Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

  • 2008-05-28
  • By Monika Hanley

Indiana Jones and the sidekick: more adventures for a grizzled Harrison Ford.

Director: Steven Spielberg  

Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford) is back in a big way with more action, less talking and more over-the-top adventures.

If you have not seen the first three installments, it really does not matter, what little plot the story does have explains everything. Not to say it's a bad movie, it's just exactly what you'd expect from an Indiana Jones movie. Director Steven Spielberg brings out the big guns, so to speak, to tie up loose ends, vanquish the bad guys and make sure the guy gets the girl, and then some.
Nineteen years have passed since Indy's last adventure and the year is 1957. The bad people this time are the Soviets out to gain the ultimate psychological warfare weapon: the crystal skull. With Cate Blanchett and her terrible Russian accent leading the way, the troops find themselves in the jungles of Peru sword fighting their way to the ultimate treasure: El Dorado.

The film opens on the Nevada desert with a U.S. military convoy headed to a secret base. The convoy turns out to be part of the Soviet military, which the audience in the theatre seemed to find hysterical. Throughout the movie, the "Red Scare" era is portrayed rather well, complete with "better dead than red" protests on the college campus.  

After getting fired for allegedly collaborating with communists, Professor Jones sets off in search of this mystical crystal skull, supposedly from an ancient alien race of people who gave the Mayans unimaginable technology.
We see some familiar faces, Karen Allen returns to play Indiana Jones's feisty love interest, and Shia LaBeouf plays his complicated Fonzie-like sidekick complete with a nervous hair-combing habit. Sean Connery, as so many fans had hoped, does not make an actual appearance in the movie as Indiana's father, save for a framed picture on his desk, implying that his father has passed on.

If you are wondering how Harrison Ford played the whip-toting, thrill-seeking, archeology professor, the answer is extremely well. Of course, there were the mandatory quips about his age, but it was easy to forget about that from the moment he put on his hat and started punching people with the same finesse he had nearly twenty years ago. And yes, he is still afraid of snakes.
The movie itself is like a roller coaster taking the eager audience member on a journey from a nuclear attack (which Doctor Jones magically survives by climbing into a refrigerator), to stampedes of fire ants, and tender moments while tied up in a truck. One thing is for certain, this movie has no boring moments.
The movie, however, is not all action. I was surprised to find myself tearing up at some of the more emotional moments, of which there are quite a few delicately sprinkled throughout the film.

The film touches on some deeper themes, as the other films have done in the past, delving into epistemology and the concept of a hive-mind along with an interesting interpretation of the El Dorado myth.
For those in it more for the actions sequences, there is a plethora of them, but they amount to more than just the standard throwing of punches. Spielberg went all out on the fight scenes and even included a scene where Shia LaBeouf straddles two jeeps while sword fighting.

If you have waited a long time to see this movie, as I have, it most defiantly does not disappoint 's although it would have been nice to see some of the other characters reprise their roles.
Nevertheless, it is worth way more than the cost of admission and the two hours and 15 minutes seem to zip by in frenzy, leaving the viewer oddly inspired to become an archeologist. 

It all ends just the way you would have wanted it, but I will not give away the ending, you will have to go see for yourself.

Now showing in Estonia , Latvia and Lithuania 

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