Perhaps I'm getting "old" or maybe just a little more picky with my movie choices but after seeing every Indiana Jones movie available I was looking forward to enjoying this fourth in the series but for some reason I wasn't as enthralled with this particular movie - even though I certainly expected to be, given the period in which it took place and the adventure it was said to hold for the viewer. Certainly there are still some "flashback" antics from the previous Indy films but overall I was disappointed with this fourth movie. I'm not certain if it was simply the script itself or if I was being just a little too judgmental about the acting this time around but this movie isn't the best in the series by any means.
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull takes place during the Cold War era in the year 1957. The Soviet Union KGB have designs on Jones to help them gain entry to famed Area 51 to obtain an extraterrestrial creature that had been housed in storage for the past 10 years. One of the first "escape" scenes for which Harrison Ford was popular in the three previous Indiana Jones movies ensues. In this particular escape, after jettison his way to what he believed was a little town, he soon discovers he's surrounded by dummies, literally and as the count down begins, he realizes he's in the midst of an Atomic Bomb testing ground. As he attempts to figure out how he's going to get out of this one, he finally decides to clear out a fridge and with barely enough time left, the explosion catapults him a fair distance, landing with a thud on the sandy floor of the desert area. Continuity was a little lacking in the movie particularly in this scene - my husband is a continuity fiend and if there is a slip up he will usually note it and comment. He was into film arts heavily for most of his high school years and to be honest, I don't know how he can actually enjoy any film given that he analyzes and watches for "bloopers" like a hawk. In this instance, he noted that although the fridge has a freezer compartment in the opening scene, when he finally comes to rest on the ground after the explosion, the fridge is minus the freezer - a puzzle he may never figure out ;) However, once one blooper is mentioned to me while watching a movie I tend to begin watching the remainder of the movie with a critical eye and that I think is my downfall - not to mention that perhaps I should strongly consider watching movies separate from my husband ;).
There are several scenes that hold the viewers interest though and Indy's old love interest Marion Williams (Karen Allen) makes an appearance which uncovers the identity of the side kick motorbiker kid named Mutt who approaches Indy and convinces him to travel to Peru in search of the Crystal Skull. We still have a few creepy crawlers - in this case scorpions, to give us a little ewww factor as Indy and Mutt traverse through darkened pathways, stairways and tumble down rotten ladders to uncover the Crystal skull which then quickly places them at the hands of the KGB again. Harrison Ford still plays a relatively convincing Indy albeit a little less spry in some scenes but one must give it to Ford as he handled almost all of his own stunts in this movie and Spielberg thought the idea of having a little fun with the age factor would lend some credence to the overall flavor of the movie. Cate Blanchett who plays a reasonably convincing evil KGB agent named Irina Spalko does a good job with her character and even the Russian accent.
Overall, this movie was what I would consider a fairly decent "down time" flic but nothing that I would actually have spent money at the movie theater to view. If you like Indy for Indy then you'll enjoy this film but if you are looking forward to a unique series of adventurous heroics such as Raiders of the Lost Ark or Temple of Doom provided that keep on throwing things at you faster than you can blink - you may find this last film slightly lethargic in that area.
Worth adding to the Indy collection you might have but not really up to par with the others in the series as far as the adventure, intrigue and overall Indy persona go in my opinion.