INDIANA JONES AND THE KINGDOM OF THE CRYSTAL SKULL
The Abridged Script
EXT. NEVADA DESERT
PRODUCER FRANK MARSHALL immediately proves his commitment to using CGI "only when necessary" by featuring completely necessary CGI prairie dogs in the first shot of the movie.
A bunch of cars drive through the DESERT to AREA 51. HARRISON FORD'S SHADOW, then HARRISON FORD'S SHOE, then HARRISON FORD'S ARM, then HARRISON FORD'S HAT and finally HARRISON FUCKING FORD are eventually revealed.
Alright folks, let's get this show on the road. I want to make it to Country Buffet by four.
Pryvet, Harrison. I am evil Soviet. You vill help me find Moose and Squirrel, yes?
Holy Christ, you're not going to talk like that the whole movie are you?
Da. You vill help locate MacKuffin now.
Fine. The thing you're looking for is super magnetic, so if we just throw this gunpowder into the air it will lead us to the MacGuffin.
Nineteen years to write this movie and that's how it's going to start? Really? I think I'm going to write myself out of this movie as much as possible by revealing myself to be a double agent.
RAY turns on HARRISON. CATE escapes with the MACGUFFIN and HARRISON gets away, only to find himself in the middle of a NUCLEAR TEST SITE that is apparently located within walking distance of AREA 51.
Holy shit, a nuclear bomb! I'll hide in this lead-lined fridge to protect myself from the radiation that will permeate the area shortly after the ten-million degree heat generated by the blast is done obliterating every single object in a 5 mile radius!
Somehow, this WORKS. HARRISON FORD emerges from the fridge with his face covered in black soot, holding a sign that reads "ouch."
INT. MARSHALL COLLEGE
HARRISON teaches his film class entitled "How To Ruin Millions Of Childhoods In 2 Hours" when he is interrupted by the DEAN, JIM BROADBENT.
Sorry Harrison, I have to let you go. The government thinks you might be a Soviet. Apparently someone rented "K-19: The Widowmaker" and panicked.
Bullshit, nobody saw that movie.
HARRISON packs up props from the prior films, but is interrupted by SHIA LABEOUF.
Hey, my mother and John Hurt have been kidnapped. My mom said you'd help me because every great adventure film needs an insufferable douchebag sidekick.
Your mom knew me? Well it seems painfully obvious that you're going to turn out to be my son, then.
And yet, that's going to be mentioned later in the movie as though it's some kind of shocking revelation.
Suddenly, more CARTOONY SOVIETS show up and try to kidnap SHIA and HARRISON.
Shit, they have guns. What do we do?
Just wait until the movie gets re-released in a few years and they'll be replaced with walkie-talkies.
SHIA and HARRISON escape on a motorcycle. Crazy stunts are performed in order to evade the SOVIETS.
Are we really expecting audiences to put up with this? We're violating like ten thousand laws of physics here.
Are you joking, kid? That makes this the most realistic action scene in the movie.
EXT. SOUTH AMERICA
SHIA and HARRISON go to SOUTH AMERICA to look for the next CLUE. SHIA flips his knife around in his hand trying to look badass, but actually grabs it by the blade. Twice. Seriously.
Alright, the walkthrough for the movie says that our next clue is in a spooky graveyard. We should probably save our game here.
Pick up MAP. Use MAP on HARRISON FORD. Walk To TOMB.
They travel to an underground tomb and find a CRYSTAL MACGUFFIN using its super-powerful magnetic properties.
That crystal skull looks like an alien head. And the Soviets were looking for an alien corpse stored in Area 51. Golly, there sure is a lot of alien stuff.
If you're trying to mentally ready the audience for the ending, don't bother. I've read through the script, nothing can prepare moviegoers for what happens at the end.
Suddenly, SOVIETS show up and kidnap SHIA and HARRISON. They bring them back to their camp, where HARRISON finds JOHN HURT and KAREN ALLEN. CATE BLANCHETT embarrasses herself some more and eventually they all travel into the AMAZON FOREST.
What are we doing in the Amazon?
Cate wants to return the Crystal MacGuffin to the ancient City of Gold.
City of Gold? Isn't that what Nicolas Cage was looking for in National Treasure 2? Are we seriously getting the plot for our shitty sequel to Indiana Jones by ripping off the plot of a shitty sequel to a shitty knock-off of Indiana Jones? I feel like that should unravel the space-time continuum or something.
A caravan of vehicles, led by a giant tree-cutting machine, travels deep into the AMAZON FOREST. HARRISON uses a CHEAT CODE to spawn a ROCKET LAUNCHER, then uses it to blow up the tree-cutting machine.
I'm pretty sure the audience came here to see more Shia LaBeouf, so I'm going to fence Cate Blanchett in front of an obvious green screen.
Wait, what are they chasing us through? Are there roads in the middle of the jungle? Why the hell did we bother showing that tree-cutting thing if we were just going to contradict the very thing it was trying to establish?
That's what's so great about this movie - we can just do whatever the hell we want, because even glaringly obvious flaws like that are dwarfed by the sheer magnitude of failure that is the rest of the movie.
To illustrate this, SHIA LEBEOUF flies up into the FUCKING JUNGLE and swings like FUCKING TARZAN along the FUCKING VINES with a FUCKING ARMY of CGI FUCKING MONKEYS. That actually FUCKING HAPPENS.
Everyone eventually winds up in the CITY OF GOLD.
INT. CITY OF GOLD
HARRISON solves a few simple puzzles and gains access to the CITY. Some natives show up and attack, but are quickly dispatched, making the AUDIENCE wonder why they were introduced at all.
Alright, the aliens or whatever want me to return the crystal to some ridiculous alien throne room.
Not zo fast. I vill return skull instead.
Shouldn't it have been taken as an indicator of a writing problem when the good guy and the bad guy in a movie have the exact same goal?
CATE takes the skull and places it on a THRONE. It then turns into an ACTUAL ALIEN and makes her head explode. The ALIENS pile into a GIANT UFO and fly off into SPACE.
Wow. Considering that the first movie revolved around a magical box made by God that melts faces when opened, it's really astonishing that this movie managed to be so incredibly stupid by comparison.
I can't believe that the crystal skull wanted you to return it to the city just so that aliens could have blown your head up. Those aliens are total assholes.
Seriously, what kind of jerks would intentionally trick people into thinking they were going to get something awesome, but then give them something so awful it makes their brains melt instead?
GEORGE LUCAS AND STEVEN SPIELBERG
Rich jerks! Bwa-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!
Rod has been an author at The Editing Room for 17 years. You can support Rod and the rest of the site on Patreon.
Rod is the founder of The Editing Room, having started the web site in 1998 after seeing "Godzilla" and being compelled to express his hatred. He's written the bulk of Abridged Scripts on the site, many of which have appeared in Total Film magazine and Cracked.com