The year is 1957 and apparently, the Soviets got the release of the Tears for Fears song "Everybody wants to rule the world" a few decades before it came out in the 1980s.
Joseph Stalin’s favorite femme fatale scientist Irina Spalko (Cate Blanchett) is on a quest for two things in the latest "Indiana Jones" installment; a lost South American city and a crystal skull. The mentalist believes finding both will be the key for the Soviets to rule their enemies – via mind control.
Naturally, since this is the Cold War era, the Russians want to find the crystal skull before the Americans do, and what better way to locate artifacts of world domination than kidnapping famed archeologist Dr. Henry "Indiana" Jones?
Nearly 19 years after the "Last Crusade," a spry Harrison Ford dons his bullwhip and sexy brown fedora in the latest comedy/adventure "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull."
Because Indiana Jones is cleverer than, well, anyone, he escapes from the Soviets to find himself in a few spots of bad luck. First, he has to hide from an atomic bomb test (and survive) and then he is fired from his teaching position for his unknowing involvement with a Russian spy.
Before boarding a train to get away from it all, he runs into young greaser, Mutt Williams (Shia LaBeouf), who needs help in rescuing his mother (Karen Allen) and his mentor Professor Oxley (John Hurt). He believes they have been abducted by the same group who snatched Indiana Jones, and are in mortal danger. (Little fact, Karen Allen played the love interest Marion Ravenwood in the 1981 film "Raiders of the Lost Ark." I smell a reunion!)
While this movie is entertaining to watch (LaBeouf especially so. I see him being the next one to take the Indy Jones mantle), it can also be quite maddening. There are the not to subtle throwbacks to director Steven Spielberg’s movies, as well as George Lucas’ movies. We know you two made all these incredible movies in the past, so is it necessary to put homages to them in new releases?
The other trouble spot was the non-stop action. They rush through the explanation of the plot, leaving you with little time to process what it going on before your eyes are feasting upon a leather clad LaBeouf swashbuckling with Blanchett, and then watching Indy and the gang going over waterfalls. And let’s not forget all of the bugs. (Yuck!)
In spite of the chaotic special effects feast, "Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" is a decent installment to the "Indiana Jones" series. It’s not the best, and it may be the worst, but it’s still "Indiana Jones."
I gave this film a C+.
Dedra Cordle is a Messenger staff writer.