After a long absence, Indiana Jones finally returned to the big screen with “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.” Like the other Indiana Jones’ films, this one also focuses on an actual historical artifact.
As the film opens, we see our reluctant hero being held by the Russians. They want him to help them find an important box in the warehouse at Area 51.
Indiana (played by originator, Harrison Ford) pretends to go along with Colonel Spalko (played by Cate Blanchett) and helps them locate the box in question. Of course, at the first opportunity, he also makes a break for it, attempting to save the artifact along the way.
It is, unfortunately, during this attempted break that Jones discovers his accompanying friend, Mac McHale (played by Ray Winstone) is actually a double agent. That fact comes back to haunt him after he escapes when the FBI insinuate that if Mac was traitor, then perhaps Jones is as well.
Fired from his teaching position, Indiana heads to England to look for work, but he doesn’t get very far. He is intercepted by a young man by the name of Mutt Williams (played by Shia LeBoeuf). He tells Indie that his mother, Mary, told him to find the professor if she was taken hostage while looking for their family friend, Professor Oxley (played by John Hurt).
Mutt shares just enough information to capture Indie’s attention and the pair head off in search of the kidnapped duo. Visiting a cell where Oxley was held for some time, they discover that the professor may well have stumbled upon one of the crystal skulls; an ancient relic believed not to have been made by man.
Eventually, the two actually find where Oxley located the skull. However, they are puzzled by the fact that it also appeared that the professor returned the relic to its original resting-place. Unfortunately, they don’t have much time to mull over the puzzle before Colonel Spalko and Mac find them and take them prisoner.
Indie is exposed to the magic of the skull in order for him to be able to communicate with Professor Oxley, who is now in the hands of the Reds. They expect him to lead them to the place it is believed the skull originated, El Dorado – – the fabled city of gold.
Of course, Indie declines their request; that is, until he discovers who Mutt’s mother really is. She is Marion Ravenwood Williams (played by Karen Allen); Indie’s one and only true love.
From there the race is on to discover the city of gold and the secrets that it holds about the crystal skulls. It is one action packed moment after another, with the skull changing hands at virtually every juncture.
Indiana learns quickly to respect the skills and determination of Mutt and bonds with the boy pretty quickly. It is then that Marion shares a very important secret.
Like all of the Indiana Jones films, there is action, humor, drama, and warmth. This movie series isn’t about serious drama. It’s all about fun and adventure and it delivers that in spades.
Ford may be a bit older, true, but he still knows how to command the screen when he sets his mind to it. He remains in good physical condition in spite of his advancing years and he just as ruggedly handsome as always.
Allen is just as spunky as ever and remains the best foil for Indie’s sense of humor. Ford and Allen together are just plain fun to watch.
LeBoeuf continues to prove that he is already a force to be reckoned with in Hollywood. He handles humor, drama, and action adventure with equal ease. He is totally believable as a possible heir to the Jones’ story line.
Blanchett plays the Russian colonel a bit over the top but it actually works well for this movie. The Indiana Jones’ films were always a bit campy in nature and Blanchett lays claim to the top villain role in the chronicles.
Hurt is adept in the role of Professor Oxley, even though he has little to say throughout much of the film. He manages to still get the most out of his screen time.
If there is any flaw in this film, it might be in the story. Of all of the many theories about where the crystal skulls came from and what they could possibly mean, the one chosen for the film is perhaps the worst choice of all. Although, in the end, it gets an important point across about knowledge being the greatest treasure of all, I think that could have been accomplished that in a more realistic way.
Still, overall, I have to say that I loved this film. It was the perfect escape from the same old daily grind. I actually relaxed for a couple of hours with no troubles running through my brain. For that alone, I would give this movie points. It is certainly worth four and one-half out of five stars.