Movie Reviews: Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull

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Harrison Ford told a news conference at the Cannes Film Festival that he expected critics to turn Indiana Jones's whip on him following this week's release of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. "It's not unusual for something that is popular to be disdained by some people, and I fully expect it." He called the film a "celebration of the movies" -- and there are elements of almost every genre represented in it -- from old-time afternoon serials, to Tarzan flicks, to sci-fi to Elvis musicals (it's set in 1957, and we hear Elvis singing over an opening scene) -- even, as Spielberg himself later conceded at a news conference, his as-yet-unproduced Tintin films. "Somehow I just feel inured from professional criticism." Ford added. A good thing, too, since some of the initial criticism does indeed crackle like Indiana's whip. Michael Phillips in the Chicago Tribune, calling the movie "disappointingly humorless," says that it "is so nervous about falling into the quicksands of camp that it forgets to deliver a good time." Rick Honeycutt in the Hollywood Reporter/Reuters says that the plot "gets swamped in a sea of stunts and special effects that are relentless as the scenes and character relationships are charmless." Peter Bradshaw in Britain's Guardian concludes: "This is a moment for Harrison Ford to hang up the hat." On the other hand, James Christopher in the London Times concludes his review by proclaiming that the film "is, quite simply, exquisite nonsense. Welcome back Indy. Lord knows we've missed you." And, indeed, most critics echo those cheers. Roger Ebert in the Chicago Sun-Times sums up: "If you like the other Indiana Jones movies, you will like this one." (Clearly Ebert loves this one.) Lou Lumenick in the New York Post has the identical reaction, writing, "Fans of the series -- you can include me -- will lap it up, flaws and all, and likely make it the summer's biggest blockbuster." And Joe Neumaier in the New York Daily News describes the movie as "entertaining, inventive and old-fashioned in the best way."



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