Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Entertainment: +3

Content: +2

Harrison Ford, Cate Blanchett, Karen Allen, Ray Winstone, John Hurt, Jim Broadbent, Shia LaBeouf. Written by David Koepp. Directed by Steven Spielberg.

FILM SYNOPSIS: Older and slower, our intrepid hero is now on a quest to find a mythical ornament that may contain mystical powers. Of course, there are always others seeking what Indy seeks. Thus begins another Saturday morning action adventure, with some old faces and some new adding to the excitement.

PREVIEW REVIEW: Recently I screened an Indiana Jones-like film coming out later this summer. I gave it a positive review, all the while knowing it didnt have the same panache as a Spielberg/Lucas treasure exploring adventure. And the reason is not just that Mr. Spielbergs company has more money or more know-how. That goes without saying. But theres an added ingredient a love of film. Oh, I suspect most filmmakers love their work, but George Lucas (here, producing) and Steven Spielberg have an all-consuming love affair with cinematic storytelling. Heres how they display that affection. Both look at each aspect of the job and fine-tune it. Then they stand back and ask, Now, how can we make it even better? Then they do.

There is one small problem with their most recent action love fest. Theres nothing new in it. Indy (Harrison Ford) is now a sexagenarian, so except for the sequences dominated by Mr. Fords body double/stunt man, the action is just the teensiest bit slower. He uses that whip a lot and each derring-do feat seems a replay of those already done time and time again.

Im grateful that the filmmakers have allowed older actors such as Mr. Ford and Ms. Allen to play central characters in a summer blockbuster. But they dont do anything or say anything they didnt 25 years ago. That said, the attending audience didnt seem to mind that it was a mere retread of exploits past. Nor did they object to the convoluted, somewhat silly premise, or the films Titanic-like length. They were nostalgic and delighted with the humor and the magic as if seeing it for the first time.

Best scene: Indy finds himself in the middle of an atomic bomb testing site with seemingly no place to hide before the blast.

Best death-defying stunt: Indy and his young charge are on a motorcycle, having to defend themselves against a carload of Russian spies. The sequence has Indy pulled off the back of the bike into the car, then escaping by exiting the opposite window back onto the fleeting cycle. It drew applause.

Preview Reviewer: Phil Boatwright
Paramount Pictures

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: None

Obscene Language: Five or so obscenities, the harshest being SOB and the s-word, and four of five minor expletives (damn or hell).

Profanity: One for Gods sake, but I caught no profane use of Gods name or Christs.

Violence: Beginning-to-end violence, with several jolting or scary images such as a man completely devoured by CGI-created, large-scale ants this could be unsettling for little ones with the image of ants covering this man, even entering his mouth and being able to drag him beneath the ant hill; there are other violent images, including a man about to blow a poison dart only to have it blown into his own mouth; the leads find themselves in many perilous Saturday morning matinee-type situation. Blood: The filmmakers avoid grotesque or graphic amounts of blood.

Sex: Indy and Marian kiss.

Nudity: None

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: None

Drugs: None

Other: The rebellious young man has a tendency to disrespect his elders, but we eventually come to find him to be a person of substance; members of the FBI are portrayed as idiots you be the judge as to whether thats a just call.

Running Time: 122 minutes
Intended Audience: Older Kids and Up

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