Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

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The year is 1957, a time of the Cold War, anti-communism hysteria, and Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford of Indiana Jones and the Raiders Of The Lost Ark , Indiana Jones And The Temple Of Doom, and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade) is on another adventure as he is hauled into Area 51 by KBG agents to find an artifact that is stored in a cavernous warehouse. The team is lead by Irina Spalko (Cate Blanchett of The Lord of the Rings : The Fellowship of the Ring), a leader in paranormal research for her Socialist empire, as she calls it. There is much mistrust going on when Indy and his companion, ‘Mac’ George Michale (Ray Winstone) ask for gunpowder to lead them to the artifact, as it is highly magnetic, and the powder will lead the way. Once they find the box, Agent Spalko opens it only to find the remains of an alien body. This is no ordinary alien. This is the body of one of the aliens found in Roswell, New Mexico ten years before. Indy was working as a specialist on that case then, but ten years later, he is still very much in the dark about what went on there. More mistrust occurs when Mac turns on him for payment by the KGB, as Mac has amassed some gambling debts the Russians are willing to pay off. There is much bullets and blood and mayhem as Indy makes his escape, and he finds himself in a fake suburban town populated with manniquins. The Howdy Doody show is running on the black and white TV, but that little theme song is drowned out by sirens, and Indy has no time to escape what is coming. He dives into a lead-lined refrigerator, and is thrown from the nuclear test blast that annihilates the fake town. Somehow, he manages to make it back home to Connecticut and is teaching again at Marshall College when Dean Charles Stanforth (Jim Broadbent of The Borrowers) approaches Indy about all the chaos he is causing with the government agencies and the board of regents. The FBI has gotten involved and it has caused such an uproar that in order for Indy to keep his job, the Dean was forced to resign.

At this time, Fate has brought another surprise to Indy. Greaser Mutt Williams (Shia LaBeouf of Transformers ) has approached Indy with the fact that his mother has been kidnapped down in South America, because she went to search for Harold Oxley, a former colleague of Indy’s. He shows Indy a letter sent to him that is written in a dead South American Indian language. All this time, they are being spied on by KBG agents, which leads to a chaotic motorcycle chase through the Marshall College campus, which ends at the very crowded library, where Indy and Mutt lose the agents, and manage to make it back to Indy’s home to find out where this letter is going to lead them. The clues lead them to the Nazca Lines of Peru, and to the town of Nazca. They learn that Oxley had been kept at an asylum run by the local nuns, and what made the normally extremely boring man go insane. Indy finds out that the clues in the letter are to lead him to the grave of a conquistador, and there they find a highly magnetic, elongated skull made of crystal. The search takes them right into the hands of Spalko and her team once again, where she takes them into the jungles of western Brazil, which might be location of the legendary city of Akator, or as the Spanish called it, “El Dorado, the City of Gold”. Spalko is not only holding Oxley, but Indy’s ex-girlfriend, Marion, whom also happens to be Mutt’s mother. In a moment of desperation, when, they are again facing death together, Marion confesses that Mutt is Indy’s son, and that his real name is Henry.

As with any great adventure movie, we have arrogant heroes and villains, smug heroines and cold vamps. Not a trick is missed here, and the action never seems to stop. From Spalko’s grand psychic ambitions to magical mysteries brought to life out of the books about ancient astronauts that were so popular during the 60s and 70s, tapping into the realm of retro sci-fi pop culture has never been so much fun. If you like the Indiana Jones movies, you must own this one, even if it is the weakest of the stories. With the possibilty of stories of many generations of the Jones boys, it could pave the way for sequels set in 60s thru 80s featuring Mutt, and even prequels in the Steampunk era about Henry Jones, Sr. If Lucas can do it, we will be waiting.

I give this film a Musing review of ★★★★★☆