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'Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull' (2008)
Sequel to: "Raiders of the Lost Ark" (1981), "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom" (1984), "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade" (1989)
Did it kill the franchise: Probably not.
Why it was so unnecessary: Harrison Ford, Steven Spielberg and George Lucas all had various reservations about resurrecting the series after so many years, and had a hard time coming up with ideas which made all three of them happy. Instead, they all seemed to have caved in to compromise, and "Crystal Skull" shows it. It's one of many recent sequels which sat around for years (19 in Indy's case) only to be quickly thrust into production without a clear idea of purpose. Despite a close friendship and a successful track record together, Spielberg and Lucas have often displayed differing filmmaking sensibilities, but "Crystal Skull" was their first collaboration where their filmmaking styles seemed to clash to the detriment of the film's quality. It's less confident in tone than its predecessors, struggles between a glossy green-screen look and a more realistic filmic one, shoehorns in too many characters both old and new, and offers the series' least interesting "MacGuffin" yet -- you can practically hear Lucas explaining to the audience, "they're not aliens, guys, they're inter-dimensional beings."