Jake Tapper Revises His Diss of Steven Spielberg’s ‘Worst Movie’

CNN anchor says he completely forgot about “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull”

indiana jones steve spielberg jake tapper
Getty Images; Paramount Pictures

Jake Tapper is not a huge fan of Indiana Jones.

Specifically, he’s got a bone to pick with two of the films in the Steven Spielberg-directed series. The CNN anchor tweeted Tuesday that he was considering which of Spielberg’s nearly 40 feature directing credits was the worst, and initially said “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom,” which came out in 1984.

Then Tapper remembered there’s arguably a worse Spielberg film out there from the same cinematic universe — “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.” Tapper said he’d basically forced himself to forget about that 2008 uh, disasterpiece starring Harrison Ford that he said he’d “blotted from memory.”

Make no mistake. Tapper, who gets a collective tip of the cap from TheWrap here, puts the original “Indiana Jones” on Spielberg’s top shelf — which we can’t argue with.

But Tapper is far from the only person to share his “Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” opinion. It’s in fact widely regarded as one of the worst movies in the Indiana Jones universe. From its bizarre car chase scenes with Shia LeBouf swinging from vines to Cate Blanchett’s strange Russian accent, that movie certainly has plenty for its critics to hate on.

Former FBI special agent and current CNN analyst Asha Rangappa replied to Tapper’s tweet and said she disagreed, arguing Tapper’s first choice — “Temple of Doom” — was actually Spielberg’s worst.


Even Spielberg himself has admitted there are some parts in that film that push the limits of suspension of disbelief — like the time Jones climbs into a refrigerator in a nuclear test town and is blasted into the sky by a nuke while inside the fridge, only to come back down and land pretty much totally fine.

Spielberg told Empire in 2011 that idea was his own decision but he’s weirdly proud of it: “What people really jumped at was Indy climbing into a refrigerator and getting blown into the sky by an atom-bomb blast. Blame me. Don’t blame George (Lucas). That was my silly idea. People stopped saying ‘jump the shark.’ They now say, ‘nuked the fridge.’ I’m proud of that. I’m glad I was able to bring that into popular culture,” Spielberg told Empire.

A CNN article from that same year also called “Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” “less of a movie than a horrific catalogue of everything that is miserable and boring in modern Hollywood: The urge to sequelize into infinity, the paycheck-gravitas of great British actors, the redefinition of ‘plot’ as ‘a series of digitalized set-pieces signifying nothing,’ the notion of Shia LaBeouf as an action hero, the notion that Russians still make interesting villains (and) the limits of Cate Blanchett’s greatness…”

“Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” angered “Indiana Jones” fans so much in part because it was, at the time, supposed to be the conclusion of the series and ended it on such a flat note. Thankfully, the series has the opportunity to redeem itself in 2022, when the currently untitled fifth installment in the “Indiana Jones” saga will release — although not helmed by Spielberg; James Mangold will take over directing duties.

Fans recently went bananas for photos of Harrison Ford and a stunt double on set as production on the long-anticipated film begins. Alongside Ford, the cast includes Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Mads MIkkelsen and Thomas Kretschmann.


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