Sunday, May 18, 2008

First thoughts on Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

The immensely entertaining Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull gives you the same sort of pleasurable rush – a potent mix of nostalgia-fueled glee and in-the-moment excitement -- that you can get from a really great concert by a favorite band that first started charting in the 1980s. That is, provided it’s a concert where (a) the original players are obviously and unashamedly older, but still at the top of the their form, (b) they play both the oldies and the new stuff with the same full-out, rock-the-house energy, (c) the new members of the group fit in seamlessly because they’ve got the same beat, and (d) a bandmate who left the group a few albums back makes a welcome return midway through the performance.

Here’s a tip of the fedora to Steven Spielberg for offering no fewer than three sly tributes to the late, great Denholm Elliott, the actor who played Indy’s friend and colleague in Raiders of the Lost Ark and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. And another hat-tip to Cate Blanchett, who isn’t content merely to be a good sport while playing the villain of the piece. Instead, she insists on being a good actor – and makes Irina Spalko, a Cold War-era Soviet femme fatale, an altogether worthy opponent for the whip-cracking, wisecracking hero. Take my advice: Go. Now. Enjoy.

2 comments:

patrick said...

i keep imagining Cate Blanchett speaking English with a German accent in this new Indiana Jones flick

marvinryan said...

@Patrick, Russian. :)