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“Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” is the ultimate movie for history and adventure nerds.
At first, I wasn’t so sure I wanted to see the fourth “Indy” installment from powerhouse director Steven Spielberg. When I was 12, I had to walk out of the theater showing “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom,” to avoid throwing up.
“Temple” was pretty much a horror movie full of people eating eyeballs and monkey brains and killing each other in horrible ways. So I was a little skittish about this one, even though I loved the first “Raiders of the Lost Ark” movie.
When I read a review letting me know this movie was set in the 1950s and was all about aliens, government cover-ups, fear of nuclear holocaust and Russians, I knew I had to be there.
It was worth it—cheesy, old-fashioned and goofy, but worth it.
Cate Blanchett sinks her teeth the role of the villain, a Soviet paranormal investigator and spy, and she doesn’t play it for laughs or wink at the camera. She’s a complete character yet also a cartoon.
For those who wonder how Harrison Ford can pull off all the swash buckling at his advanced age, I saw the movie and I still can’t tell you. I just know he does, but the movie wisely does not shy away from mentioning the obvious—the guy is pushing 70.
Shia LaBeouf joins the fray this time out as “Mutt” Williams, the one who prods Indy into going on this latest adventure. He can give Indy’s witty banter back to him and yet gets put in his place more than once.
For fans of “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” Karen Allen returns as Indy’s lost love, Marion Ravenwood, and the chemistry doesn’t disappoint.
The only bad parts of this movie were the scenes so obviously filmed in front of a green screen that Spielberg didn’t even seem to hide it.
And for those of us who have a paranoid fear of crunchy bugs, there are some scenes where you need to hide your eyes for a good five to 10 minutes.
Some Indy purists may not like the 1950’s setting with its nods to James Dean, Marlon Brando and even “American Graffiti.”
But Spielberg is a baby boomer whose affection for the time and its mythology—fear of Soviets and nuclear bombs bubbling underneath a seemingly perfect faade of postwar suburbia and the sci-fi culture of UFO crashes and alien autopsies—is obvious, even in the cheesiest parts of the movie.
For me, the film seemed to drag a bit, (although it could be my age and level of impatience), and the UFO climax was a bit much, even for a sci-fi geek like me.
But if a good, old-fashioned adventure with a bit of romance, a sprinkle of sarcasm and a heaping side of cheese is your cup of tea, I highly recommend this latest Indy romp. You will leave the theater smiling.
sarah shew wilson is a staff writer for the Beacon. Reach her at 754-6890 or firstname.lastname@example.org.