Movie Review – Indiana Jones & the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
It’s been way too long for Indiana Jones to whiplash his way back to the silver screen and only Spielberg could bring alive the persona of Indiana Jones, hat, boots, bull whip and all. For the uninitiated let me first give a small history lesson. Steven Spielberg and George Lucas, two of the hottest talents of the seventies decided to come together to make a movie which at the time was promoted as “the return of high adventure”. The movie, “Raiders of the Lost Ark” was directed by Spielberg & produced by Lucas, and went on to be one of the highest grosser of all time. Set in the time of 2nd World War, the pulsating story of the search for the Ark of the Covenant moved from US to Nepal and climaxed in Egypt.
It was followed by the not so good “Indiana Jones & the Temple of the Doom”. Amrish Puri made a forgettable Hollywood debut but the romance of Indy’s adventures remained alive. The third “Indiana Jones & the Last Crusade” is my second favorite because it had the unflappable Sean Connery who plays Indy’s father. The search of the Holy Grail is one of my all time favorite yarns.
The common thread in all the above movies was the swash buckling, devil may care Indy Jones who got into and out of the most impossible situations with charm and panache. He plays a professor of archaeology who goes after the most difficult searches for old and forgotten relics, fights the bad guys, gets the girl and always has a happy ending.
The latest offering is all of the above but hey, Indy is twenty years older and yet hasn’t seem to have lost his appetite of jumping over unjumpables and avoiding the million bullets that chase him. But then he has an illustrious contemporary in our own Rajnikant who can do all of this and more.
The movie is set in the mid fifties when US saw a commie behind every pole and the obsession of UFOs was coming of age. However Spielberg’s obsession with aliens continues to be unrelenting as ever. So this time we have a sword brandishing Kate Blanchett, a protg of Stalin, who with a little help of stoic faced hoodlums manages to get hold of Indy to guide them to the high security warehouse where the US Govt. stores all its rare, unexplainable artifacts. Those who have seen Raiders of the Lost Ark would remember the last scene where the Ark is being wheeled into this warehouse to its new and anonymous residence. The desired object this time is, well what else, a crystal skull which is the key to untold knowledge and unlimited power. Indy scores in round one and escapes, only to resume the chase later in the time honored tradition of the perennial adventurer.
Accompanying him this time is a John Dean look-alike teenager with an attitude. As it turns out he is Indy’s son and from whom? Surprise, surprise, its Karen Allen, the vivacious, hard drinking, kick ass girl friend from the first edition of the series. Like Indy she has aged but the passion remains alive. It was great watching her all over again.
The end is predictable. The special effects from Lucas’s factory Industrial Light & Magic are awesome, especially the aliens sequence at the end. And Indy decides to settle down with his old lady love and the new found progeny. I loved his reply when asked by Karen if there were other women in his life and why he didn’t marry them. The man says”Yes there were some but all of them had the same problem. None of them was you”. Here’s a toast to old love and fairy tale endings. Cheers !