Dubby’s dvsicussion: Indy Jones rides again
There are still some people who remember the old adventure stories by Rider Haggard, John Buchan, Leslie Charteris and the like. In a sense Indiana Jones is a direct descendent of those extraordinary adventurers who thrilled before television. In this fourth instalment, Indiana Jones does his thing in Peru just before busting up Russkies at the height of the Cold War and the background music belongs to the 50’s showing that Jones has aged by 19 years since his last escapade.
Says Ellen A Kim, “Harrison Ford makes a welcome return as archaeologist/relic hunter Indiana Jones in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, an action-packed fourth instalment that’s, great nostalgia for fans of the series. Producer George Lucas and screenwriter David Koepp set the film during the cold war, as the Soviets — as Indy’s villains of choice and led by a sword-wielding Cate Blanchett with black bob and sunglasses — are in pursuit of a crystal skull, which has mystical powers related to a city of gold. After escaping from them in a spectacular opening action sequence, Indy is coerced to head to Peru at the behest of a young greaser (Shia LaBeouf) whose friend — and Indy’s colleague — Professor Oxley (John Hurt) has been captured for his knowledge of the skull’s whereabouts. Whatever secrets the skull holds, there’s plenty of comedy, delightful stunts — ants play a deadly role here — and the return of Raiders love interest Karen Allen as Marion Ravenwood, once shrill but now softened, giving her ex-love bemused glances and eye-rolls as he huffs his way to save the day. Which brings us to Ford: bullwhip still in hand, he’s a little creakier, a lot greyer,
but still twice the action hero of anyone in film today. With all the anticipation and hype leading up to the film’s release, perhaps no reunion is sweeter than that of Ford with the role that fits him as snugly as that fedora hat.”
Adds Pete Hammond, “Smartly, Ford lets Indy age, so even though he’s probably Hollywood’s only grey-haired action hero this summer — and there are more lines in his face — he’s still got it. You believe he can still pull off all this derring-do which is pretty remarkable for an actor now eligible for Social Security checks. Best of all is the deadpan delivery of the arsenal of Indy quips screenwriter David Koepp has provided the actor. Just like River Phoenix in the last Indy film, Shia LaBeouf’s Mutt may have been created to bring in a younger audience, but LaBeouf and Ford have genuine chemistry. They play off each other in style, especially when Indy discovers Mutt is his son. A ‘tip of the hat’ between the pair at the end will spark speculation about just where this series could go next. The cast is rounded out by solid British actors, including: Ray Winstone, as a friend who may be double-dipping; Jim Broadbent as the president of the University; and John Hurt as Professor Oxley, a man holding a big secret.
Let’s face it, Steven Spielberg could probably direct this film in his sleep, but the lighter tone and the feeling makes this collaboration between Spielberg and his old friend, exec producer George Lucas, go down easy. The big finale is full of the trademarked CGI effects work we’ve come to expect from exec producer Lucas’ ILM and it’s state-of-the-art technologies. Clearly for fans, this long gestating sequel is well worth the wait - an old fashioned movie experience that sparkles like ‘crystal’.”