Film Review : Indiana Jones 4 – Crystal Skulls and Greying Hairs


This movie snuck up on me. I remember hearing they were making a new Indiana Jones movie, but wasn’t that like 5 years ago?

But, it arrived and I went and checked it out on in Cinema 5 at Hoyts on Tight-Arse Tuesday.

The iconic theme music of this franchise is up there with Star Wars and Superman for me, and the memory of watching Raiders of the Lost Ark on a 32cm Rank Arena TV with NO remote is still vivid in my mind.

Harrison Ford is 66 in a month or so, and this would be past the use-by date of most action heroes, but he pulls this movie off with aplomb. He can throw a punch, he can leap up boxes, he can swing on whips. (well, his stunt person can at least), but the action is seamless and it makes you believe that Indy is the same Indy you saw 20 years ago.

I love the playfulness of this movie. George Lucas has shown throughout his career that he doesn’t have to take everything seriously, and specifically with the Indy movies he knows how to throw in a wise-crack or 2.

Ignore the plot holes. Ignore the unbelievability. Ignore the CGI. This is fun, action, adventure with a kick-arse cast.

Yes. Harrison Ford doesn’t do many movies any more (this is just his 5th movie this decade) so it makes you appreciate seeing him on the big screen again especially as the greatest big screen hero we’ve ever seen.

Then you throw in Cate Blanchett as the baddy, and she makes one hell of a good baddy. The Russian accent was a bit flakey (I could pick the Aussie!), but she made the character her own and you could tell she had fun playing it.

Shia LaBeouf is the Indy in waiting, just like River Phoenix was back in the ‘Young Indiana Jones’ TV Show. I still find it hard to get past seeing him as the gawky kid in Even Stevens, but since Transformers and this has put him on the Hollywood blockbuster map, his future is set, wouldn’t you say? He plays it well though and pulled off the ‘James Dean’ lookalike pretty well.

Karen Allen returns for this movie as Marion Ravenwood after disappearing since the 1st Indy installment. She was easily the best love interest that Indy had in the first 3 movies, so it was nice to see her get another go.

As in any Indy movie, there’s the obligatory gross out scene, the bug scene, the snake scene, the baddies getting wiped out scene, the honourable ‘right-thing’ scene, the happy scene, the double-cross, the ‘funny because it’s true’ scene. It’s what you expect, but you would expect nothing less. That’s why this is a franchise movie.

Just like you see the same jokes over and over again in a season of ‘Kath and Kim’, you will see the same things over again in a movie franchise. Because it WORKS.

As you can see in the Cate Blanchett scene below, there is almost a comic-like cinematography employed in some parts of the movie. I love the clean colours, and the smooth edges.

I can’t wait to show my kids the Indy movies, but will wait till they are a little older. It’s the sense of fun and adventure that seems timeless that will make these movies, even ones made in 2008, classics for a long bloody time. (I’ve still got to show off the whole original Star Wars trilogy too!)

Have fun and go see it on the big screen!!

4 1/2 Indy Fedoras –


About Mick

I've been around a while. I like to wrap myself around the warm security of the interwebs which have consumed me since 1993. I whinge, I rant, I crap on. Enjoy. View all posts by Mick

3 responses to “Film Review : Indiana Jones 4 – Crystal Skulls and Greying Hairs

  • alyndabear

    We saw this in Denmark (with awesome Danish subtitles going along the bottom the whole way through.. brilliant!) and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Good on Harrison Ford. I reckon he did a great job!

    (Now I’m missing the old Indy films… I have an urge to watch them and no video store in sight!)

  • Iain Hall

    I recently saw this film and over all I liked it .It was a fun roller-coaster rid e bit I did get a rather irked by the bike which was a total anachronism, it had an Evo engine and disc brakes for heavens’s sake not even racing bikes in 1957 had disc brakes!!

  • hans

    lol wich year is it again?

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