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During the Cold War, Soviet Agents watch Professor Henry "Indiana" Jones, Jr. (Harrison Ford), when a young man brings him a coded message from an aged, demented colleague, Professor Harold Oxley (Sir John Hurt). Led by the brilliant Irina Spalko (Cate Blanchett), the Soviets tail Jones and the young man, Mutt Williams (Shia LeBeouf), to Peru. With Oxley's code, they find a legendary skull made of a single piece of quartz. If Jones can deliver the skull to its rightful place, all may be well. But if Irina takes it to its origin, she'll gain powers that could endanger the West. Aging professor and young buck join forces with a woman from Jones' past, Marion Ravenwood (Karen Allen), to face the dangers of the jungle, Russia, and the supernatural.Written by
When Spalko is talking to Indy at the start, there are four Russian soldiers behind her who have their guns pointed at Indy. When Spalko says, "order of Lenin," and walks a few steps away from Indy, the soldiers raise their guns to let her pass. It then cuts to a shot of Spalko over Indy's shoulder and their guns are pointed at him again. It then cuts back to a profile shot of the pair and the guards once again have their guns raised. See more »
The movie begins with the Lucasfilm logo, followed by the 1954 Paramount "VistaVision" logo (with the text "PARAMOUNT" instead of "A PARAMOUNT PICTURE" and "A Viacom Company" instead of "A Gulf+Western Company" below "PARAMOUNT"). Gulf+Western became Paramount Communications in 1989, then merged with Viacom in 1994. The Paramount logo then dissolves into a gopher mound. (The static version of the current Paramount logo is seen at the end of the movie.) See more »
If you're expecting Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull to be a fourth in the series, you'll be disappointed. The original three were set in the 1930s, looking for buried treasure in a Treasure of the Sierra Madre style. The new film is set in the 1950s, and that changes everything.
Frankly, it should be viewed as a new series. It certainly overlaps with the previous films, however most of that seems to affect the new film trivially. I actually think it's a little unfair to present this new type of film under the great Indiana Jones reputation, and however smart marketably I believe this, and the lack of understanding and inaccurate expectations on the audience's behalf will ultimately lead to the film's demise.
The film itself is well written, and well made with only a few exceptions. As long as you don't expect another Raiders of the Lost Ark, you'll probably be pleased with the film as it is, with the exception of one sequence which doesn't quite seem to fit. Beyond that, the plot, characters and acting all fit with this new kind of Indy film.
The cinematography is not the 80s style we'd probably all like, but it's not bad. The camera is certainly held much more stable than many of today's films, and the action is very clear and easy to follow, as is the stunt work great. There is a lot of computer animation--most of it looks believable, but some of it does not--but that which was done well fits superbly.
The acting was also very good. I was very impressed by Cate Blanchett, and to my surprise very pleased with Shia LeBeouf's character and acting.
All-in-all, I really appreciated the film as a whole, although some of the animation and action sequences seemed somewhat unfinished, or at least too difficult to believe (even for an Indy film). Still, it is an excellent 1950s serial, and I really hope we'll see at least one other Indy film set in this new era.
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