HOME |  JOIN |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Mangler, The
Shiraz
Mercy, The
Kickboxer: Retaliation
Molly Maguires, The
Party, The
Dante's Peak
Housemaid, The
Vendetta
Brimstone
Boys in the Trees
Once Were Warriors
Red Planet Mars
Blade Runner 2049
Devil's Express
Belko Experiment, The
Flashback
War of the Arrows
One-Trick Pony
Cloverfield Paradox, The
Beach Rats
In Between
Flesh Feast
Gerald's Game
Crocodile Dundee II
Baaghi
Bat People, The
Kingsman: The Golden Circle
Tower
Message from the King
   
 
Newest Articles
They're All Messed Up: Night of the Living Dead vs Land of the Dead
The House, Black Magic and an Oily Maniac: 3 from 70s Weird Asia
80s Meet Cute: Something Wild vs Into the Night
Interview with The Unseen Director Gary Sinyor
Wrong Forgotten: Is Troll 2 Still a Thing?
Apocalypse 80s UK: Threads and When the Wind Blows
Movie Flop to Triumphant TV Revival: Twin Peaks and The League of Gentlemen
Driving Force: The Golden Age of American Car Chases
Madness in his Method: Jim Carrey and Andy Kaufman
Music, Love and Flowers: Monterey Pop on Blu-ray
   
 
  Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull Whipping BoyBuy this film here.
Year: 2008
Director: Steven Spielberg
Stars: Harrison Ford, Cate Blanchett, Ray Winstone, Karen Allen, Shia LaBeouf, John Hurt, Jim Broadbent, Igor Jijikine, Andrew Divoff, Alan Dale
Genre: Action, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Adventure
Rating:  4 (from 5 votes)
Review: Area 51, 1957. Indiana Jones and sidekick Mac are dragged from the boot of a military vehicle. Kidnapped by Soviet forces Dr Jones is coerced into helping them recover a mysterious mummified object he encountered a decade previously. After a daring escape he finds himself teamed up with rebellious youth Mutt and reunited with an old flame as he embarks on a quest to find the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

Rocky Balboa, John McClane, Rambo, classic 80s celluloid icons who've recently returned to the big screen. Now after 19 years the oftmooted fourth entry in the Indiana Jones series arrives, but was it worth the wait? Things begin promisingly with both characters and audience thrown into the adventure and the reintroduction of everyone's favourite archaeologist is well handled. Pensioner Harrison Ford gives a reassuringly appealing performance throwing himself into the role with gusto quickly dispelling any fears his advancing age may have aroused. It's just a shame that he is so ill served by a script that swings between the formulaic and the ridiculous.

Despite Steven Spielberg being in the directors chair, a filmmaker who has provided some of the purest examples of cinematic entertainment, this belated adventure is surprisingly flat with a mechanical narrative that is bereft of any real thrills 'n' spills - apart from an early motorbike chase with Indy moving from bike to automobile and back again before the pursuit continues through the corridors of his college campus. Along for the ride is Shia LaBeouf, complete with rather laughable Brandoesque 50s garb, whose obvious relationship to Indy is probably the film's worst kept secret. Alas the attempt to replicate the father and son dynamic from Last Crusade isn't successfully achieved.

LaBeouf is surrounded by established actors, with Ray Winstone and Jim Broadbent providing acceptable support. John Hurt is on hand to babble incoherently as Professor Oxley, until such time as the script decides he should deliver any required exposition, and just what does that exposition concern? Previous adventures have centred on quests for religious objects, whether it be the Holy Grail or the Sankara Stones they have been satisfyingly epic quests. But George Lucas stretches things here with his story of the search for the titular crystal skull encompassing, as opening scenes in Area 51 would suggest, aliens. Yep, George has decided to thrust Dr Jones into an imitation of cheesy old 50s B movies, along with nutty Erich von Däniken influenced plot developments.

Oh well, at least you can count on some entertaining action? It would appear not as for the most part audiences are force fed a slew of increasingly uninvolving CG assisted set pieces, confirming fan's fears that Lucas would not be able to resist dipping into his digital box of tricks. Events reach their nadir with Mutt sword fighting whilst straddling moving vehicles before swinging through the trees like Tarzan accompanied by a troupe of friendly simians. Not even John Williams' nostalgic score can rescue such shambolic visuals. Although when Karen Allen makes a belated appearance some of the old spark returns, but only serves as a painful reminder of how much this fourth instalment fails to live up to previous adventures. There isn't even a decent adversary for our hero, Soviet villainness Irina Spalko (Cate Blanchett) failing to provide any sense of threat. By the time she meets her inevitable demise, as Dr Jones and co attempt to return the Crystal Skull to its ancient resting place for some reason or other, audiences will probably be past caring. Matters not helped by the rather trite "knowledge is treasure" postscript. Whatever happened to fortune and glory?

After two decades its surprising that something so uninspired and lazy has been delivered to fans. Is this really the best that 20 years of scriptwriting could come up with? A muddled amalgam of frankly stupid ideas and increasingly CG heavy action sequences. If this is indeed the final outing for Indy - although the epilogue indicates otherwise as does George Lucas' propensity for milking his franchises for all their worth - it's a rather ignominious end to the career of one of cinemas most iconic and beloved action heroes.
Reviewer: Jason Cook

 

This review has been viewed 4958 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Steven Spielberg  (1946 - )

Currently the most famous film director in the world, Spielberg got his start in TV, and directing Duel got him noticed. After The Sugarland Express, he memorably adapted Peter Benchley's novel Jaws and the blockbusters kept coming: Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Raiders of the Lost Ark and the Indiana Jones sequels, E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, Jurassic Park, Minority Report, Catch Me If You Can, 2005's mega-budget remake of War of the Worlds, his Tintin adaptation and World War One drama War Horse.

His best films combine thrills with a childlike sense of wonder, but when he turns this to serious films like The Color Purple, Schindler's List, Saving Private Ryan, Munich and Bridge of Spies these efforts are, perhaps, less effective than the out-and-out popcorn movies which suit him best. Of his other films, 1941 was his biggest flop, The Terminal fell between two stools of drama and comedy and one-time Kubrick project A.I. divided audiences; Hook saw him at his most juvenile - the downside of the approach that has served him so well. Also a powerful producer.

 
Review Comments (2)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Who's the best?
Robin Askwith
Mark Wahlberg
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Enoch Sneed
Paul Smith
Darren Jones
Jason Cook
  Andrew Irvine
Ian Phillips
Paul Shrimpton
   

 

Last Updated: