2008-06-13 / Entertainment/Lifestyles

MovieScope

'Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull' - Spielberg Spins His Golden Wheels
Review By Robert Snyder

Why is Director Steven Spielberg spinning his creative wheels doing a fourth installation in the "Indiana Jones" franchise?

To make money. Yes. But he is also having a lot of fun. And you will as well, because "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" is a nonstop thrill ride that is sure to actually be one at some lucky amusement park.

Harrison Ford is back looking 19 years older since we last saw him in 1989's "The Last Crusade" episode. Once in his fedora and leather jacket, he still shines in the role that preserves his star quality.

The opening sequence is worth its weight in popcorn with Jones (Ford) racing away from Soviet spies in 1957 at a New Mexican nuclear test site. Cate Blanchett is here as the Russian heavy doing comedic nastiness as Col. Irina Spalko doing Natasha from the "Rocky and Bulwinkle" cartoon. (You'd never believe she ever played Bob Dylan).

After escaping from an atomic bomb explosion in a high-flying refrigerator, Jones does more racing from the Russians with "Wild One"-motorcycle- Brando wannabe Mutt Williams (Shia LaBeouf) at the university where Archaeology Professor Jones works his day job.

Then, it is off to the jungles of Central America, as Jones and company search for the elusive Crystal Skull, an item that supposedly processes telepathic, supernatural powers, much like the Lost Ark did in the first Jones film. Spielberg also throws in a bit of mystical space alien lore, in case anyone's forgotten he once made "Close Encounters of a Third Kind."

The main amusements are the relentless spectacular chase routines that keep outdoing themselves, involving killer ants, quicksand, angry natives, waterfalls, snakes and cliffs from which to hang.

Go to "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" to see the world's most entertaining filmmaker enjoy himself.

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