INDIANA JONES AND THE KINGDOM OF THE CRYSTAL SKULL
starring Harrison Ford, Cate Blanchett, Karen Allen, Shia LaBeouf, John Hurt, Ray Winstone, and Jeremy Clarkson as The Beav.
Once more the legendary archeologist Indiana Jones must return to action as the Soviets are seeking the source of the power behind a set of mysterious crystal skulls. As is the case with each of the other films, this power source is not of this Earth...but in a way Indy has not faced until now.
As you might know, I have been flattened by depression of late. This is due to a few difficulties in my personal life and I can only hope those will be resolved soon. Anyway, I spent much of last week on my couch, unable to do anything much more than blog on my iPhone and watch TV. I am not exaggerating when I tell you that the old couch now has a deep dent in it from my morose and immobile form. As I went through the channel guide of endless dreck and empty palaver, this installment of the Indiana Jones series called to me. I saw it on its opening night back in 2008 and remember being disappointed...just as much of the rest of the moviegoing public had been.
I liked it much more this time. Harrison Ford continues on with a fine sense of this character. I've read several viscious reviews of the acting in this film and I find them unfounded, even in the case of LaBeouf. What people seem to forget is that these films were based on pulps and adventure serials. Acting was never really a prime concern. Rather it was action.
On that end of things, the film succeeds admirably. Yes, there is an especially weak sequence in the Amazon Jungle featuring Shia LaBeouf swinging with a horde of monkeys, but that's as deficient as the action got for me.
I know I might be biased because this particular Indiana Jones is steeped in UFO lore. The power and telegnosis of the skulls is...in the film, anyway...exactly what Giorgio and everyone at Ancient Aliens claim it to be. What's more, there are references to Roswell, Area 51, and other goodies.
It just makes sense. Somebody like Jones would have been called in to examine wreckage from the Roswell crash, most particularly in regards to deciphering the alien language. Something else I really liked was that the origins of the ETs are not alien but extradimensional. An alternative view? Yes!! That is needed. It might have been one of the reasons I didn't care for the film back in 08, but fortunately my knowledge base has expanded since then.
I'm trying to figure out just why this film was so derided. Maybe it's because many had unrealistically high expectations just as I did. Is this film as good as the first one? No. Then again, the franchise isn't as fresh as it once was.
But this one deserves big props for trying to do something different and step out of the mould of what preceded it.
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