Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull is an old school ride. The ride is just as much fun as the destination.
Harrison Ford is at it again as Indy, the swashbuckling hero that reminds us that not all heroes wear a cape or suit of armor. You know the movie is going to be great when the hero evades enemy spies, a double cross and oh yeah, a nuclear warhead and that's just in the first 10 minutes. In this installment, an older but still hell raising Indy has to deal with psychic Russians, an impetuous sidekick and a lost civilization that's more than it seems.
Shia LaBeouf channels the late Marlon Brando as a young Greaser without a Cause named Mutt. He enlists Indy's help in finding his kidnapped mom. Mutt has a chip on his shoulder that should come with branches, but eventually gives in to Indy's brains over brawn.
Cate Blanchett as Irina Spalko finds a way to look attractive while sporting a pageboy haircut and a Russian accent.
Steven Spielberg wisely stuck to the formula that made the franchise...well, a franchise. There's no effort made to hide the fact that Indy is ready for AARP, as he reminds his friend Mac that "It's not as easy as it used to be." George Lucas wrote the script and stayed
true to what made it successful by bringing back Karen Allen. Allen's Marion Ravenwood is the same spitfire she was 20 years ago in Raiders of the Lost Ark. Kudos to Spielberg for bringing her back in lieu of some fawning starlet that's a third of Ford's age.
The story gets a little convoluted at times unless you know a little about archeology. Also, you do have to look past a couple (dozen) continuity flaws like being completely dry seconds after coming out of the ocean. However, that's like turning down a supermodel because
her nails aren't done.
Take away the unreal expectations of some fans who haven't seen Indy in twenty years and you come away feeling good about Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. The fedora still fits, the whip still cracks and you are once again taken on an
Billy Tatum gives 'Indiana Jones' 4 out of 5 scoops.