20 years of waiting, and the Doc will see you now. Oh Doc Jones! You have more wrinkles now. Doc Jones, you have a new sidekick now who is a son as well. Can we call him Doc Jr? Why is the Ukranian lady trying to BE Ukranian and why is your son dipping his comb in Cola? Just too many questions, and I am not given any answers. Awright!!! I know Indiana Jones is one of those immortal characters that have been built on the basis of that boyhood daydream replete with fantasy worlds, deep secrets of lost lands and treasure hunts with adventurous journeys . The one we loved and perhaps can never be old enough for. But having said that, Indie has delivered them all in the previous installments and this one as well. But somewhere, somehow,the feeling creeps in that in these 20 years, the laziness of the filmmakers have taken over, which makes Crystal Skull just another big budget Hollywood no-brains matinee mayhem, even when we have the Gurus-Spielberg and Lucas steering the wheel.
As for the plot, here it goes. It’s 1957, and as the Cold War is warming up, the bunch from Soviet capture Doc Jones to find the secret package in the warehouse of Area 51. Flaw 1: Only 4 guards at the door of a high-secret facility. How convenient! (I think by the time I end this review, I am just gonna lose count) Anyway, the package contains the remains of a secret worthy of being kept in Area 51. Doc Jones then tries to escape the captivity of the Soviet bunch in an action scene which can be best described as lame, and then even manages to escape a nuclear explosion. We do come to know about the treasure hidden in the lost land of El Dorado which Doc deciphers from the note sent to Mutt by his mom-Marion Ravenwood, an ex of Doc. Mutt says that an old ally of his,Prof Oxley has been abducted while searching for a hidden Incan temple. And that is approximately where the story wraps up. What follows next is just a big hoch poch of ideas flowing in a turbulent wave from the brains of Lucas. You name it and they have got it here, to the point that you start feeling that the sole intention of the movie was to revive the franchise for the sake of it (and of course raking in big bucks). Speaking in the shortest way possible, I’d say the plot includes some of the most forgettable action scenes, grand sets with gold shimmering from every inch and yes, ALIENS. The plot gets so dodgy at times that you just want to get over with it. But yeh, you hold yourself back coz it’s supposed to be the Summer Blockbuster of the Year.
As for Mr.Ford, he does look old but not that old enough to not be able to do those stunts. Unlike what Spielberg said, CGI is what I saw in every scene. And even at times quite annoyingly, when they tried to avoid it, they came up with a no-brainer cheap replacement miniature model of the Incan temple.Ugh!!!! I miss the whip which Doc uses only twice- once in the beginning, and then once in the climax. LaBeouf is just ok and Cate Blanchett is not at all at par with her callibre. Her thick Ukrrr…rrranian accent is a perhaps a tribute to the long years of Hollywood stereotypes. The action scenes are choreographed in a very non-exciting pace and pattern, and sometimes get too long. The escape sequences of Doc Jones are just too flawed. I mean, yeah Doc has to survive throughout and even get wedlocked with Marion, but are the Soviet bunch so ill trained that they can’t shoot an inch even from such a close range? And when Jeeps run over you , you ought to have some sort of scratches. And please, surviving three waterfalls in a Jeep afloat by just getting wet is stuff that 21st century movies aren’t made of. We would like to believe in Newton and not the survival principle of Lucas. All of this could have been portrayed in a more realistic way without letting Doc Jones die. As of the climax scene, I would say, the only thing that was missing was the price tag at the corner of the gold temple.
It is very sad to say, that with 19 years they took to make this one, they have come out with a product that doesn’t even come close to mere satisfaction. I am not a fanboy of the entire franchise, and I might get knocked out by the ones who swear by it. But trust me, even for one who is, considering Raiders, Temple of Doom and the Last Crusade, this one is just a very mediocre attempt and can be just an addition to its predecessors, and nothing more. Speaking of Spielberg, there is not one moment in this movie which speaks of his craftsmanship. I mean for Pete’s sake, he gave us fantasies like Close Encounters and ET and Jurassic Park. WTF!!! As for Mr.Lucas, his imagination was , I believe limited only to galaxy far far away. He did give us the character, but 20 years later, the pen has stopped and I guess, somebody else has been taking notes to his blabber. But then,no matter how bad I say about this movie, it is not gonna stop anyone from watching this one. Hell no, it’s been 20 friggin years and you have to watch this one. But yeah, I am not 8 anymore.