Friday, November 14, 2008

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008)

Mutt Williams (Shia LeBeouf): You’re - a teacher?
Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford): Part-time.

Marion Ravenwood (Karen Allen): I'm sure I wasn't the only one to go on with my life. There must have been plenty of women for you over the years.
Indiana Jones: There were a few. But they all had the same problem.
Marion Ravenwood: Yeah, what's that?
Indiana Jones: They weren't you, honey.

At a glance: Despite his age, Harrison Ford stills seems naturally suited to playing Indiana Jones in this invigorating remake/homage that benefits from an ambitious, clever script and Steven Spielberg’s loving direction

Harrison Ford returns after a 19 year hiatus as an older, but still spritely Indiana Jones. This time, he is involved in a Russian plot to steal a crystal skull that may have special powers. The story takes place in 1957’s climate of communist hysteria that affects Jones too; despite his record as a hero, he is suspected of being a sympathizer. His adventure begins in a military warehouse that made an appearance in the first film (and there is a quick homage to that) and ends with Mayan ruins and spinning saucers. In between, Indy fights, wisecracks, and jumps from moving vehicles just like the old days. Of course, Indy needs an obligatory wise-cracking slacker teen-age sidekick (Shia LeBeouf) to appeal to the younger movie-going demographic. Other talented supporting cast members Cate Blanchett, Karen Allen, Ray Winstone, and John Hurt help to lift this beyond the typical action film, as does the obvious huge budget. But it’s Ford, seeming so much at home in this role, who makes it worthwhile. Quite frankly, it is by far the best work that Ford has done in a long time (his latter-day efforts and films have often been disappointing). Ford got himself into excellent physical shape so that he could do many of his own stunts.

Steven Spielberg again demonstrates his talent as an action director; the long action sequences (except for the last one, which, for some reason, is too ambitious to work) are as good or better than the best of the other Indy films. Perhaps because the action sequences are so good, the talky scenes in between often seem a little boring, especially some of the early ones. Rating: 3 of 4

"Fun, entertaining, genuinely amusing, and made with an abundance of what appears to be honest-to-god warmth, Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull is a worthy addition to one of the great movie franchises."
- Erin Free (FILMINK [Australia])

"In spite of an over reliance on CG, and one too many obvious moments of George Lucas-involved tomfoolery, this is a great piece of studio-produced escapist entertainment."
- Garth Franklin (Dark Horizons)

"At its best, sublime. Overall, the great moments make up for the mediocre."
- Michael Adams (Empire Magazine Australasia)

"While we can never go home again completely, 'Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull' reminds us of why we fell in love with Indiana Jones in the first place."
- Lori Hoffman (Atlantic City Weekly)

1 comment:

  1. Speaking of Karen Allen, I wrote an unsolicited script for a Starman sequel back in 1998. It was my first script and I quit college to finish it. It’s been gathering dust ever since. I sent it to Jeff Bridges and John carpenter, although I would prefer if Carpenter didn’t direct a sequel. I wrote some good f/x sequences and some interesting characters. I’m pretty sure I’ll never be involved, but I’d to see the f/x scene from the beach being incorporated, (Jeff’s manager Neil will know the one, totally plagiarised from another movie, but it would look great on film today). If anyone has any questions, email me at and I’ll answer them. (Although I won’t give away any plot points. And yes there is a son and indeed, I actually have the perfect casting suggestion!!


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.