Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
Directed by Steven Spielberg
Paramount Pictures, 2008
124 min., Rated PG-13

If we hadn’t seen it with our own eyes, my movie buddy and I would not believe all the amazing things that happened to Indiana Jones and his friends during his big adventure with the crystal skull. Indiana was blown up, shot at and dropped from great distances, not just once or twice but for most of the entire two-hour film experience!

There have been several comments as to whether or not Harrison Ford, at his present age, should continue to play the agile and durable adventure hero, but whom else would you have? And, if you wanted a love interest, who could be better than Karen Allen, who was Indie’s first love interest when he battled the Nazis in “Raiders of the Lost Ark”?

Just to handle some of the more difficult aerial stunts, why not throw in a new youthful sidekick? And what actress, of all the actresses in Hollywood, would you pick to play the insidious villainess besides Cate Blanchett?

Younger viewers, who never read the comics or saw the Saturday serials for a dime at the movies, might think ‘Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull’ is a little bit over the top. Another group that might not like the new movie is political progressives who would just rather not be reminded of 1957 America, when the movie takes place.

It was indeed an ugly year, when America distinguished itself with atomic bomb tests and the nastiest secret police in the world. And, if there were villains in the movies, they were Communists. Progressives also might not want to see the script preserve the lives of almost all the Caucasians while treating other races like so much Kleenex.

Lastly, it’s an embarrassment to all of us to find out that Indiana Jones, archeologist and general hero of all trades, was, in 1957, a Republican!

But those who loved the earlier films, as well as other Lucas-Spielberg collaborations, especially ‘Close Encounters,’ are going to be glad they saw this one in the theater with the loud sound. It’s reassuring to note the continuity in this series of socially empty but exciting films. Heroes can survive almost everything.

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