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

24 May

1981. I was 11 years old and was in the 5th grade when Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark was released. All I can think of was Han Solo is now Indiana Jones! I also thought Mr. Spielberg was brilliant, and I already knew that Mr. Lucas who gave me Star Wars 3 years ago was a genius.

1984. I just entered my teenage years and started secondary school when Indiana Jones & Temple of the Doom, the much awaited sequel comes out, and although it was not as good as the original, it was still a good film and had its own merits.

1989. I was 19 and was in university trying to make sense with my life when Indiana Jones & The Last Crusade graces the silver screen once more of what we all thought then was the end of the saga. Well, not quite.

2008. I just turned 38 and one of the few notable films of my childhood decides to make a comeback, this time around with Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull reminding me of the good old days, and of how much fun it is to go the movies, movies that will always be a part of you. I went to see this film regardless of the consensus that it will not work, that Lucas will not get the old magic back because he failed to do so in the Star Wars prequels, that Harrison Ford is way too old to play a swashbuckling character, that the moviegoing audience have had enough of trilogies, or in Indy’s case, a quadrilogy, if I had forgotten to mention what you might be thinking, then you get my drift. I went to see it because it would just be a sacrilege not to, because it would be utter disrespect, because it would be like betraying my childhood, my teenage years and my adolescence. Because this is what the Indiana Jones films mean to me if not to most of those born in my generation.

I can not explain why it’s only Spielberg and Lucas can give me that kind of childlike exciteme neven before the lights grow dim. I can not even begin to explain how John Williams’ familiar score seems to transport me in another place and time reminding me of my younger and much happier days with my family with whom I saw all the Indy films. I will not even attempt to defend why Harrison Ford can still make me believe that after 19 years of waiting, he was able to bring back to life a much loved character with such passion you seem to feel that you also grew up with him and has never outgrown him.

This Indy film scored very high on the nostalgia factor. It also felt like the beginning of a new era that left a lot of open room for Shia Labeouf who played Indy’s son to be the next Indiana Jones. It tied up loose ends when we see Indy reunited with Marion Ravenwood, played by Karen Allen. It boasts of a great supporting cast with Ray Winstone, John Hurt and a really amazing Cate Blanchett who again proved her versatility. But then again it’s Harrison Ford who is the heart and soul of all the Indy films, and he shows us here that he’s still got it.

Once the whip’s out and the fedora’s put in place, it’s going to be one helluva fantastic ride. So welcome back Indy and thanks for restoring my faith in the movies.

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull: 4/5

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