Ridiculous fight scenes and narrow escapes? Check. Booby traps and creepy crawlers? Check. A plot that centers around some mythical object and the baddies who want to use it for nefarious purposes? Check. Indiana Jones is back in all his glory, and the new film pays tribute to everything that was good about the famous trilogy.
The Indiana Jones franchise is classic, and the latest film did not disappoint, unlike George Lucas’ second “Star Wars” trilogy. The Fremont Theatre’s midnight show was sold out, and if applause is any indication, this movie is going to be a massive hit.
Harrison Ford has aged 19 years since he last put on Indy’s signature hat (which now sits on a gray-haired head). It’s a bit of a shock in the first scene, but he soon dispels any naysaying that claims he’s too old to be doing this.
The movie acknowledges his age and uses it as an advantage; he can scoff at the less knowledgeable, less experienced people he runs across and is the world-worn, know-it-all badass he always was. Despite the added years, Ford doesn’t shy away from the action, which is proven by the camera panning up to his face during or after many of the stunts.
“Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” takes place in 1957, leaving the world of Nazi Germany behind for a new enemy: the Soviet Union. Complete with nuclear testing, aliens and “Better Dead than Red” protests at universities, it’s clear that Cold War era America has just as much use for Indiana Jones.
And the moment Indy’s signature silhouette appears on screen, the audience is hooked.
The Soviets (led by menacing Cate Blanchett) are after a mythical crystal skull to use in paranormal warfare against America. Indy gets involved after being dragged to save Marion (Karen Allen) by her son, Mutt (Shia LaBeouf looking like a greaser from “The Outsiders”). The adventures start in the giant warehouse that ended “Raiders of the Lost Ark” and takes them all over South America.
Allen looks almost the same and can still hold her own in a fight, although she doesn’t get to do much. LaBeouf’s main purpose in the movie is to give Ford someone to play off until they meet up with more people. The dynamic between the old and young star of the film is good, letting each one point out the other’s strengths and weaknesses. Mutt offsets Indy’s experience and sense of adventure with his complete disbelief at all the amazing yet dangerous stuff they’re doing.
The mixture of action, adventure, comedy and pure fun is a winner, and there isn’t a dull moment within the entire film. It was nostalgic instead of over-the-top with special effects, which was a relief, and the tongue-in-cheek humor, old-school maps with red lines whenever anyone travels and references to the other movies all added to the fun spirit of the movie.
Although some of us are continuing to debate about whether Indiana Jones is actually immortal because of drinking from the grail (He would have to stay behind the seal – that’s the “price of immortality,” right? Discuss.), we can all agree that he may as well be, because that’s the way his millions of fans will remember him.