Saturday, along with The Dormouse, Batman and The March Hare, we saw Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.
Batman went in with low expectations, having heard poor reviews from friends, whereas I'd heard it was fun but formulaic. Batman says the movie was better than he expected, because at least Harrison Ford didn't drool on himself.
The year is 1957, and Indiana gets drawn into a Soviet plot to uncover the secret power behind artifacts known as the crystal skulls. Along the way, he meets up with young Mutt Williams, a rebel without a cause who appears wearing a leather jacket, riding a motorcycle, and looking just like Marlon Brando in The Wild Ones.
The script was based on a story by George Lucas, and the movie is produced by Lucasfilms, which makes the viewer wonder if Lucas had influence over the picture in any other capacity. Despite some high-adrenaline chase and fight sequences, and plenty of insider jokes based on the previous films, the film feels anemic. The relationship between Indy and Mutt is often entertaining, although too often Mutt is reduced to marveling at Indy's exploits, gape-mouthed.
When Marion Ravenwood (Karen Allen) enters the film, in a scene reminiscent of Raiders of the Lost Ark, the viewer expects a return of the familiar chemistry between her and Indy. Yet, most of the dialogue feels forced, as if their arguments are just light banter. And Cate Blanchett's ever-changing Soviet accent makes you long for her to mutter something about "Moose and squirrel." Whether to blame the script or the meddling of a certain bearded executive producer, it's hard to say.
I will agree with my friend, The Godfather, a.k.a. jvowles, that the movie is a fun ride. Leave your disbelief at the door, and tag along with Indy on yet another sweaty, bumpy ride.
Russian accents by non-Russian accents can easily turn comical.