Movie Reviews: Indiana Jones And The ... Crystal Skull
Film critics who held off their reviews of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull when it premiered at the Cannes Film Festival last weekend are having a go at it today (Thursday), the official opening day of the movie. Manohla Dargis in the New York Times gives it merely a so-so critique. "There's plenty of frantic energy here, lots of noise and money too, but what's absent is any sense of rediscovery, the kind that's necessary whenever a filmmaker dusts off an old formula or a genre standard," she writes. But who needs that? Ty Burr seems to ask in the Boston Globe. What audiences want, he remarks, is "engaged nostalgia, I think, and on that level Crystal Skull delivers. This isn't a reinvention but a reunion, of characters, creators, even techniques." Mick LaSalle in the San Francisco Chronicle faults director Steven Spielberg for insisting on making the action nonstop, resulting in what he calls "probably the worst of the Indiana Jones movies." Nevertheless, he adds, that action "is more inventive, more lovingly detailed and a lot more pleasurable than anything you could hope to see in [other] action movies." Stephen Hunter in the Washington Post welcomes back "the hero." There's a pleasure, he writes, in seeing the Indiana Jones character. He "hasn't a crystal jaw, much less a glass one. Hit him, he gets up and hits you back. He always figures out a way to win. ... It's romantic manliness at its purest, almost but not quite schmaltz, ideally calcula ted to please true believers and ironic snorters at once."