Since this is to be a blog concerning movie reviews, I suppose I should start reviewing more. On May 22, one of my favorite movie franchises will be resurrected with Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Let me take a moment to deal with the previous 3 movies in turn. All four movies contain two essential elements: Harrison Ford and director Steven Spielberg
Raiders of the Lost Ark was one of the top grossing films of 1981, if not THE top money maker. It is here we meet the great archaeologist and follow him around the globe on his quest to find the Lost Ark of the Covenant. Along with his female companion Marion Ravenwood (played by Karen Allen), Indy battles Nazis, a trecherous rival treasure hunter, and the bane of his existence…. deadly snakes. However exhausted he may seem, Dr. Jones rises to each challenge with courage and at times a bit of a swagger. In one scene, Indy shoots a menacing swordsman with one bullet fired from his gun. However, his favorite weapon of choice: his trusty bull whip.
Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom was released in 1984. The second installment was considerably darker than its predecessor. In fact, Spielberg had to lobby for a new movie rating in order to avoid getting an R-rating. Thus, the PG-13 rating was created. Temple of Doom concerns our intrepid adventurer searching for the lost sankara stones which were stolen from a small village in India. These rocks may have meant “fortune and glory” to Indy but to the village they meant their very livelihood. Some of the highlights in this epic are a speeding mine car chase, a rickety rope bridge, and a sumptuous feast consisting of snake surprise, beetles, eyeball soup, and for dessert…Chilled Monkey Brains (a tasty treat anyone would enjoy).
The third part of the saga, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989), had a lot to do with the background of the character: why archaeology, where his whip came from, and why the name Indiana. In a very brilliant piece of casting, Sean Connery was chosen to play Indy’s father. Who else but the world’s greatest superspy could play the world’s greatest adventurer’s father? After rescuing his father from Nazis,they set out to find the Holy Grail: the cup which held the blood of Christ at the Last Supper and gives everlasting life to anyone who drinks from it. In a flashback at the beginning of the movie, the late River Phoenix plays a young Indy on one of his teenage escapades.
Now, comes the next chapter. Very little is known about the new movie aside from the title and who knows what the purpose of the crystal skull is. Karen Allen is returning as Marion and Shia LaBeouf is cast as a young man who speculation suggests has a familial tie to the hero. Watch the trailer here