Monday, May 26, 2008

FILM: Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

We enjoyed the much-anticipated Indiana Jones film quite a lot, although it may have helped that we'd heard lukewarm reviews, and thus arrived expecting the plot to be a hash, and with a heaping willing suspension of disbelief. Of course we also came with a heap of good will from the previous films, and looking forward to seeing a beloved character again. Sure, Harrison Ford is a lot older, but he's not too old to bring Indy back to life. An older Indy, of course, and with a bit of self-deprecation at his age, but still plenty capable of dashing through a great adventure. The suspension of disbelief was essential, not only for watching Indy dodge an incredible number of bullets and poison blowdarts (that was "old hat" for him), but for a ride down the Amazon in an amphibious vehicle that verged on jumping the shark. The 1950s period texture was nicely done, with Indy now post-WWII, and instead of Nazis to battle, he's now got the Russians (as well as the McCarthyites). Cate Blanchett did a nice turn as a charicature James Bond-inspired Russian villain, and Shia LeBoeuf gave a strong debut performance that gives hope for the future of the franchise. The whole movie felt just like a Disney ride, with imaginative scenery, familiar characters, some playful drops and sudden turns, secure in the knowledge that you were following a track that would end up safely, and all good fun along the way.

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