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Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull Movie Poster

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
Genre: Action, Adventure
Rated: PG-13
Directed by:
Steven Spielberg
Starring: Harrison Ford, Shia LaBeouf, Cate Blanchett, John Hurt, Jim Broadbent
Released by: Paramount Pictures

In Short: Indiana Jones returns after a nineteen-year hiatus with a delightful crash, pow, bang!
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Cue the Theme Song, Grab the Fedora
Indy’s Back, Almost as Good as Before

hether you remember those rollicking first moments of "Raiders of the Lost Ark" in all its glory on the big screen back in 1981 or are too young to have seen and loved Indiana Jones anywhere but in a home theater, "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" will not disappoint. Fears that 66-year-old Harrison Ford wouldn’t be able to live up to the legacy of the last three Indiana Jones films are allayed from the first action-packed scenes, as Ford does Indy proud in this fourth installment. After the success of "Raiders of the Lost Ark" in 1981, "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom" in 1984, and "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade" in 1989, producer-writer George Lucas and director Steven Spielberg prove that they still know how to create a rousing good time at the movies.

In the nearly twenty years that have passed since the last film, the Nazis have been defeated (with Indy's help as a part of the OSS, we hear). But in 1957, there is a new enemy, as the Cold War is on and the Russians want to dominate the United States (and the world) by getting their hands on a crystal skull that reportedly has incredible powers. When we meet with Indiana Jones again, he’s been kidnapped by a ruthless (of course!) sword-wielding Soviet agent-scientist named Irina Spalko. Wonderfully portrayed by Cate Blanchett (who is nearly unrecognizable in a black bob and stark gray uniform), Spalko takes Indy to a remote U.S. Army Nevada outpost.

Harrison Ford and Shia LaBeouf in "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull"
Shia LaBeouf, Harrison Ford, and Karen Allen in "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull"

Once that insanely amusing opening sequence is over, the plot quickly thickens and the search for the crystal skull of the title is on. Along the way, Indy meets up with a young man who seems oddly familiar (Shia LeBeouf), an old flame (Karen Allen), and an old associate (John Hurt) whose mind has seemingly been taken over by his encounter with the mysterious skull.

All along, the Russian foes follow close behind as Indy and his compatriots head to the deepest jungles of Peru, where the key to the mystery of the crystal skull awaits. Needless to say, there is plenty of crazy action, wry dialogue, and unexpected revelations that occur as the world's most famous archaeologist takes on his biggest adventure yet.

It was Thomas Wolfe who once said, "You can’t go home again," but clearly he had never encountered Harrison Ford, Karen Allen, Steven Spielberg, or George Lucas. This group goes back to the world that helped make them all famous, creating a movie that proves Wolfe very, very wrong.

Text by Jenny Peters

PES042308 (Updated: 05/21/08 KR)

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