The Old Man's Still Got It

Pure escapism. I love it...

I went to see Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull last night in Fairfield. (Some call it cheap, I say nostalgic!)

This film is an escapists dream. It is also, in my estimation, the truest of the sequels to the spirit of the original.

Warning! Here there be spoilers!

The original idea of Raiders of the Lost Ark was to make a movie in the style of the classic B-reel action adventure, a film you could go into, forget everything, and enjoy based solely on it's own merits. So what if some of the backdrops are clearly matte paintings? So what if it's obvious that a stuntman is being used? So what if there is no way that a sixty-five year old man can jump from a speeding car onto a speeding motorcycle while careening around the streets of New Haven? That's not the point. The point is, sit back, grab some popcorn, and have fun.

It was great seeing Indiana Jones reunited with his lost love, Marion Ravenwood. Marion is the only woman in the world, it seems, who can stand up to Indy and really cow him. And Harrison Ford's comic timing is still impeccable. Rather than ignoring the obvious difference in age between now, and the last installment, Crystal Skull embraces it. "It ain't the years, honey, it's the miles." Indy told Marion in Raiders, and it is obvious that Henry Jones, Jr has had a few miles put on him. Apparently he was recruited by the OSS in the waning days of WWII, and carried out a boatload of missions. His new foe is not the Nazi's, but the Great Red Menace.

This film is a bit over the top in it's major premise and resolution, I'll give you that. Aliens in an Indiana Jones movie? I suppose that's a tad better than Kali in Temple of Doom, but not much better. I prefer the more respecting-of-God approach in Raiders and Last Crusade. But the action was top notch, and the fights classic. There has to be a cliff in an Indiana Jones movie, and there was! There has to be the globe spanning red-line moving from local to local, and there is that, too. (Note to Lucas/Spielberg: in 1957, Belize was called British Honduras.)

Shia LaBoeuf does a passable turn as Mutt Williams, a greaser right out of American Graffiti. While a tad over the top for today's sensabilities, this kind of overacting was typical of the genre that Lucas wanted to emulate with the series. (see the William Shatner School of Acting)

If you haven't seen it, see it. Get the DVD. This one's a keeper.


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