Suspend your disbelief and enjoy the adventure

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When my wife and I came out of the cinema yesterday afternoon, after seeing Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, I started thinking about how to summarize what I thought of the film.

What would I say if I had only 140 characters or less in which to say it?

Here it is:

Indiana Jones 4: weak story but a good yarn, boys own stuff. Best actor: Cate Blanchett. 2nd: Henry Jones Junior.

I did think it was a pretty good film, a good example of the kind of adventure story that I read as a kid that included a far-fetched tale, a thin plot and was a hugely enjoyable adventure to boot.

Of course, it is an adventure, part of the series that began in 1981 with Raiders of The Lost Ark.

But I don’t make comparisons with any of the previous Indy films, and I’ve seen them all. I have the videos from the 90s as well as the DVD collection released a few months ago.

This is a stand-alone story for me notwithstanding a few audio and visual references to the earlier tales (and which only real fans will likely recognize).

I don’t want to spoil everything if you haven’t yet seen the movie so no blow-by-blow commentary here (there’s a good plot summary on Wikipedia if you do want that).

Just a few observations:

  • Harrison Ford is very good and exactly as I expected, but Cate Blanchett was terrific as the chief bad guy (pictured above). I reckon there’s lots of potential for more of ‘Irina Spalko’ in future.
  • Shia LaBeouf was equally good in the character of Indy’s (unknown to him) son. I first saw him in a small role in I, Robot, then as the lead in last year’s Transformers. A young, talented actor to pay attention to.
  • I couldn’t see the point of Ray Winstone‘s character as the traitor spy. It seems to me he added little to the story: the film would have easily survived without that character.
  • Great to see Karen Allen, the first movie I’ve seen her in since Raiders.
  • John Hurt was, well, John Hurt: largely magnificent.
  • The alien spaceship sequence at the end of the film took a real stretch to believe. As I said above, though, suspend your disbelief when watching this film.
  • Not too much in the way of computerized special effects as far as I could tell. A nice change in a modern movie.

While I did enjoy this film, it’s interesting reading what some other have had to say, especially some negative views (Olivier Blanchard’s being the most passionately negative I’ve read so far).

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But no matter what people have to say that’s negative, I think this film will be a huge commercial success.

Quite a worldwide marketing machine is now in operation to promote not only this movie but also the whole Indiana Jones franchise.

So I suggest you nip along to your nearest cinema, cough up your cash for a ticket and just enjoy the adventure.

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