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33 of 40 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars DR JONES & PROFESSOR SPEILBERG - ONE LAST TIME ...
The decision to resurrect the Indiana Jones franchise after 18 years was a brave one. Could Harrison Ford (64) still pull off the swagger, athletic action and smart one liners that made Indy such a sensation all those years ago ? Did Speilberg still have the nous to direct a full on pop corn action film with brains ?
Well if you ignore the use of ropey CGI and the...
Published on 25 July 2008 by Mr. Christopher J. Welch

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Worthy Addition to the Indy Saga *Contains plot spoilers*
It's 1957 and part-time teacher/archaeologist/action hero Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford) is now a veteran of the second world war. After an initial run-in with murderous Russkies in the Nevada desert it's back to college for the ageing professor until youngster Mutt (Shia LaBeouf) approaches him with an intriguing tale. Mutt's mother and Ox (John Hurt) a friend of...
Published on 21 Jun 2008 by R. Mullaney


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Worthy Addition to the Indy Saga *Contains plot spoilers*, 21 Jun 2008
By 
R. Mullaney (Leeds, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
It's 1957 and part-time teacher/archaeologist/action hero Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford) is now a veteran of the second world war. After an initial run-in with murderous Russkies in the Nevada desert it's back to college for the ageing professor until youngster Mutt (Shia LaBeouf) approaches him with an intriguing tale. Mutt's mother and Ox (John Hurt) a friend of Indy's, have been captured in South America apparently searching for Eldorado, the lost city of gold. Armed with a Mayan parchment, his fedora and bullwhip, Indy is soon on a plane flying over a map of the world with the young hell-raiser in tow. Throw into the mix a legend of 13 crystal skulls, several car chases and a vicious femme fatale (Cate Blanchett) and you have a worthy addition to the Indiana Jones saga.

After Aliens, Predator and the Star Wars franchises were all ruined in the name of profit, I avoided Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull for as long as I could bear to. I knew I'd see it eventually, it IS Indy after all. Fearing another Phantom Menace sized disappointment I sat down to watch it with an open mind, not expecting it to live up to the originals. So does it? Yes and no. The familiar template is here. A first act run in with some baddies, a trip back to college where Indy teaches part time and then an adventure presents itself leading to a trek across the world and a frantic final act. Harrison Ford is 65 now but he can definitely still cut it. It takes him about 20 minutes to get back into the wise cracking role but it has been almost twenty years since he last cracked the bull whip which shows at times as you would expect. The cast of Indy 4 is very impressive, Shia LeBeouf is excellent as Mutt and Cate Blanchett convincing as a villain. The trouble is that talented actors John Hurt and Ray Winstone are overlooked and underused as it is very much Harrison Ford's film. The film looks great with a very authentic 1950's hue and stunning locations.

That's the good points, now here's the bad:

CGI is once again used (Star War Episodes I, II & IIIs) to add totally unnecessary elements to films that didn't rely on CGI in the first place. Gophers with human facial expressions, monkeys that accompany LeBeouf through the jungle and a ridiculous alien all remove plausibility from an already far fetched tale. Don't even get me started on the ants that can form a tower to reach someone hiding up a tree. Another problem is that Indy and pals are completely indestructible. Indy survives a nuclear blast (yes I know) by hiding in a fridge which is sent flying 4 miles into the desert and emerges with barely a scratch. The waterfall sequence is unbelievable, no-one would survive a 200 ft drop three times and certainly not still with a hat on their head. It all just lends to the implausibility of the tale and then come the aliens. The ending is ridiculous and a another CGI cop out. How no-one involved managed to stop the flying saucer bit is beyond me.

Still, as a massive fan of the originals, I still managed to enjoy this despite it's obvious flaws. It's definitely the worst of the bunch but still has enough going for it to go and see.

Like this? Try: Indiana Jones: The original trilogy.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Oh Dear, 7 Feb 2009
Awful, only Harrison Ford looks like he has seen the first trilogy but has no control over the dreadful plot or script. Its for the kids is this films excuse, sorry the kids can watch the originals as they deserve better

The one star is for the nuclear blast scene, which was of the standard I expected. A little far fetched but very fun. Turn off after this as you will simply be wasting your life time watching the rest

One interesting scene, no funny one liners (as in last crusade) no memorable plot. nothing else to say about it. Don't say you were not warned

Depressingly Disappointing
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A great opportunity wasted., 8 Jun 2010
By 
Ian Tapley "thefragrantwookiee" - See all my reviews
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I suspect we're all getting slightly weary of remakes, sequels and cinematic resurrections but films such as 'Die Hard 4' and 'Rambo' proved that it is possible to recapture the atmosphere which made the originals so compelling. And no character was more deserving of a return to prominence than the greatest action hero of all time; Indiana Jones ("You call him 'Doctor Jones', doll!").

The tragedy of this film is that its three principle contributors have lost the talents which made them so great in the original Indy trilogy. The normally impecable Stephen Spielberg has turned out a few disappointments in recent years ('War of the Worlds' being the worst offender), George Lucas has become so lost in his fascination for CGI that he's lost his storytelling vision (see the Star Wars prequels) and Harrison Ford simply got too old to be a convincing action hero.

Where things could have been turned around was the addition of endearing supporting characters for, after all, what would the original trilogy have been without the likes of Sallah and Short Round? Sadly, each of the supporting characters falls short of filling their roles. Shia LeBeouf is badly miscast as Mutt Williams (see, he's named after the dog too) and the character himself totally fails to stand up to his professed role as Indy's successor. Ray Winstone (who've I've always thought overrated anyway - he only seems capable of playing Ray Winstone) is about as convincing as a cardboard cutout and, similarly, the prodigious talents of John Hurt are totally hidden. Don't even get me started on Cate Blanchett's singularly ridiculous Russian psychic. Perhaps the worst of these is the way the fiery and independent Marion Ravenwood has been rewritten as a boring and motherly figure who goes all misty-eyed at seeing Dr Jones again (somewhat different from their reunion in 'Raiders...').

Basically, every element of this movie falls short of its potential. Add to that some truly awful CGI monkeys, unconvincing set pieces and painfully inept dialogue and you've got a recipe for disaster.

On the most basic level, there were perhaps only two or three moments in the entire film where the combination of that hat and that lopsided grin actually convinced me I was seeing my boyhood hero brought to life once more, which was heartbreaking.
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Expected more for Indi's Last Adventure, 18 May 2011
By 
Indiana Jones,

A great series of adventures that many of us have enjoyed and many of us thought how could they screw up Indi?
well only one word.....

Aliens.

The first adventure with indi we saw him chase after the Ark of the covenant, his second adventure the Sankara stones and finally the Holy Grail all great plot devices which makes me ask....WHY ALIENS

Out of all the plot devices I expected for indi's last hurrah that never crossed My mind too much Sci-fi stuff as of late.
I know this isnt a real good review but couldn't they do better than aliens.

No matter what anyone would say Indiana Jones will always be a Trilogy to me.
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33 of 40 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars DR JONES & PROFESSOR SPEILBERG - ONE LAST TIME ..., 25 July 2008
The decision to resurrect the Indiana Jones franchise after 18 years was a brave one. Could Harrison Ford (64) still pull off the swagger, athletic action and smart one liners that made Indy such a sensation all those years ago ? Did Speilberg still have the nous to direct a full on pop corn action film with brains ?
Well if you ignore the use of ropey CGI and the ridiculous last 15 minutes (when the film literally falls apart) the answer is a resounding yes. The Crystal Skull of the title may be a weak prize for Dr Jones to seek but how he gets there is great fun - man eating ants, nuclear explosions, bad sword weilding Russians and some spectacular chases - it's all thrown at Indy who handles it all with aplomb. Ford plays on his age and gives us the grumpy, cynical and world weary Indiana Jones you'd expect from a man just about old enough to collect his bus pass.
Speilberg's latest prodical son, Shia Labeouf, plays a young greaser who may, or may not be Indy's son and Marion Ravewood returns from Raiders in a nicely pitched and spunky performance.
It's hard to be completely positive about Indy 4 though - simply because the first three films were so great, and there are moments in this movie when you feel that Speilberg and his cast are cruising on past glories. The aforementioned dodgy CGI also grates and there are many, decidedly underdeveloped, characters. A tighter script and a shorter running time (it's the first IJ film that feels too long) and Crystal Skull could have stolen the Summer. As it is it lost out to Batman and Hellboy. Shame.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars No, I don't think so, 19 Mar 2009
By 
Let me qualify this by saying that the first three films were not great films, but they were popcorn masterpieces. Let me also acknowledge that Indiana Jones has always been about thoroughly entertaining, fantasy adventure.

Right, with that in mind, let's dissect this mess of an installment. The plot was painfully off target - where the first three films based themselves on religious scripture & mysticism (something the viewer could at least vaguely relate to) that was obviously out for this edition. No doubt there was far too much worrying at Paramount about who might get offended - how times have changed...*sigh*

Instead the plot feels like it has been through about three different committees, all of whom have tried to squeeze in as many non religious alternatives as they could think of. It all adds up to something that is beyond fantasy adventure and unfortunately, beyond entertaining.

The cast: Harrison Ford is back and he's, well, he's not what he used to be. Neither is Karen Allen (Marion) who has a go at recapturing some of the spunk that made her interesting in Raiders - sadly, it's all a little embarrassing this time around. But wait, there's a new addition to the team in the form of Shia Laboeuf, who plays the young upstart "Mutt". All I can say is that River Phoenix had more screen impact in 10 minutes of The Last Crusade, than Laboeuf does over an entire film. But special honours for acting must go to John Hurt, who does a great impression of a dribbling maniac.

The enemy: well they're a pastiche bunch of evil commies (who somehow have no trouble running amok in America's most top secret military base), but they're no match for the nazis. I really missed the old enemy - couldn't some of the russians have at least worn the odd swastika? Well, perhaps not, but it would have tripled their menace factor instantly. Instead we get Cate Blanchett hamming it up as some sort of commie scientist/politburo/swashbuckling/queen bee er, I'm not sure what.

The rest: Lucas loves the green screen and this film is no exception. And don't forget the CGI scorpions, how Kate Capshaw must have laughed when she saw that scene - where are the real creepy crawlies?!

Old Indy films practically guaranteed horrifying deaths - well, if death by ant sounds horrifying enough then you're in for a treat, but the rest, especially the finale, are a major let down. Melting faces and "he chose poorly" this is not.

I think you get the picture, it's half baked, ill conceived, unnecessary and tired. The franchise is ripe for some new life to be breathed into it. This is not it.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars OK. Nothing Special, 16 Mar 2009
By 
J.Flood (Dublin,Ireland) - See all my reviews
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull is set in the 1950s, as opposed to the 1930s, as in the previous films in this series. In this one Indy is on the trail of a Crystal Skull, which is believed to have magical powers. As it is now the 1950s, the Soviets have replaced the Nazis, as Indiana's main adverseries.

I felt the film captured the era very well, the clothes, the politics and peoples attitudes at the time etc. There was plenty of action going on throughout the film, so it held my attention, and was enjoyable for the most part. Where I felt the film fell apart was towards the end. It all started getting a bit too far fetched for my liking, and I can't help but feel, that this film has somewhat tarnished what was an excellent series.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars One of the worst films I have ever seen, 23 Jan 2011
Like so many others I watched the originals as a stripling. They were precious and dear to me. Foolishly perhaps, I allowed myself to attend the screening of this film with much excitement. I knew something was wrong quite early when Jones met the baddy. The acting was staggeringly bad. The lines were awful. The bit with the fridge was possibly one of the better bits. And wasn't there a CGI mammal? And after that it got worse and worse. Mutt Williams! This was such a stupid, stupid idea. And do you remember the scene in the quicksand where Marion 'revealed' that Mutt was Jones's son?? Such wooden acting, such execrable lines. It was all so awful. And the ridiculous use of CGI. CGI has ruined many films but this is perhaps the worst example. The 'exciting' battle in the forest was pathetic. The fact that Mutt got a few shrubs slapped against his crotch was not amusing. The alien component was neither surprising nor welcome. It was deeply stupid and unimpressive. Steven Spielberg has made some films that will be watched for generations. Even in more recent times he has made films of which I am fond - such as Catch Me If You Can. How can he had made something this awful?

After watching this film I held it all in for maybe 24 hours. Then I wept profuse tears of sorrow.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars save your energy, 20 Feb 2009
After much waiting and hype the film turned into a real computer generated turkey , Ford is good as usuall but the age old kid and chick sidekick routine is tired and done , the story is as transparent as a pint glass , the effects are far too much and the whole thing leaves you cold and bored. Remember the films you loved as they were not as tired sequel's which have run out of plot.
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35 of 43 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Indiana Jones and The Kingdom of thye Crystal Skull, 3 Sep 2008
By 
C. MacLellan (Glasgow, Scotland) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
Resurrections, comebacks, revivals, call them what you want, they can all be dangerous events. There are the good - the return of Doctor Who to Saturday nights brought families back together (all be it behind the couch); Take That getting back together fulfilled the dreams of millions of fans; and for the more religious, the resurrection of Jesus must have been pretty cool. But for every hit, there is a fair share of misses - the new Star Wars trilogy had fans salivating, but turned out to be a damp squib; the Spice Girls still couldn't sing; and the new Gladiators is pants. So what fate has befallen much loved action-hero-cum-archaeologist Dr Henry `Indiana' Jones?

We rejoin the action 19 years after Indy's last adventure. Since then, World War Two has changed the world order, with the Soviets replacing the Nazis as the worlds' bullies. Back teaching at Marshall College - after the adrenaline rush of the opening scene of course - Indy is approached by teenage rebel Mutt Williams (Shia LaBeouf), whose mother has been kidnapped. He tells Indy about a map and a crystal skull which may lead to the ancient lost city of El Dorado.

Whenever talk used to surface about the possibility of Indy IV, Ford, Spielberg, Lucas, and all others concerned maintained that the chances of it happening depended on the story. Having decided on the setting and outline of the film way back in early 1990s, it was just a matter of finding a suitable script. So why they passed on a script by Frank Darabont in favour of George Lucas' mess is beyond explanation. The `McGuffin' at the centre of the previous three films had always required a stretch of the imagination, but they were partly based on historical fact and myth, whereas the crystal skulls at the centre of this film are purely based on the fantasies of Lucas' mind.

The previous films, despite being made during the 1980s, always managed to maintain the feel of the 1930s in which they were set. But the latest instalment has a more polished feel to it, and despite markers pointing towards the 1950s - the nuclear explosion which kicks off the film and the vintage 1950s diner - it feels like a film set in 2008 rather than 1956. The increased use of CGI also detracts slightly from the magic of the first three, and again is slightly more polished than the B-movie feel which Spielberg was aiming for.

At 65, Harrison Ford is battling with Sly Stallone for the title of oldest action star, and does well to keep up with the pace of the film. The comic timing is slightly off this time round, but this is a more seasoned Indiana, and this is reflected in Ford's performance, as an Indy who is still loves what he does, but acknowledges that yes, he is getting on a bit.

The strong supporting cast are probably slightly too strong for their own good. By the climax of the film, there is Indy, Mutt, old flame Marion (Karen Allen), friends Mac and Harold Oxley (Ray Winstone and John Hurt respectively) and villain Irina Spalko (Cate Blanchett) all fighting for screen time and lines. One or even two of these characters could have been easily dropped to give the others more breathing space.

Cate Blanchett is especially underused, with her character having much more potential than was explored. She is instead pushed aside in favour of Shia LaBeouf's Mutt, with the studio obviously having one eye on a possible spin-off - God help us all. However, he does bring a certain zest and youthful streak to the film, which could easily have been labelled `Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of Heaven' due to the advancing years of most of the main cast.

Although it doesn't hold the same magic and warmth of the previous three films, and the story leaves a lot to be desired, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull brings with it thrills and spills, and the return of a much loved movie character.
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