Indiana Jones & The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull

There are some spoilers below, so if you like to go to your films fresh-faced, then skip the third paragraph.

After 19 years away from the big screen, the world’s most famous (part-time) professor of archaeology is back. 19 years is a long time away from the screen in an action film – when Indy last walked the big screen, I had yet to learn to read – but that hasn’t stopped others from trying. Sylvester Stallone has attempted it twice, to mixed receptions. With this in mind, the question on everyone lips is obvious: can a 65-year-old Harrison Ford still make Indiana Jones work? Or is the titular crystal skull a reference to Indy suffering from osteoporosis?

Well, in this film-lovers view, Indy’s still got it. Sure, Harrison Ford looks considerably older, but man – he’s still got it. Harrison Ford can still take a punch like no-one else in the business, and hold his own in a fight with actors 30 and 40 years his junior. The film also sees the welcome return of Karen Allen as Indy’s love interest Marrion from Raiders of the Lost Ark, and the introduction of the perennially likeable Shia LeBeouf as greaser Mutt. (No Nazis this time, obviously – instead, our Red friends from the east step up to the plate, in the form of Cate Blanchett’s Irina Spalko.)

Crystal Skull sees Indy and crew romp across Peru in chase of the titular McGuffin – a romp that includes one of the longest and most spectacularly entertaining chase scenes I can think of (Temple of Doom, eat your heart out) and an encounter with transdimensional aliens. Yes, you read that right. Transdimensional aliens. In Indiana Jones. Crazy, right? Well, yes, of course, but think about it – is it really more crazy than God coming down from Heaven and killing the Nazis?

For me, what matters more than anything is the fact that the spirit of the original films is maintained. The effects can be as good as you like (and they are spectacular), and the quest as awesome as you can imagine, but if the films lacked the tongue-in-cheek, rugged charm of the originals, then it wouldn’t matter. It just wouldn’t be Indiana Jones.

Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull is, in my opinion at least, very definitely Indiana Jones. A.

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