Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
Just like any “Bond” film, the Indiana Jones franchise has made a name for its intensely riveting opening sequences. From the first sight of Harrison Ford donning his famous hat. (Which incidentally comes in the form of a silhouette) this opening action sequence delivers high powered action, stunts and one liners like that of all three of its predecessors. To be honest we will all go into this new Indiana Jones film wondering if a man in his 60’s can still command the screen in the highly fought over action movie genre and is this new young character “Mud” (Shia Le Beouff) Jones Jnr Jnr? But I’ll get to my answers a little later on… Firstly the story here revolves around Indiana verses the KGB. The scene is now well and truly post world war 2, the cold war has begun and the internal communist witch hunt has began with the furtherance of the FBI within the United States. Russians doing naughty stuff on American soil and Dr Jones caught up in the middle of it all. Where else would Indy be? Enter Cate Blanchett as the Evil Ukrainian Communist villain searching for a new powerful psychic weapon. Now if something like this were to exist, where would it reside? Of course surely it would be hidden in the Lost City, El Dorado. Now, you don’t just catch a bus to the lost city, one must solve riddles and escape villains and side step a whole bunch of booby traps. When some of the baddies get removed from the story it is done in somewhat a graphic manner that could be disturbing to younger viewers, however I can still remember the horror I felt when I saw the evil Witch doctor put his hand into a guys chest and remove his still beating heart in “Temple of Doom”, so I guess these kind of scenes are inevitable in the Indiana Jones franchise.
Over all this is a very enjoyable journey across the American Continent. The action and comedic aspects of Kingdom of the Crystal Skull create a thoroughly great thrill ride! However without giving anything away the plot suffers from a bad case of predictability and some real obvious cop outs that reek of taking the easy way out. Around two thirds of the way through film it starts to seem as though the writer’s strike had kicked in and they had to get the intern who makes the coffee to finish it off and so he kind of ties up the loose ends with the kind of simple and predictable plots that have normally been kept out of a film connected with Steven Spielberg and George Lucas. On the plus side there are great performances by all of the leads, Harrison Ford, Shia Le Beouff, Cate Blanchett and the welcome return of Kate Allen as Indy’s love interest Marion Ravenwood from Raiders of the Lost Ark.
So the general outcome in my view is… Harrison Ford delivers, The action quota is well and truly met and surpassed, the laugh meter is sent into overdrive but the storyline looses it’s immediate flavour and leaves you with a slight bitter aftertaste.
Reviewed by: Jon E Clist.
Rating: M – Contains Medium Level Violence.
Duration: 123 mins.
Genre: Action, Adventure.
Director: Steven Spielberg.
Actors: Harrison Ford, Shia LaBeouf, Cate Blanchett, Ray Winstone, Jim Broadbent, Karen Allen, John Hurt.
Release Date: Out now.