In­di­ana rolls on... but Woody should stop

The Jewish Chronicle - - ARTS&BOOKS -

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.

CAS­SAN­DRA’S DREAM

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.

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