Sunday, May 18, 2008

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

Like most people my age, the Indiana Jones movies hold a special place in our movie-loving hearts. Raiders of the Lost Ark is rightfully viewed as one of the greatest movies of all time. It had just the right combination of action, comedy, spectacle, and mystery to make it a classic for the ages. It was cutting edge filmmaking and a nostalgic tribute to adventure films of the past all at once.

So it is with both feverish anticipation and also some trepidation that we approach the long-awaited release of Indy IV. It has just been shown at Cannes, and the early reviews are....lukewarm. They criticize it for an over-reliance on unbelievable CGI set-pieces, with one reviewer saying it suffers from Star Wars syndrome. Other reviews complain that the exploration of ancient tombs and temples has all been done before in previous Indy films and their imitators, and that there is little fresh or exciting in this one.

On the bright side, they applaud the trademark humor and banter between Indy and the other characters. Apparently, several action sequences stand out and recapture some of the old magic.

One part of me thinks that these reviews betray the reviewers' bias; they have such fond memories of the original three Indy films that they have impossible expectations for this new one. My chief concern, frankly, was the age of Harrison Ford. Is he still believable in the role? The reviewers say he is, and that his age is not ignored within the film.

In any case, I know I'll be seeing it, and if it feels like an Indiana Jones film, even if only for fleeting moments, it was worth doing.

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