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(Review originally written at 23 May 2008)

Of course if this wasn't a Spielberg movie and this wasn't the longest most anticipated movie sequel of all time and if the Indiana Jones character was a completely new one to the world, very little people would complain about this movie and actually without doubt call it one of the most entertaining movies of this decade. But no, understandably so, expectations for this movie were high and Indiana Jones is part of many people's childhood and when expectations are high, movies very rarely satisfy completely.

Of course I also grew up with the Indiana Jones franchise but I didn't expect from this movie to be just as good and entertaining as any of the previous 3 entries. It was probably because of this that I simply enjoyed this movie for what it was.

And the movie of course is of very high quality. Not only visually with its effects and settings but also the stunts. It's true that at times the movie goes over-the-top with its action but lets say for 90% of the time the action is just as good and exciting as was the case in the previous Indiana Jones movies. Especially the jungle chase is right up there with the Nazi-desert fight out of "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade" and truck chase from "Raiders of the Lost Ark". Also the cinematography by Janusz Kaminski is stunning and seems to suit the series very well. Yes, perhaps it's a bit too dark though in places but I think this has more to do with the overall atmosphere and story of the movie.

Bit of a problem with the movie though is its nostalgic value. It can't stop making references to previous Indiana Jones entries which at times makes this movie feel like an homage to the good old days was something completely new and hot. I don't know, perhaps the cast and crew had a bit too much fun reliving the old days.

Possibly the story of this movie is the leas interesting out of the 4 Indiana Jones movie. It doesn't mean it's all too bad though but it prevents the movie from being among the best or most entertaining ones out of the series. I was also a bit worried that there would be no Nazi's in this movie (Nazi's in an Indiana Jones movie = always a good movie) but basically when you replace the commies with Nazi's and place this movie in the '40's instead of the '60's, you would still have the same movie, so it really isn't any problem or complained.

Harrison Ford's age also isn't a problem. I mean, who wouldn't want to look like him like he does at the age of 65? It feels as if he never had been away and he still knows how to play and handle the character. The fact that Karen Allen also reprises her role from "Raiders of the Lost Ark" is nice but it makes me wonder if it was truly necessary. After all, Indy always had a different girl in each movie. Perhaps it can be seen as an indication that Ford wouldn't return as Indy again and is back to the girl he loved the most and is going to retire with. There of course are also some fresh additions to the cast. Cate Blanchett plays a fine main villain and it makes me root for more female main villain roles in Hollywood movies. Shia LaBeouf once again shows why he is considered a great new Hollywood talent, who can already handle big Hollywood movies. Ray Winstone, John Hurt and Jim Broadbent, among others, are other new additions and they are welcome ones.

The movie shows that there is still lots of life and potential with the Indiana Jones franchise. I would say lets do one more movie with Harrison Ford and then pass on the whip and fedora to Shia LaBeouf for a whole new series of movies.

8/10

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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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