Saturday, May 31, 2008

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

Well, it has been 19 years since the Last Crusade, 27 years since the franchise began. They probably did not plan this far out, like what Lucas did for The Star Wars saga. Releasing the first three, then another three. This is quite easily the most awaited movie of the year so far, The Dark Knight being the next one. For all I care, I would totally stick around if they made two more Indiana Jones installments. To put things straight right at the start, I do not know why people are giving this film such a hard time. I mean, have they forgotten what Indy is all about? Have they not seen the previous three? All of which were logic defying in their own special way? No one expects logic from an Indiana Jones movie. It's supposed to be fun, full of non-stop action and adventure, and with Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, the magical combination of Spielberg, Lucas, and most of all, Ford, have struck gold. Real gold!

The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull is probably the first of a brand new series of Indiana Jones films. Having turned down a script from the amazing Frank Darabont, questions were already being asked about how David Koepp's script could out-do one by Darabont. Frank Darabont is credited with films like The Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile, and surely Koepp's script had something in it that rose above Darabont's.

The film is set in 1957, 19 years after The Last Crusade which brought the discovery of the Holy Grail. To say that the storyline of the fourth Indy movie is a surprise would be a mistake. One probably saw something like this coming. Although I wont give the whole thing away, for the record, it is bizarre, like all the previous ones. Think Area 51, which happens to be the warehouse where everything kicks off. It is also the same warehouse which we saw last in the closing credits of Raiders of The Lost Ark. Read : Ark of the Covenant being put away in a wooden crate!

Unlike all the previous films, this one kicks off with opening credits without anything significant happening in the background. They do have loud version of Elvis's Hound Dog playing all the while. It does get you in the mood. And the gophers. I swear they looked like they were going to be appearing throughout the movie! Apart from that, the film looks the same as the older ones. I dont know how they did it. Even Ford looks like he just returned from his Holy Grail discovery trip with his father and started running around in search of the Crystal Skull. Its nostalgia in its highest level. Whether it is the secret passages or insects, or the fight sequences or the snakes, its all reminiscent of the old Indy.

The casting is perfect. I hated that annoying little kid from The Temple of Doom. Shia Labeouf, the new kid on the block with hits like Disturbia and Transformers under his belt, plays Mutt Williams - a greaser. He repairs bikes as a profession, school dropout, combs his hair at the drop of a hat, fiddles with his penknife, and drives a mean looking bike! Ray Winstone gives us some laughs, but you just know what's going to happen to him by the end of the movie. Cate Blanchett is a whole other story - She's flat. Right from the outfit she's wearing to her acting. She's flat, and in some strange way, hot! There's just something about her that is so bad that she actually owns her role. Karen Allen is just there.

The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull will not go down well with Indiana Jones fans of the present time. Word of advice - Suspend your belief, step into the theater expecting full throttle action and adventure, like all the previous movies. C'mon, guy blocks a cannon head with a stone and it blows its face up? That's an Indy movie for you. I cannot get why people dont like this. I loved it!

8/10 overall.
You ain't nothin but a hound dog, cryin all the time..!!

ext up - The Happening.

No comments: