Thursday, May 22, 2008
Indiana Jones & the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull ****
I was actually planning to see "Iron Man" but once I saw this was showing...well, I had no real choice, did I? Nevertheless, things got off to a shaky start and I was worried that the whole thing was going to be a little too knowing, overloaded with in-jokes and references to what had gone before. The early scenes seemed a little forced somehow, as if they were trying to make a point that no-one really cared about. Fortunately, the writers seemed to realise that the McCarthyism plotline wasn't going anywhere too and the film soon got back onto more familiar territory. By the time we got to a riproaring chase through the Amazonian jungle - including a spectacular three-waterfall boat sequence - I was sitting there ooh-ing and aah-ing and clutching my knees to my chest (note: never sit next to me in a cinema during an action or horror movie). By the way, dontcha think it's weird that all aliens in tv and cinema now look like the Roswell alien? And don't you find yourself thinking that that's really what they look like because you've seen it so many times? Or is that just me? But I digress. Harrison Ford just IS Indy, 'nuff said. La Blanchett turns in her usual impeccable performance, this time as a comic-book Russian baddie (complete with rapier!) and gets the best line: "Do svidaniya Dr. Jones!" - surely a Bond villain contract can't be far behind? Ray Winstone's role - much trumpeted in the U.K. press - turns out to be little more than a cameo (and a bit "cor-blimey" to be anything other than mildly irritating). I had major reservations about Shia LaBeouf - mainly, it's true, based on his hair - but he ends up coming through surprisingly well - I really warmed to his character as the film went on and, by the end, could even see him taking on the Indy mantle...obviously what was intended. Last but not least, the scenery is just breathtaking, totally epic. My one gripe - and it's not a biggie - is that I found the special effects to be a little too "Stargate" to be impressive. Thoroughly enjoyable and heartily recommended - you can't say fairer than that now, can you?