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Review: Indiana Jones and the kingdom of the crystal skull

movie reviews Updated: May 30, 2008 20:41 IST
Rashid Irani
Rashid Irani
Hindustan Times
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Indiana Jones and the kingdom of the crystal skull

Cast : Harrison Ford, Shia LaBeouf
Direction : Steven Spielberg
Rating : **1/2

Clearly, the formula has lost its fizz. Sporting his trademark leather jacket and crumpled fedora, grizzled sexagenarian Harrison Ford is up to those old tricks again in the fourth installment of the blockbuster series.

With eyes closed, we can predict that the intrepid archaeologist will have to contend with a battalion of baddies, led this time by a ruthless Soviet agent (Cate Blanchett, unconvincing), a fortune-hunter friend-turned-foe (British veteran Ray Winstone, disappointing). And those inevitable savage jungle tribes.

The quest for the titular thingamajig leads invincible Indy from the deserts of Nevada to the rain forests of South America before hobbling towards a close encounter of the extraterrestrial kind. Like it or not, from the outset, there’s an inescapable fourth-hand quality about … Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

Besides ensuring the return of his old flame (Karen Allen, uncharacteristically blowsy), the script by Spielberg’s regular collaborator, David Koepp (Jurassic Park, War of the Worlds) rustles up a younger new sidekick (LaBeouf, channeling Marlon Brando’s roughneck The Wild One persona).

Against insurmountable odds, the do-gooders get ready for some earth-rescuing action. On the downside, the finale doesn’t have the throb or tension of the earlier forays, of the valiant Dr Jones.

There are moments of zany fun, yes. So if you’re in the mood to abandon yourself to non-stop action with plenty of eye-boggling computer-generated effects, then this is your ticket to entertainment.