Monday, May 26, 2008

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

"Not as easy as it used to be"

Written by: George Lucas, David Koepp

Directed by: Steven Spielberg

Starring: Harrison Ford, Cate Blanchett, Shia LeBeof

My rating: 4/10

As far as Steven Spielberg is concerned, if he's not making pretentious terrorist buddy movies (Munich) Hollywood is just one big piggy bank. I've never really understood people who believe he is some kind of renegade cinematic revolutionary. However competant and emotive a filmmaker he may be, I never saw Spielberg as anything other than a blockbuster tycoon, a better one than Michael Bay, but with the same dollar signs in his eyes. That's why it came as no surprise to me that he was re-hashing Indiana Jones. I'm not trying to be hard on Mr. Spielberg, but it's hard to deal with his constant accolades when he's producing nonsense like this.

The pointless fourth installment of the Indiana Jones series brings Indy to Peru in an attempt to return a Crystal Skull to its rightful resting place. He finds a sidekick in cocky young "greaser" Mutt (Shia LeBoef, when are they gonna stop with trying to make him the next big thing, seriously??) who shows very Indy-like resourcefulness leading to the most obvious plot twist ever in the history of cinema.

There are parts of the movie where the action is interesting and some where its just plain silly (surviving a nuclear blast in a FRIDGE anyone? No problems with fallout? No broken limbs after said fridge been blasted across the desert??). And the overall Roswell/Peru/Alien plot is just too much, even for Indy.

Despite people's negative response to Cate Blanchett's villain, I quite liked her. I think she encapsulated everything about a typical Indy villian. She is a fine actress and this shone through in her less than meaty role. The other small charcters, notably Mutt and Mac (Ray Winstone) were completely one-dimensional and despairingly functional. John Hurt looked like he was having trmendous fun. Silly, I can handle. Boring, I won't tolerate.

Maybe bring the kids to see this. There's enough carry-on with monkeys and whatnot to keep them entertained and Indiana himsef manages to whip up a slight spark of his borderline magical self, but its really a half-arsed effort and I would recommend saving your money for more interesting summer blockbusters (X-Files anyone?).

- Charlene Lydon 26/5/08

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