It was an entertaining movie and will probably do fantastically well for the Memorial Day weekend with its mix of family friendly adventure and wealth of nostalgia it embodies, but I think I liked it, rather than truly loved this film!
We watched the movie at the Arclight Hollywood on Saturday afternoon at the 4.46pm showing. The cinema was rammed with people (even lots wearing their fedoras and whip ensemble, I'm not kidding you!) and pretty much every screen was showing Indiana Jones. As always the Arclight was the perfect place to watch the movie and we had perfect seats.
As you know the new Indy film was one of my hot picks for Summer Movie Blockbusters and the main reason I wanted to see it was out of a sense of nostalgia, plus the fact that I'm a total completionist freak, in that I have to watch every film in a series (no matter how bad e.g. The Matrix Trilogy anybody?), any book by the same author and any comic that has a vague tie-in to another I'm reading.Anyway, the film had loads of nods to the classic Indiana Jones franchise, with a silhouetted fedora wearing Indy, a glimpse of the Arc from 'Raiders', old school stunts, old flames, archaeological death traps, treasure maps to decipher, creepy crawlies, a snake, a classic villain in the form of Cate Blanchett's wonderful KGB Agent Spalko and lots of other crowd pleasing continuity delights.
What was missing for me was Spielberg's original sense of panoramic cinematography, breath-taking locations and a sense of awe and mystery about what happens next.
Kingdom of the Crystal Skull was too simple. Everything was spelled out for the audience and it just didn't feel very sophisticated. It lost its sense of classic hollywood blockbuster and instead became just another modern day movie, filled with lots of CGI and filming in studio soundstages. I know that was probably the goal to appeal to a younger audience, but I personally feel it lost something in this compromise.
Aside from that, there were many positives. Harrison Ford as an older Indy, was a believable adventure hero and his action sequences weren't too ridiculous. The overall story was original and a natural progression from the previous films, with George Lucas and Steven Spielberg involved it's only natural an alien or two would pop up somewhere.
The very best thing about the movie has to be Cate Blanchett and her show stealing and convincing portrayal of Soviet psychic, Agent Irina Spalko. It's a great character and she plays it wonderfully.
On the other hand I wasn't too enamoured with Shia LaBeouf's or Ray Winstone's one-note characters, but overall I'd give the movie a 3 star *** rating. Anyway, that's my verdict, how did you like it?