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Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

Never has there been a film filled with so many flaws that was able to be monumentally crowd-pleasing at the same time. Few films are able to capture this feat, and the newest Indiana Jones film is one of them.

Picking up nearly 20 years after “The Last Crusade” left off, Harrison Ford once again dons the iconic whip and fedora for a race across the globe – fighting jungle natives, angry Russians and those hated snakes.

All of the classic Indiana Jones elements are in place, although this time around, it all feels different. It has nothing to do with the fact that our hero has aged considerably. Our concerns turn into laughs when the film effortlessly creates humor out of a waning age. However, gone is the day when action sequences were filmed entirely by stunt doubles, and it was enjoyable to have a considerable amount of time reserved for developing characters.

In the “Kingdom of the Crystal Skull”, we bear witness to a story that has no significant bearing on history or the heightened reality Indiana Jones fans are familiar with. “The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” has extended far past reality into a film that transforms the original conceptions of the character. For a character who used to thrive in our own world, he now thrives in the fairytale land of fabricated archeology. Unlike a holy grail or a lost ark, we’re now searching for the truth behind a crystal skull that is far less intriguing without a biblical or historical subtext.

The greatest downfall to the “Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” is in its script. Written by David Koepp and George Lucas, the script was said to have taken years of rewrites to get right. Thanks to Lucas, it now feels more like a lack of inspiration with too many tacked on references to Star Wars. The most memorable moments of the film include witty one liners between Indiana and his new sidekick played by Shia Labeouf. All the actors succeed in bringing the perfect amount of chemistry to play off each other even though their story feels more artificial than we remember it.

“Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” is a film that fails on just as many levels as it succeeds. Being an Indiana Jones film is simply enough to keep this film afloat. Strangely enough, the film holds a reason to be seen. By retaining parts of the fabric that made the originals so memorable, it’s easy to see why nostalgia plays such an important part in movie making. Without it, we would simply be watching “National Treasure: Book of Secrets.”

INDIANA JONES MOVIE INFORMATION

GRADE: Two and a half stars out of four Letter Grade: B-

RATING: Rated PG-13 for adventure violence and scary images.

RUNTIME: 124 min.

STARRING: Harrison Ford, Cate Blanchett, Karen Allen and Shia Labeouf

DIRECTOR: Steven Spielberg

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