Maniac Grade: B
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Indiana Jones... Older and Wiser
May 29, 2008
The return of Indiana Jones marks the return of the dynamic trio for the first time in 19 years. Much has changed for the man in the Fedora. It's 1957 and he finds himself instantly caught up in a race to locate an artifact surrounding one of the greatest mysteries of our time.
Unfortunately, the race is against a determined Russian leader(Cate Blanchette), who has a foot hold inside the United States. Our hero is drawn closer and closer to the game following the recruitment of "Mutt" Williams(Shia Labeouf), who has seen the capture of his hero OX(John Hurt) and his mother, who turns out to be the still boisterous and every argumentative Mary(Karen Allen).
Thrown together by following the evidence, the four of them venture to discover the truth of a psycho-sonic skull made of pure crystal. It's a skull that offers the knowledge at the expense of the mind, and often, your life.
But, can Indiana Jones and his troop gather the secret before the Russians use it to dominate the Earth?
The Crystal Skull adventure is exactly what it sounds like. It's an Adventure that throws fact and fiction together. Although it requires a suspension of disbelief, this movie is about all the fun that Indiana Jones can offer. Playing up his age, Harrison Ford's decision to do his own stunts has added a texture to the film that is outstanding. The man can still deliver a punch like no other, and he can take the hits and keep on going.
Shia Labeouf's character is a young, spirited adventurer, who embraces the 1950's, but also has the spirit of adventure in him. It's a good mix for sure. Part of me wanted to watch him bust out into his usual Shia raving, but the decision to keep him "cooler" was a match for the film.
Cate Blanchett and her band of Russians were spot on for the film. Moving away from the Nazi's, this movie took in the "Reds" and KGB agents who use people for information rather than kill their opponents right away. Blanchett's character is complex, but at the same time, she's simple. She wants the secret of the skull for power, but she's also wants it to find answers to EVERYTHING. It's a personal goal for her that makes her determined. If only she'd smile.
And then there was Mary. Karen Allen's return to Indiana Jones is her first in 19 years(The RAIDERS of the LOST ARK). She is older, but still quite attractive. A practical beauty. A brash, more seasoned veteran of adventure, who has more than a few surprises for Indy as she adds more fun to the film.
The movie is refreshing, fun, and a delight to watch. The acting is good and the characters are different all around. All I can say is... Watch out for the ants.
YIKES! Click here to read the staff review by Mania.