NOTE: This spoiler was sent in by Heather.
The movie opens with the classic old Paramount logo and white font credits outlined in black against the scene of a barren desert. A convoy of US Army trucks are being led by a car driven by a young, fun looking man and a mean, sour-faced man in the passenger seat. A hotrod full of rambunctious All-American teens eggs on the lead car to a race. The driver gives in and races them until the convoy turns right at the only turn for miles.
The final opening credit...NEVADA 1957
The convoy pulls up to an Army base where guards who say that the base is closed for weapons testing stop them. The sour-faced man from the car steps out and the men quickly salute him he is wearing the uniform of a Colonel. They tell him that even he cannot enter. He bends down slowly to tie his shoe while five or so men standing behind him pop out and shoot all the guards. This is when you learn that the ‘army convoy’ is really a group of Soviets.
The convoy enters the base and pulls up in front of a large warehouse. Everyone exits, standing behind the lead car, staring at the trunk. It is opened and some Soviet henchman yank out a sweaty and beaten ‘Mac’ McHale (Ray Winstone). Then, the Soviets draw their guns and patiently wait while another man is pulled from the trunk. His hat hits the ground and you know it’s the one and only Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford). After exchanging some words with the Soviets, Irina Spalko (Cate Blanchett) appears, proving to be a very harsh and cold woman with some sort of psychic power/obsession with psychic powers. She informs Indiana that the Soviets are looking for a box pertaining to a dig he was involved in ten years ago (1947). They enter the warehouse and if you’re a fan of the movie series, you’ll recognize it immediately!
Indy uses his amazing abilities to track down the location of the specific crate he knows it’s magnetic so he uses gunpowder and shotgun pellets to find it (they stick to the crate). They find the crate and the Soviets load it onto the back of their truck. Irina opens it and it is a casket of some type with a creepy creature in it. Indy, using his infamous whip, grabs a gun from one of his captors and turns it on Irina. He and Mac have guns pointed as Indy threatens to shoot her. Suddenly, Mac turns his gun on Indy, revealing himself to be working with the Soviets.
After it seems Indy is thwarted, he manages a daring and action-filled escape. Fighting off about 20 men, he and one of his captors fall through a plate-glass window into a basement room with a rocket-like contraption sitting on rails. Of course, someone knocks into the control panel and a timer starts. Indy and a Soviet get knocked onto the front of the contraption when it starts. It is a sound-barrier vehicle and the speed knocks out Indy and the Soviet by the time they get to the end of the track. Indy awakens quickly and, as it is dark, escapes behind some dunes. He notices a city off in the distance and makes his way there.
Sneaking around a seemingly quaint, idyllic neighborhood, Indy jumps a fence into a backyard and into a house. He shouts for anyone to help him but see only plastic figurines everywhere. Slowly, he realizes he is in a nuclear test town entirely fabricated to test the effects of nuclear weapons. A test is initialized (of course!) and Indy hides in a lead-lined refrigerator in the knick-of-time to save himself. He is blown several miles away but is safe!
He is taken in for questioning by the FBI and believed to be working with the Soviets (this is during the Cold War). General Ross (Alan Dale) enters, speaking for Indy and keeping the FBI off his back.
Back at school, Professor Jones is teaching when the dean, Charles Stanforth (Jim Broadbent) comes to Indy’s classroom. Just outside the door, Charles explains that Indy is on probation because the FBI thinks he is a communist. Indy gets very upset with Charles until he reveals that he re-signed as dean to show support for his friend. Back at home; Indy is packing fervently, talking about going to teach in Europe. Sitting at his desk, he looks at a picture of his father (Sean Connery) and Marcus, who he mentions are both dead.
As Jones is on the train, Mutt Williams (Shia LaBeouf) arrives on his motorcycle looking ever the 50s Greaser. He grabs Indy’s attention by mentioning Indy’s old friend Professor Oxley (John Hurt). Indy quickly departs the train before being caught by two men in suits. At a diner, Mutt explains to Indy that his mom ‘Mary’ and Professor Oxley were both in Peru. Ox went there first to find the Crystal Skull and Mary went after him. They were both captured and the last thing Mutt got was a letter from his mom with a page of strange markings and writings from Ox. During the conversation, Indy is continually telling Mutt not to lose his temper and calm down. The two men from the train show up and threaten Indy and Mutt. They are KGB. Indy has Mutt punch a kid in a varsity jacket to start a fight and let them escape. Mutt and Indy take Mutt’s motorcycle through a ride down several streets and across the college campus.
They go back to Indy’s house and attempt to decipher the note Mutt combs his hair while Indy works. Indy explains that the crystal skulls are related to El Dorado the mythical city of gold that the Mayans wrote about. A Spanish conquistador disappeared along with six of his men in the 15th century (don’t quote me on the date) but it was believed they made it to the city. The city was never found by anyone else but there was one crystal skull found and Indy believes that Ox found it in Peru and wanted to take it back to its rightful place in the city. Mutt and Indy fly to Peru with Mutt’s motorcycle in tow and head straight to Nazca, Peru, where Indy believes Ox and more clues are.
Once there, they learn that Ox was put in a sanatorium after coming back from his expeditions. In his former cell, Indy and Mutt find carvings in the wall and on the floor leading to the gravesite of the conquistador who was never found. At the gravesite, Indy and Mutt encounter weird little natives with excellent fighting skills. They manage to get them away and go into a chamber where they find seven mummies. Unwrapping one, Indy reveals it to be perfectly preserved until it disintegrates completely from being exposed to air. They find the crystal skull behind the body of the conquistador but notice that 1) someone was already in the chamber, 2) they came two separate times and 3) opened the conquistador’s wrappings but didn’t take anything.
Once out of the gravesite, the Soviets find them again. They are forced to go north, into the Amazon at the demands of the Soviets. There are at a campsite, we see Mac again, drinking and enjoying himself. Irina is there, too. We see Ox for the first time, who is like a crazy person scraggly hair, dirty, mumbling his words. Indy is strapped to a metal chair and Irina explains that the crystal skull made Ox crazy and she’s going to use it to torture Indy, and the rest of the world. She sets the skull on a table and Indy is strapped to a bunch of machines that show his brain waves going off the charts when he stares at the eyes of the oddly shaped skull.
In order to make sure Jones communicates properly with the Soviets, Irina shows him that she has Marion Ravenwood (Karen Allen) in her possession. Mutt runs over and hugs her, calling her ‘Mom’. Ta-da! Mary is Marion’s nickname apparently and Mutt is her son. While Indy looks over a map with Irina, Mutt kicks the table over and tries to help everyone escape. Indy and Marion get trapped in a sand pit, sending Ox to ‘get help’ and Mutt runs off trying to find something to pull Marion and Indy up with. While they are sinking, Marion reveals that Mutt’s name is Henry to which Indy replies, “That’s a nice name,” Marion continues and tells him that MUTT IS HIS SON. Before they can discuss, Mutt returns and first pulls Marion from the sand. He then tosses the ‘rope’ at Indy and it is really a long rat snake. (Throwback to the old ‘I hate snakes’ bit). They get pulled free but then Ox returns with his ‘help’ the Soviets.
In the back of a truck, Mutt, Marion, Indy and a Soviet guard are there. Marion and Indy are arguing, with Mutt interjecting sporadically. The guard gets tired of this and goes to tie Marion’s mouth. Indy kicks him, knocks him out and everyone gets free. Cue the biggest action sequence of the movie car chases through the jungle, Mutt swinging from vines, lots of guns being shots, Indy being Indy, Irina and Mutt having a sword duel while each standing on separate moving vehicles, both cars crashing into a giant, Amazonian ant pile (and these AREN’T your typical ants vicious and bloody-thirsty!). If memory serves, the ants carry Indy’s hat into their pile. Either way at some point he loses it.
Marion’s car, if you haven’t noticed, is shaped like a boat. So when everyone is once again back together and safe from the Soviets, she drives directly off a cliff much to everyone’s fear. She is confident in her choice and as the Soviets attempt to rappel down the cliff on ropes, she drives the car-boat onto a tree that just happens to be growing on the side of the cliff and slips gently into the water. The car slides down three very steep waterfalls, and after the third, everyone is knocked out of the car right where they need to be.
Looking up, Mutt notices a skull-shaped cave entrance. Everyone marches into the cave, and Ox seems to know exactly where to go. This is where you learn that ALIENS might be responsible for this whole crystal skull/golden city business. The group is chased by the fighting natives (by the 100s) but Ox uses the skull to keep them away they are afraid of it. They climb up the second pyramid and Ox generally leads the way. They open this giant cave-thing and must run quickly down the steps to the bottom before the steps disappear and get sucked back into the walls. They end up in knee-deep water. There is a moment where Marion and Indy almost kiss but Mutt interrupts it, obviously upset by the idea of his parents kissing.
As they continue through several chambers filled with wondrous artifacts, it is revealed that Mac has been dropping tracking devices everywhere leading the Soviets to them.
The group enters the chamber of the Crystal Skulls, which is a circular room with 13 thrones in it. In the thrones are the crystal alien bodies one of which is missing a head. As Ox goes to replace it, in come the Soviets. There is a struggle and Irina prevails. She puts the head on the skull and thinks that some great psychic power will come to her. The chamber and the enter structure begin to fall apart as the circular room begins to spin. Indy and crew escape but Mac is sucked into the vortex that the spinning is creating.
Irina is being ‘filled with knowledge’ as beams of light go through her head but it becomes too much and she combusts into vapor. Indy and crew get to safety at the top of a mountain-pyramid place and watch as a UFO disappears into the unknown. The temple and chambers all crumble into rubble and water comes gushing in turning the once flat valley into a lake. Ox is returned to his normal state and says that the UFO didn’t go into space but “into the space between space”.
Cut to Dean Stanforth running through the college halls stopping only to tell a man painting the words “PROFESSOR HENRY JONES, JR. ASSISTANT DEAN” to make them larger. He goes into his office and grabs his Bible. You know what that means cut to Marion and Indy standing in a church with Mutt as Indy’s best man. There is a small crowd the dean, his wife, and Ox included. They all cheer as Indy and Marion FINALLY kiss! Mutt is standing by a pew and the wind blows Indy’s hat into the church. Mutt bends down and picks it up, as though he is going to put it on, but Indy comes walking down the aisle with his new bride and snatches is, putting it on and walking out.
Cue the theme song and everyone walking out of the church. Mutt walks out last, swinging his black leather jacket over his shoulder.
Indy is in a race against the Soviets to return the Crystal Skull to its rightful place.
Marion (Karen Allen) returns, revealing that Mutt (Shia LaBeouf) is Indy's son.
Mac (Ray Winstone) is a double-agent, working for the Soviets.
Indy, Marion, Mutt, and Oxley (John Hurt) get out of danger.
The crystal skull is really the head of an alien, which came to Earth thousands of years ago and once the skull is returned the Kingdom is destroyed and the aliens leave in a UFO.
Marion and Indy get married in the end.