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Film Review: Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

May 19, 2008

One of the most eagerly and long-awaited series follow-ups in screen history delivers the goods -- not those of the still first-rate original, 1981's "Raiders of the Lost Ark," but those of its uneven two successors. Nineteen years after their last adventure, director Steven Spielberg and star Harrison Ford have no trouble getting back in the groove with a story and style very much in keeping with what has made the series so perennially popular.  Few films have ever had such a high mass audience must-see factor.

The newest Indiana Jones adventure, opening May 22nd, begins in the desert Southwest in 1957 - the height of the Cold War. Indy and his sidekick Mac (Ray Winstone) have barely escaped a close scrape with nefarious Soviet agents on a remote airfield. Now, Professor Jones has returned home to Marshall College - only to find things have gone from bad to worse.  Indy meets kid named Mutt (former child actor Shia LaBeouf), a leather-jacketed biker who travels with comb and switchblade. Between a contrived fistfight and extended motorized chase around the leafy college campus, Mutt sets the grand adventure in motion by offering evidence of the possible location of the Crystal Skull of Akator, an object of great archeological and, possibly, psychic and other-dimensional fascination.  Read More