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Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull (12A)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner22/05/2008

Three out of Five stars
Running time: 124 mins

Entertaining but patchy sequel that doesn't quite destroy memories of the first three films but isn't as good as you might have hoped either, though it does have a flash of the old magic in places.

What's it all about?
Set in 1957, the film opens with a grizzled Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford) being forced to locate a mysterious crate inside a hangar in Area 51 for Evil Psychic Communist Irina Spalko (Cate Blanchett). After escaping the Commies (and dodging a nuclear blast by, er, hiding in a fridge), Indy meets young Mutt Williams (Shia LaBeouf) who tells him that his mother has disappeared and has sent him a letter asking Indy for help.

Following a trail of clues, Indy and Mutt travel to the South American jungle in search of Professor Oxley (John Hurt) and Mutt's mother, who turns out to be Marion Ravenwood (Karen Allen) from Raiders. Decoding Oxley's ramblings, Indy realises that he has to return a mysterious Crystal Skull to the lost golden city of Akator, while keeping one step ahead of the Commies.

The Good
On the plus side, there are some terrific set-pieces (most notably an extended fight scene slash car chase through the jungle) and Ford is back on top form, even if he does look a bit creaky at times. Shia LaBeouf is obviously being groomed to take over the franchise and on the strength of his performance here, that wouldn't be a bad thing. It's also great to see Karen Allen back as Marion, although it feels as if they only bothered writing her character for about ten minutes before turning her into a grinning, simpering idiot for the rest of the film.

The Bad
There are definite flashes of the old magic here (the requisite snake scene, for example) but the film is decidedly patchy in places and the script is frequently lazy. It also suffers from finale fatigue, in that the collapsing-ancient-ruins routine has been done to death recently in the likes of the National Treasure movies and there's no sense of danger or excitement there.

Worth seeing?
Thankfully, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull is no Phantom Menace-style betrayal of your childhood memories, although it's fair to say that it won't please everyone and that if you don't buy into the Crystal Skull's all-too-obvious origins then you're in for a very rough ride indeed.

Film Trailer

Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull (12A)
Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull has been reviewed by 2 users
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Content updated: 21/10/2017 07:42

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