Indiana rolls on... but Woody should stop
INDIANA JONES AND THE KINGDOM OF THE CRYSTAL SKULL (
AT 65, Harrison Ford has earned his right to sit back and take things easy. Instead (and surely not because he has made a mess of his pension plans), he is back again as Indiana Jones, wielding his whip once more.
Director Steven Spielberg and creator/executive producer George Lucas are back too with a snappy screenplay that pitches Our Hero into the Cold War in 1957 and has him battling Soviet agents led by Cate Blanchett’s dangerous Irina Spalko.
As in the previous three Indy outings, the thrills are piled on so fast there is no time to ponder on the illogical plotting. The movie opens with an attack by Soviets on a top-secret military base in Nevada and segues excitingly through assorted mayhem to an extraordinary escape from an A-bomb explosion. After that Spielberg takes Indiana to darkest Peru to find the crystal skull — which can bring about world domination — in the company of young Brando-style rebel Mutt, and on to an everything-goes climax inside a Mayan Pyramid. Superb stunts, chases and assorted fisticuffs revive the franchise, and Indiana too. While Ford looks his age, he and his legion of stuntmen recreate Indy in almost-all his glory in a thrill-packed show that could well be retitled Indiana Jones and the Box Office of Gold.
THIS TRULY awful film, which has working-class brothers Ewan McGregor and Colin Farrell committing murder at the behest of their wealthy uncle, is the third British-made Woody Allen movie. The first, Match point, was indifferent; Scoop was only released by DVD pirates in North London; and it would have been a real kindness if this latest effort had failed to get a distribu- tion deal. If you admire the superb Allen classics like Manhattan, Hannah and her Sisters and Radio Days, do yourself a favour and miss Cassandra’s Dream, which emerges as an unhappy blend of 1950s British B-feature thriller and sub- EastEnders family melodrama.
Clearly Allen feels driven to keep on making movies, regardless of whether anyone actually wants to see them. On this evidence, it is high time for him to quit, rather than continue to sully his legacy of great films.