Shock's Movie reviews - "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull"
Well, moviegoers, time for another review. This time I saw one of the movies I've been waiting all spring to see: "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull". Let's just say that, unlike seeing the recent release "Speed Racer", I was NOT the only one in the theater. If you're looking for a fun two hours, with some laughs, excitement and thrills with a familiar face, this is the movie for you.
I had heard mixed reviews on this one, so I wasn't 100% sure what to expect when I saw the movie. I was pleasantly surprised. While Harrison Ford, and hence Indy, is 19 years older since we last saw him in 1989's "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade", he is basically the same guy, with a few more lines on his face. Time has weathered him nicely, but he is still the same driven, colorful person, with all the same flaws.
The movie takes place in the late 1950's, and the Nazis from the earlier movies are all since gone. This time, his foes turn out to be the Russians (in keeping with the movie's timeline), and the beginning of the movie takes place in the same warehouse in Utah (or is it New Mexico? I can't remember...) where the end of the first movie, 1981's "Raiders of the Lost Ark", took place. The Russians are searching for a certain crate in the warehouse, but not the one you might be thinking about. With some quick thinking, Indy escapes from the Russians, with the help from a certain rocket-powered vehicle. That is the first of the movie's many daring and inventive stunts.
After escaping from the Russians, he stumbles across a new character, played by Shia LeBouf, named Mutt Williams, who just happens to have been a former student of, and friend of, one of Indy's old pals named Professor Oxley, whom they call Ox. Mutt is a typical 50's greaser, with the comb in the back pocket that he's always using, the leather jacket and Harley-Davidson motorcycle. He even has a hat that, when he wears it, it makes him the spitting image of Marlon Brando in "The Wild One".
Also back from the first Indy movie is the character Marion Ravenwood, played by Karen Allen. As a matter of fact, there is a twist in this movie (which I will not reveal here), that ties this latest episode and "Raiders" together very nicely.
One of the nice things about this movie is the way that director Steven Spielberg and producer George Lucas show their affection for the era in which the movie takes place. There are many references throughout the movie to things from the 1950's, from some of the music to subtle props, from government alien conspiracies to atomic testing. As a matter of fact, there is a scene in the movie early on, that comes off as a little far-fetched, that is right out of the era.
Overall, I had a great time watching this movie. It brought me back to the same thrilling, swash-buckling, devil-may-care attitude that the other movies in the series had. It was nice to see Indy "brought out of mothballs", so to speak. Harrison Ford looked like he had a great time filming this movie, and we see it in the way he brings the same qualities, and foibles, to the Indiana Jones character that he had in the first three films. Also, look for some passing references to the earlier movies, especially a couple of scenes, including regarding Indy's and Mutt Williams' character's name, and one of Indy's well-known fears. That second one was probably one of the funniest scenes in the movie.
Overall, this was a great addition to the Indiana Jones cinema legend, and despite some improbable stunts 1/2 way through the movie, I had a great time at the theater. I highly recommend seeing it.
Rating (out of four):
PPO Ambassador, Defender of the Purple Faith and Guardian of the Gates of Valhalla