Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
Viewed – 11 June 2008 Cinema
How long has this taken to arrive? I was just a young teenager when the supposedly ‘Last Crusade’ reached the cinema. Perhaps it was with the success of the recent Star Wars prequels that made George Lucas & Steven Spielberg choose to resurrect a franchise that for some, seemed dead in the water. I must say though first off – how pleased I am that they did!
Of course I had my doubts – Harrison Ford is no longer the Hollywood heart throb he once was (kind of), and he’s no spring chicken either, but even though at first I though Indi looked in need of a zimmer-frame, I should not have worried as swept up I was in the quest to return a sacred crystal skull back to its rightful place and keep it out of the hands of ruthless KGB agents (headed by a very camp Cate Blanchett). Along for the ride is the wise choice of latest hot-property Shia LaBeouf, who impressed me both in the Transformers movie and Disturbia – and thankfully is not playing the same nerdy idiot he was almost becoming typecast as, but has a quality of James Dean here, even if his own comedy talent overshadows such possibilities.
Action-wise we are treated to bike chases, explosions, shoot outs and even a nuclear bomb in one of the films best gags. Yet for me the overly comical script seemed layed on a little too thick, causing the film to fall into the territory of farce, and whether or not it was intentional, some scenes look set on a made up stage than say the big budget locations of past films (even the opening and closing credits look like they’re off a cheap Saturday afternoon adventure flick). But saying all that, there is enough excitement, great lines and likable characters to keep things running along, and yes – it at times gets very silly indeed…but hey, what were you expecting? Doing a new Indiana Jones was always a dodgy idea – so perhaps the comic-book approach Lucas & Spielberg have taken has proved to be the best thing in the end.
Verdict: 3 /5