Movie Review: Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull marks a couple of firsts for me-- it's the first Indiana Jones movie that I watched, and it's the first movie I watched in a cineplex in Bangalore. (Yes, I'm currently in India).

Indiana Jones has been the gold standard in action-adventure movies and the latest incarnation is proof to that. Harrison Ford and director Steven Spielberg know how to cook up a great journey that starts with a simple artifact and ends in a grand ancient city.

In his latest mission set inf the 1950's, Indiana Jones must unravel the mystery of the Crystal Skull, an ancient artifact Russians are lusting over. The skull holds powers of unearthly capabilities, that's why the the Russian forces led by Irina Spalko (Cate Blanchett) coerced Indiana Jones to start the search for clues to find an ancient city that holds the key to the skull's true nature. The story also introduces Indiana Jones, Jr., played by Shia LaBeouf, and I sensed that this film is the launch pad for adventures for Jones' young son.

People who have not watched the previous movies can be assured that the story of "Crystal Skull" is stand-alone, but there a few references to the past movies as well as appearances by past characters. I also think that Ford as Indiana Jones has probably seen its last installment, as he's not as dynamic as most action heroes (obviously, he's already in his 60's.) Given LeBouf's performance in this film, I think he can adequately carry the franchise in the future.

No doubt, a movie like Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull deserves a follow-up, but it may likely be Indiana Jones, Jr.'s first full adventure.

Rating: 4/5

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