Movie Review: Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

Let’s be honest: the excitement around the fourth installment of Steven Spielberg and George Lucas’s Indiana Jones franchise is probably felt more acutely by parents, who were most likely children themselves when they saw the last film 19 years ago, than by their own kids. That’s a long time to build up expectations, but that wasn’t the only reason why I was less than impressed with The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. The film is clogged with CGI effects that look cheap and betray Indy’s reputation as a geeky professor who pulls off his own impressive stunts, and the storyline incorporates aliens — yes, aliens — instead of relying on the more comfortable anthropological mysteries that have worked for the franchise in the past. While lead Harrison Ford has battled criticism that he’s too old to revive the part, he lands more punches than he misses and can still deliver the charm as well as a few whip cracks. Newer additions like Shia LaBeouf, as his greaser accomplice and Kate Blanchett as the evil Russian villain fall flat, however. The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull may well impress younger viewers who aren’t familiar with Indiana’s legacy, but parents will be disappointed.
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