Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Indiana Jones & the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

I had a day off work on Monday so availed myself of the opportunity to go and see the latest Indiana Jones film on a big screen. Westgarth Theatre is situated a few minutes walk from home, so B & I wandered down there for the 1.30pm session. Only about 10 or so other people had the same idea, so we basically had the place to ourselves which is how I like it – no rattling popcorn, no chatterers, just observers like ourselves.

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, though not a great work of the cinema, is thoroughly enjoyable and great fun to watch. I’ve always had a fondness for the Indiana Jones films since seeing Raiders of the Lost Ark way back in 1981, when I took my nine year old nephew to see it. I’d never seen anything quite like it before, but it brought back memories of the “boys own adventure” type books I read as a child.

This latest film in many ways reminded me of Raiders, and as remarked by Howard Waldrop & Lawrence Person in their review of the movie on Locus Online
-contains spoilers-, it is a sort of sequel to Raiders of the Lost Ark.

It reminded me too of one of my favourite computer games, Tex Murphy – The Pandora Directive, mostly through the references to Roswell and the Amazonian jungle.

The beginning and end of the film are spectacular, and in between it is pretty much non-stop action adventure. There‘s also plenty of humour and unbelievable escapes from dire situations. Harrison Ford is just as engaging as the hero as ever, with Karen Allen’s return giving him a romantic interest of his own vintage.

The special effects are fantastic as can be imagined and the period setting of 1957 is depicted with acute attention to detail. Cate Blanchett appeared to be enjoying herself enormously playing the villainous Russian commissar.

All in all a highly entertaining film well worth the cost of admission.
I wonder if my nephew, whom I have not seen nor heard from in many years, remembers our outing to the first Indy film all those years ago.

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