Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of Crystal Skull

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Written on 10:56 AM by Hemanth Kumar

Title: Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of Crystal Skull

Language: English
Country: USA
Year of Release: 2008
Director: Steven Spielberg
Actors: Harrison Ford, Cate Blanchett

Indy is Back!!!

A shadow in front of an US Army Truck bending down to pick up his Fedora who’s surrounded by a group of KGB agents marks the return of Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford) after 19 long years! To be honest, I haven’t seen any of the Indiana movies of the past, still the premise of going to this flick was definitely the media hype and also the fact that certain biggies like Spielberg, Lucas were associated with it. And what more can I say?! I loved it…Loved it for the way the story unfolded (although I would say kinda complicated for my lack of knowledge in this legend!), loved the characters, the direction, the cinematography, and many more like that.

Set in the year 1957, amidst the Cold War, a group of Russian KGB agents lead by Irina Spalko (Cate Blanchett)) infiltrate into a Military Location in US on the lookout for a crate which they believe contains an alien sort of thing which was recovered a decade ago from New Mexico. Indiana Jones was one of the few people who had worked on that project to restore the alien sort of thing safely; he’s captured by KGB and after being double crossed by his longtime friend Mac, he agrees to help them in finding out that crate (You must watch this scene on screen, especially for the technique which he uses!!, one of my favourite scenes in the flick). A fight commences and Indy manages to escape from the clutches of KGB, but runs straight into a town, which in fact is a Nuclear testing site; guess what?!!! Indy manages to escape this too by enclosing himself in a Lead lined Refrigerator (hehehe….reminds me of the countless unbelievable stunts I have seen in Indian flicks!.. since it’s Hollywood, there is some sense of believability. But escaping from a Nuclear Bomb?!!! Phew! ). He’s later interrogated by the FBI agents, for his associated with Mac, who turns out to be a Soviet Agent. Despite his repeated claims of innocence, FBI rummages around his office which compels the University where he’s teaching to let him go on a long leave of absence. Disappointed by the attitude of the University, Indy plans to leave for New York and there after go to London. But when the train to NY is about to leave, he comes across Mutt Williams (Shia LeBeouf) who tells Indy that he needs his help to find Oxley, an old colleague of Indy and mother who have disappeared somewhere in South America. After a brilliant motorcycle chase around the college campus (again brilliantly filmed), Indy and Mutt escape to Peru where they find out that Oxley had once been locked in a psychiatric hospital until he was kidnapped.

In the cell, Indy is successful in deciphering some clues which would lead them to the Crystal Skull which is believed to contain mystical powers. The search leads them to the grave of Fransisco, who went missing in the 1500s while seeking Akator (also known as El Dorado). Here, they successfully find the Crystal Skull which was hidden by Oxley. But they are soon captured by Spalko’s gang who force Indy to translate what Oxley could tell about Akator. Indy reunites with his longtime friend Marion Williams who’s the mother of Mutt; but later comes to know that he’s the real father of Mutt. What follows next is a gamut of fights, chases, some spectacular locales depicting the jungles surrounding Amazon River and finally the destination…Akator!

You must watch all this on screen to fully appreciate the cinematography, direction and the story. Lot of reviews have compared it with the previous Indy flicks and thus came to a conclusion that it doesn’t have the same charm because of a predictable plot and so on…but I don’t know how many of us actually have seen the movie! (It’s very difficult to watch movies which are 15-20 years old unless you have the perfect source or if you are lucky enough to watch them on the movie channels!!). Sure, it’s predictable, but the way, things move on is what keeps us (or atleast kept me) interested to watch the flick. Coming to the characters, Ford is still good to perform such a demanding role despite his age! The series has five parts, of which four have released till now. It would be interesting to see if Ford appears in the last part too! In this one, Ford delivers a good performance with some cool stunts, and charm that’s evident on screen. The Transformers hero Shia LaBeouf is making waves with his performance, first with Transformers and now with this…check him out for that scene where he prepares himself for a fight and that comb!!! His Marlon Brando kinda style is sure gonna go down well with the audience. And with Starwars fame, George Lucas, and E.T fame Spielberg around, how can we not come to the world of Extraterrestrial beings!!

Whatever maybe the case, this flick has all that what it takes to make a full-fledged action-adventure flick, although it's kinda tough to digest it for a 2008 flick! But as Lucas says, it looks like it was filmed just 3 years after the last Indy film was released! Watch it with a suspension of disbelief …it won’t disappoint you. If only there was someone like Megan Foxx with Shia LaBeouf in the film!!...Hope Spielberg is listening…:-)


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