Famed archaeologist/adventurer Dr. Henry "Indiana" Jones is called back into action when he becomes entangled in a Soviet plot to uncover the secret behind mysterious artifacts known as the Crystal Skulls.
After arriving in India, Indiana Jones is asked by a desperate village to find a mystical stone. He agrees, and stumbles upon a secret cult plotting a terrible plan in the catacombs of an ancient palace.
Jonathan Ke Quan
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During the Cold War, Soviet agents watch Professor Henry Jones when a young man brings him a coded message from an aged, demented colleague, Harold Oxley. Led by the brilliant Irina Spalko, the Soviets tail Jones and the young man, Mutt, to Peru. With Oxley's code, they find a legendary skull made of a single piece of quartz. If Jones can deliver the skull to its rightful place, all may be well; but if Irina takes it to its origin, she'll gain powers that could endanger the West. Aging professor and young buck join forces with a woman from Jones' past to face the dangers of the jungle, Russia, and the supernatural. Written by
To keep the movie's events as secret as possible, the movie was titled "Genre" during filming. See more »
During the scene where Indy and Mutt drive the motorcycle through the library, it is clearly a stuntman and not Harrison Ford who slides under the tables on the motorcycle, as Indiana's socks go from dark (when it's clearly Ford on the motorcycle) to white (when Indy's under the tables) to dark again when Ford gets up on the motorcycle. See more »
The movie begins with the Lucasfilm logo, followed by the 1954 Paramount "VistaVision" logo (with the text "PARAMOUNT" instead of "A PARAMOUNT PICTURE" and "A Viacom Company" instead of "A Gulf+Western Company" below "PARAMOUNT"). Gulf+Western became Paramount Communications in 1989, then merged with Viacom in 1994. The Paramount logo then dissolves into a gopher mound. (The static version of the current Paramount logo is seen at the end of the movie.) See more »
Indy in the 1950s, yet in full Indiana Jones style
With "The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull", undiscussed geniuses Spielberg, Lucas and the other classic Indy filmmakers accomplished the challenge of realizing an Indy movie of the 1950s in all senses, yet enclosing the complete Indiana Jones style.
The light sparkling adventure style is all there, as well as the multiple references to the older movies - even more than ever, since the return of Marion from "Raiders". Indy's father isn't in the movie because Sean Connery retired from acting, and Marcus Brody isn't too because the actor passed away - both characters are already dead in the movie, but they get the appropriate references. There are narrative connections with "Raiders", stylistic connections with "The Last Crusade" and "The Temple of Doom", the movie also quotes an episode of the "Young Indiana Jones" TV series. Hence Indy4 is really the film which ties all the saga. There are even the classical references to other Lucas/Spielberg movies, this time very interesting.
The peculiarity of this movie is that we are in the 50s, so instead of Nazi we got Russians (Cate Blanchett is too sexy and fun with short black hair and a USSR suit), and the movie encapsulates all the essential topics that historical period, including cold war and McCarthyism (not by case one of the new characters is called Mac). Even more important, there's also a slight shift in genre. It's sad that most of the audience considers this out of Indy style, but it's exactly this fact that is in full Indiana Jones spirit: the new movie is not only set in the 50s but also partly filmed like a 50s B-movie, just as the old movies were not only set in the 30s but also filmed like 30s adventures. There's a shift in a more "modern" direction, a bit more mystery, and, to say one, if Indy was partly based on Humphrey Bogart, thew new young character, Mutt, is quite a reference to Marlon Brando. Yet, just as in the tradition of the older movies, you get an adventure revolving around an artifact, which is important for the religion of an ancient civilization; and the main characters tie together when facing enemies, tombs, horrible animals and other perils.
The Indy/50s style fusion is everywhere, from the set production (traditional archaeological sites and university, but also Harley-Davidson motorbikes and diners) to the photography (intentionally a bit in lighter tone); from the special effects (real sets and stunt-men, but digital for determinate scenes, just as the revolutionary visual effects in the "Raiders" finale) to the music: to classical themes like Marion's and the one of Indy's father, Williams adds new themes for the Russians and the Crystal Skull, and scherzos in the chasing scenes in style similar to "The Last Crusade".
As for Indy's physical limits due to his older age, Spielberg chose a right compromise between realism and the traditional Indy cartoon-like style: if in the beginning you see lots of Indy action but also auto-irony, as the movie progresses part of the acrobatic action is moved to other characters, and for the tombs Indy uses more brain than muscles - Ford, to use his words, wanted to show that Indy is not only an action hero. Though, that it's not too evident and it doesn't slow the rhythm, because you are involved by the action and tying of the group of main characters, which is sustained by a familiar chemistry between the actors. Small jewel is the character of Prof. Oxley, played by the great John Hurt.
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