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Indiana Jones and the Curates Egg

Posted in Indiana Jones, movie, review by Tony C on May 24, 2008

If you haven’t yet seen Indiana Jones and Kingdom of the Crystal skull you probably don’t want to read on as I’m going to give the whole plot away here. 

It’s been almost twenty years since Dr Henry Jones Jr showed that archeology is really about running around the world looking for strange artifacts and fighting the Nazis.  And with such a long hiatus the expectations were always going to be high…maybe too high.   The movie has all the right components, Jones, some bad guys, some ancient ruins in the South American Jungle and the all important powerful object that is key to the whole thing.  Plus of course there’s Harrison Ford and Steven Spielberg…what could possibly go wrong? 

OK…I really wanted this to be another ‘Raiders’ or ‘Last Crusade’ but in reality it’s more ‘Temple of Doom’, don’t get me wrong there is some classic Indy stuff here but it can’t make up it’s mind what it wants to be.  So let’s do the good stuff first.  Now a lot has been made of Harrison Ford’s age but you needn’t worry, as Jones says in the first movie “It’s not the age it’s the mileage”.  Cate Blanchett who I didn’t recognise from the movie poster plays a great baddie as only a serious thespian can and the first part of the movie held great promise as the Russians, standing in as no Nazis were available, break into the famous warehouse seen at the end of the first movie.  But somewhere along the line Spielberg and Lucas decide the movie was going to contain aliens and here ladies and gents is the first of my issues, OK it’s the late 1950’s and Roswell related goings on are tempting to include but somebody should have had a word with them.  Particularly regards the cliche flying saucer at the end…perlease!!!  Mrs C almost walked out at that point and she is a diehard Indiana Jones and Harrison Ford fan.  Then there’s a handful of characters which had me wondering…’why?’  What was Mac for?  The great Ray Winstone reduced to clunky plot device, John Hurt got to quote a fair bit on Milton but again his part was unnecessary and the plot flagging he got to cover could have been done elsewhere.  It was good to see Karen Allen return as Marion Ravenwood but where was the women who could drink whole village under the table?  Now she’s just…well…your mum and I don’t want to see my mum in an Indiana Jones movie.  And if the idea is the pass the fedora to Mr LeBeouf it’ll be Star Wars prequels all over again.

So what do we have?  Well it is the classic Curate Egg.  It’s good in parts, not as bad as some reviews have suggested but not the movie we expected and from Steven Spielberg probably deserve.  Bloody aliens in an Indiana Jones movie…I ask you?

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