Friday, June 06, 2008

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

Rating : 6/10
Running Time : 124 Minutes
Release Date : 22nd May ‘08
Director : Steven Spielberg ; Writer : George Lucas, David Koepp ; Music : John Williams
Starring : Harrison Ford, Cate Blanchett, Shia LaBeouf, Jim Broadbent, Ray Winstone, Karen Allen

This is a fun movie, if, like Bond movies, you’re willing to suspend your disbelief at some of the stunts, some plot elements and the fact (like most Hindi movies of yore) that even though 100 bullets are fired from ten guns, not one is going to hit the leading man.

Indiana Jones is older, but has lost none of his enthusiasm or sense of humour. The plot (does it really matter ?) is just another excuse for him to indulge in his twin favourite pastimes of going to ancient ruins (which are now only marginally older than him…just kidding…) and bashing the baddies. The ruins in this case are located in Peru, around the Nazca Lineas / Cuzco, and it was very nostalgic to see the Soviets making a comeback as the baddies – I had been missing them and the Koreans, Iraqi’s, Afghani’s etc somehow don’t evoke the same emotion as the blank-faced beefy blond guys they usually manage to dig up to masquerade as the cold Commies of yore. Adding extra spice to the proceedings are two subplots, one involving a James Dean / ‘Easy Rider’ imitator (Shia LaBeouf) and the other involving the McCarthy era communist witch-hunt which characterized the USA of the fifties (and then we get surprised when the USA does a similar witch-hunt, this time spurred by the spurious 'war on terror' and imprisons people in inhuman conditions without trial in Guantanamo Bay ? What was that about ‘history repeats itself’ ?).

There are moments where you blink and shake your head incredulously at what you’re asked to believe (how Indiana Jones manages to match a giant Soviet army specimen blow for blow in a fistfight, for instance ? A real fight would have not lasted more than 30 seconds). However, in most cases, you go along with the flow, admire the scenery, the special effects, the beautiful booby traps they conjure up and laugh at the steady stream of one liners…It was also refreshing to see them desist from showing any eye candy…in most Hollywood and all Bollywood movies they would have succumbed to temptation and shown a nubile young twenty something falling in love with the older man. Maybe I’ll feel differently when I’m older but right now it still seems too desperate and unreal and I'm glad they didnt.

If all else fails, you can still enjoy watching the venerable Mr Jones crack the whip and make all those around him dance to his tune. Enjoyable from the first to the last moment but not one that’s going to leave a lasting impact or change your world.


Rohit Deep said...

Hmm.. Dabbling into politics and movie review at the same time :).

The movie is a waste of money completely. This is the adult (as in age) version of ET go home. Maybe Spielberg wanted another shot at building E.T.

I want my money back but then this is to be expected of recent Spielberg's movies

geniusOid said...

Was grossly disappointed on catching this 4th installment....saw it recently after avoiding it for months, thanks to reviews & an episode of Southpark on the movie :)

Agreed that the effects are much better (and the only thing I enjoyed was the inclusion of the vintage Paramount logo) but then its a total letdown for a Speilberg-Lucas film!

Story aint even half as good...Le Beouf's character is brash & half developed, the chemistry is just not there...

Just goes to prove tht good effects cant help sell a bad product.

P.S: Cate Blanchett was wasted in the movie!