I have always loved the Indiana Jones films.
Each one is a little different and individual, but yet each follows their own tried and tested formula. There is usually fast-paced action, a quest, nasty villains, eye candy for the males via a beautiful heroine, a few scares and chills, plenty of funny moments and, overall, just great entertainment.
The first three films were released in fairly close succession and I never really thought that we would see another Indiana Jones film. Especially as Indiana Jones, our hero is played by veteran actor Harrison Ford.
Surely, this geriatric actor would not be up to the antics of another Indiana Jones film, even with the help of stunt doubles?
So, with all of this in mind, I could not wait to see the latest offering, Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull. We initially saw this movie at the cinema but have since watched it at home, on DVD.
Did it disappoint or was it a raging success? Well a bit of both I guess but, overall, it was still fun and I did enjoy the experience.
The film opens in 1957 in Middle America, at a time when Elvis was the musical King in the USA, and the country was in the grip of anti communist feelings. The plot, though simple in many ways, as usual veers off at the odd tangent, especially when the map and bizarre writing appear. I usually get lost at some point in such films and this one was no different.
This film sees a grey haired Indiana, still looking pretty good and fighting the villain of the times. The quest this time involves a rescue mission followed by the returning of an artefact, rather than searching for it.
There are some good performances and I particularly liked John Hurt, as a rather strange character. Another British actor was Ray Winstone though, for me, his character was not as successful. However, it sort of worked and I do usually like him. Finally, there was the great British actor Jim Broadbent. He usually plays roles that are more serious but took a good part in this film, although it was very brief.
Of course, there was a huge cast of other stars, including a villainous Cate Blanchett, plus lesser-known actors. Actress Karen Allen, from the Raiders of the lost Ark, joins forces with Indiana again. Not least, there was Harrison Ford, who may be in his mid sixties but is still charismatic as Indiana Jones, with that wry smile.
Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull is fun entertainment but, this time around, there are less scary creatures and moments, and more laugh out loud times. Those tense times when Indy only has ten seconds, but the scene takes three minutes, are still there. A lot of the plot was more silly and unbelievable than previous Indiana Jones films, but the film was still fun. As long as you watch this film in the right spirit, of nonsensical adventure, you should enjoy it.
I was interested to read though that there actually are such items as crystal skulls, linked with cultures and civilisations such as the Mayan. I suppose, as usual, the film derived its plot from something tangible. The special effects are not bad at all but of course, not everything works. The ending of the film is in a way predictable and, for me, was a let down, but it was still spectacular.
Steven Spielberg directed, and co wrote this film with George Lucas. The film has been in the pipeline since the last film, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, was released in 1989. The actual filming took nearly a year and, since it was released, has grossed millions around the world.
For me, it was not a film, which I could have missed.
I thought that it was not as good as the earlier films but was still entertaining. I was glad that there were not as many snakes and nasty bugs as previous films, as I found those really creepy. However, I suppose that made this film less scary.
Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull is rated 12A in the UK and I guess I can see why. Although there is nothing too frightening, there are some parts, which would probably upset a younger audience.
So, if you are an Indiana Jones fan, watch this film and take a nostalgic trip to a fantasy land. If you are not an ardent fan, you should still enjoy the spectacle, as long as you do not expect anything that is designed to be taken seriously.
Oh and of course, there is the familiar Indiana Jones theme music, which no one can fail to recognise.