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Indiana Jones and The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull Review

It has been a whole nineteen years since the world was last treated to the hero in the hat and the publicity for his big screen return has been almost unavoidable. I found myself, along with millions of other fans, queuing outside my local cinema to get a taste of the new Indy and I must stress that, like millions of other fans, I was left decidedly indifferent by the Crystal Skull. Harrison Ford rolls back the years effortlessly, looking not more than a few years older than he did back in 1989 for The Last Crusade. He is joined by Hollywood boy wonder Shia LaBeouf, who is restricted by a script with minimal character development or flare. The first hour of the film is the crowning glory here, ignited by one moment of blinding brilliance that eventually fades into repetition and nostalgia. The fatal mistake of this movie is that the producers have assumed that the audience will buy into anything that Indiana Jones is thrown into without ever stopping to question it. The treasure they seek in this outing is something that pushes the boundaries of believability into the realms of lunacy and idiocy and one wonders how on earth it got past the first draft. The screenplay suffers from a lack of anything besides mechanistic and forced dialogue set amongst chase scene after chase scene, the return of Marion Ravenwood is both underwhelming and underdeveloped and Cate Blanchett is left to flounder as the two dimensional villain Irana Spalko. There are merits of course, Spielberg’s direction is again solid but lacking in it’s usual personality and the arguments between Indiana and Mutt are entertaining enough but one cannot help feeling that something is missing. There is no longer the spark of brilliance that shone through in the original trilogy, only in the performance of Harrison does the adrenalin look to be fully flowing.Despite having entertained me for two hours, this film serves as nothing more than a nostalgic, over-long ending to the first three that somehow has the esscence of contractual obligation to George Lucas, who seems intent to beat everything he has ever created into narrative redundancy. I won’t give away the ending because it has to be seen to be believed but I will say that nobody would ever have seen this plotline coming! Fans of the first three will be entertained but won’t be enthralled however the new generation of movie fans will probably love it.

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