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Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull May 25, 2008

Posted by Sai in English, Movies, Reviews.
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
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Steven Spielberg, George Lucas and Harrison Ford team up once again to bring us another adventure in the life of Henry Jones Jr. This time he is old. The year is 1957. The KGB is involved. A crystal skull with mysterious powers is in the middle of things. The genre-defining formula is firmly in place. The action is thrilling. The humor matches expectations. This escapist adventure is an enjoyable ride that isn’t far off from its predecessors.

Harrison Ford gets a chance to have some fun again at his age and he takes it with both hands. Karen Allen has been the best female performer of the series by far and she still has the same spark. On the other hand, Cate Blanchett is terribly miscast and sticks out like a sore thumb. The surprise for me is Shia LaBeouf. I didn’t mind him in Disturbia and Transformers but here, he is quite impressive as Mutt Williams. John Williams’ score also plays its part in elevating the thrills.

After watching this film, there was one thought that kept coming back to me. There is one primary difference between the Indy films and others in the genre. That difference is Steven Spielberg. There are three things that define this series for me – the thrills, the humor and the pace. Spielberg and his team do a masterful job of executing the thrills while maintaining the rapid pace and keeping the audience entertained. Whether you like the movie or not, you have to praise these guys because it is quite difficult to achieve this (and not many films can match this quality).

In my mind, the plot has never been a strong point in the series and it still isn’t. The supernatural/paranormal/spiritual/occult aspects of the plot have defined the series, so don’t expect it to get realistic now. When I first saw Raiders of the Lost Ark, I was extremely unhappy with the climax. And then there was human sacrifice, pulling the heart out of a human being and eating monkey brains in Temple of Doom. Some aspects of these films can bring down your final evaluation of them but they are still very entertaining and this one is also like that. Without spoiling it for you, I will say that one of the early rumors about the plot is true.

If you’ve enjoyed the first three films, you should like this as well (unless you’ve had enough of the formula and don’t care to see it repeated). Expect to have fun and you should be thoroughly satisfied. Burden this film with high expectations or comparisons and the experience will not be as good.

P.S. I wouldn’t mind another film in the series as long as Spielberg helms it.

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Comments»

1. Shujath - May 25, 2008

Do I need to be watch the previous films beforehand or is this a standalone plot which doesn’t require any knowledge of the prequels?
It’s releasing here next week so just wanted to be sure.

2. Sai - May 25, 2008

This film can be watched without knowledge of the previous ones but some of the in-jokes will be missed.

The basic plot is standalone but there are references to the previous films as part of the humor. Marion Ravenwood, Indy’s love interest in Raiders of the Lost Ark, makes a comeback and Henry Jones (played by Sean Connery in The Last Crusade) is invoked a few times.

3. Shujath - May 31, 2008

I absolutely loved this one…..Pure vintage Spielberg!!!!! I am guessing he agreed to helm this one only because he gets to handle what has been one of his favorite themes over the years. If not for anything, the two chase sequences and the set pieces are worth the price of your ticket.

I am definitely ready for more in this series – Shia would make a good Indy too

4. Clangorous - June 21, 2008

Somehow i missed the point. Probably lost in translation 🙂 Anyway … nice blog to visit.

cheers, Clangorous!


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