Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

If anybody should be the new poster boy for “Say No to Ageism” week, it's Harrison Ford. Reprising perhaps his most famous role as the swashbuckling archaeologist, Indiana Jones, in The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, Ford proves that at the sprightly age of 65 he can crack whips and solve riddles in dead languages with the best of them. 


The film opens in 1957 – 19 years on from The Last Crusade – with Indiana Jones and his trustworthy British sidekick Mac (Ray Winestone) being brought to a top-secret US military base to locate a mysterious, highly magnetised crate. Their kidnappers? A group of Russians posing as American soldiers under the leadership of rapier-wielding Dr Irina Spalko (Cate Blanchett). A couple of high speed chases and humorous stunts later (one including a lead-lined fridge and an atom bomb), Indy inevitably escapes with his life and trademark fedora but is unable to prevent Spalko and her crew from escaping with their prize.

The incident results in Doctor Jones being forced from his university job and into the path of impetuous high school drop out Mutt (Shia LaBoeuf). The two set off to Peru to find the fabled “Crystal Skull” and return it to its rightful place in order to save Indy's old friend Professor Oxely (John Hurt) and Mutt's mother, who as it transpires is Marion Ravenwood (Karen Allen), Indy's Raiders of the Lost Ark love interest. While the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull is an enjoyable adventure romp, it was never going to be as good as Raiders of the Lost Ark or even The Last Crusade. Spielberg literally throws everything but the kitchen sink into the movie including top secret Alien cover-ups, lost cities of gold, and nuclear explosions – it's a conspiracy theorist's dream.

The plot comes in a distant second to stunts and sometimes absurd, albeit exciting CGI, action scenes. Ford lacks the spark he had in the first few films, never getting to inject a bit of that old Indy charm that endeared audiences to the character in the first place and its all a little over the top. With all that said despite a few cringe worthy moments and the odd careless scene, Crystal Skull is good fun and will have you exiting the cinema with a smile on your face.