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   Movie Reviews: Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
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Studio:
     Paramount
Plot:
     Archaeologist "Indiana" Jones becomes entangled in a Soviet plot to uncover the secret behind mysterious artifacts known as the Crystal Skulls.
Cast:
     Harrison Ford, Cate Blanchett, Karen Allen, Shia LaBeouf, Ray Winstone
Rating:
     PG-13
Bottom Line:
     **1/2

Coverage:
by
Laurence Washington

It might have been better to end the Indiana Jones series after three films, because in this fourth outing, “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” is very familiar with its machine like march through strange locations, snakes and rats, and unbelievable adventures in search of the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Although “Crystal Skull” is an exceedingly well made production, it lacks the humanity, wit and laughs of the original “Raiders of the Lost Ark.”

“Crystal Skull” starts off with dazzling chase sequences 19 years after "Last Crusade,” and begins where “Raiders” ends at the U.S. government’s warehouse where the Lost Ark is stored. The plot is similar to “Raiders” except it’s Russian spies after artifacts instead of the Nazis. Indiana is in search of an ancient crystal skull that's linked to a legend about Spanish conquistadors, hidden treasure, and supernatural powers.

What’s so so about the film is it drags in spots and becomes a little repetitive in the middle as Indy ventures through the Amazon, over waterfalls and inside ancient tombs and temples. What good about the film is Karen Allen reprises her role from “Raiders” as Jones's long ago love, Marion Ravenwood whose been kidnapped by Irina Spalko (Cate Blanchett) a Russian agent who parodies Natasha from “Rocky & Bullwinkle.”

“Crystal Skull’s” rousing ending surpasses the Spielberg standard, and dares to echo an episode of “The X-Files” or better yet “ET” which is a little unfortunate.

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