Saturday, 9 April 2016
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008)
Harrison Ford has aged nineteen years since Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, so it's 1957. McCarthyism, rock 'n' roll, "I like Ike", flying saucers, Indy having the Fonz for a son. Yep, it's the '50s, all right. And it's a good and entertaining film with a nicely twisty-turny plot. Except... is it just me who thinks Cold War Russians just aren't the baddies that the Nazis were?
The film also suffers from the fact that Denholm Elliott is dead and Sean Connery has retired, leaving Ford and Karen Allen as the only characters from earlier film, although John Hurt and Ray Winstone ably fill the British-character-actor-shaped hole. Cate Blanchett is a good baddie, the locations and set pieces are great, and even Shia LaBeouf is mostly acceptable. It's nice to have a film in this series that deals with El Dorado and the mysterious cities of gold (a phrase that puts the theme tune to a certain '80s cartoon in my head!!!). And it's an enjoyable tour of '50s tropes, with the artifacts this time being alien in nature (Erich Von Daniken a decade and a half early) and even a nuclear test befitting the Atomic Age. It's a shame Indy will eventually get cancer.
But something stops this film from being great instead of just very good. Perhaps it's a lack of polish to the dialogue but I rather suspect it's the lack of Nazis..