Last night, I went to the opening of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. The theater was hardly packed, considering the hype behind this movie that has been building for the past year since they announced filming had commenced. The audience that was there however had conversations prior to the movie beginning that varied from Star Wars voiceover actors to the history of the real life crystal skulls. No doubt this audience is made up of a great deal of geeks… my people.
The film starts with an impromptu race between a car full of 50s teenagers and an American military caravan traveling through the countryside on a clear day. The scene is set clearly almost right away, as the caravan turns from the main road to a military base that’s closed for nuclear weapons testing. Twenty years have passed since the last Indi film and the world has moved on from the shadow of the Nazi regime to the uncertainty of the cold war with the Soviet Union.
Indiana Jones has spent the last twenty years doing a little more than archeology, and doesn’t appear to have lost his trademark whip-cracking skills or his luck for surviving even the most impossible circumstances. Much like the rehashed Die Hard series, the situations are more impossible and the actor appears even more capable of taking on whatever is being thrown at them than ever before. Age certainly has its virtues in the world of the big screen.
The film overall is quite interesting and immersive in the storyline, which is the typical Indiana Jones plotline. Indiana must help the enemy or die, friends betray him, the pretty woman is the villain, caves and temples have a tendency to implode on themselves, and despite insurmountable odds, the hero manages to solve the riddle while escaping death again and again. Harrison Ford hasn’t lost the character’s essence and stays true to the old spirit in his own flawlessly roguish manor.
Action and excitement kicks off the film, but dies down quickly after leaving you in an ongoing story that seems to dwell on through the middle of the film. The climax itself isn’t as exhillirating as the opening scenes, which left the audience in a quiet manor as the film closed. The plot takes so many odd and unimaginable twists that you are at least kept interested from start to finish. There’s also the trademark comedy that Indiana Jones movies are known for slipping in from time to time.
Overall, this movie is worth seeing if you are an Indiana Jones fan. It’s nearly indistinguishable from the other three and fits the series like a glove. As George Lucas has hinted to the media, a fifth installment may well be on its way and thankfully it appears that unlike his Star Wars series, the magic of Indiana Jones has not been lost over time.