THT Talkies: Interesting journey, unbelievable ending
Indiana Jones and the Valley of Crystal Skull
Director: Steven Spielberg
Cast: Harrison Ford, Cate Blanchett, Karen Allen, Shia LaBeouf and John Hurt
Showing at Jai Nepal
Movie goers today might not even recognise the world’s coolest and dashing (still very hot at 65) whip-wielding archaeologist as the last instalment of Indiana Jones came 19 years ago. But still the old school of kick-a** adventure and story telling has kept the excitement and style of watching Indi on his new adventure alive. What else can you ask for — you have Spielberg, Ford, and Lucas together taking you on a journey full of stunts, lots of witty one liners and Ford’s ever lasting charisma.
The movie is set in 1957 during the cold war when Soviet agents are behind Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford) to help them find their quest. Irina Spalko (Cate Blanchett) is in search of a fabled crystal skull of Akator, which must be returned to the legendary El Dorado or City of Gold. As the chase begins Indi comes across Mutt Williams (Shia LaBeouf), a bratty young James Dean-style rebel who is obsessed with his hair and bike. Through Mutt he comes to know that his colleague Professor ‘Ox’ Oxley (John Hurt) and Mutt’s mum Marion Ravenwood (Karen Allen) have been kidnapped. After a long and confusing (at times boring) explanations of myths, legends and hieroglyphics and very interesting mission to Peru, they reach their destination. They not only come to know the secret about the skull and fountain of all knowledge but also some truths about themselves.
There is no doubt that Spielberg has done justice to the story with his fabulous story telling and presentation. The stunts are good and the City of Gold looks great. Choice of locations is done in a very practical way making it look believable. Though National Treasure franchise carries similar storyline, action sequences make this instalment of Indiana Jones even more exciting. However, at times it is stupid to see Jones surviving the many action sequences (topping all was the atomic bomb test scene). Is he plain lucky or slowly turning into a super-hero — one might get confused. But as long as Bollywood heroes are ducking numerous bullets and jumping from god knows how tall buildings, we are immune to such acts.
Among all the stunts, the best is the one where he gets into a car from the bike and gets out from next window back on the bike. It is hilarious and interesting to know that Ford is actually doing it all by himself.
Ford carries the role with panache and shines in each and every shot. Shia does his job but still has miles to go to be noticed next to Hollywood icons. Other actors like John Hurt and Karen Allen do not have much to do but are a good supporting cast. Most disappointing of all is Blanchett. After doing many appreciated roles, one wonders why she agreed to play a character which does not have any scope of showcasing her talent.
All in all, the movie is a great way to pass time for those who like adventure. The ending might be tactless and repetitive (in mostly Spielberg movies) but the journey is exciting and interesting.
It will be better if you take your dad along to enjoy the era in which he liked Indiana Jones and his works.