-mind.com or commonsensemedia.org for kid-content related information.