Review: Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

Let's get this out of the way first: This is an unnecessary movie made solely to bilk folks out of their hard-earned money. It stars an over-the-hill actor (Harrison Ford) and features a contrived plot line with holes like Swiss Cheese.

It's also great fun, laugh-out-loud funny in places, well-paced, and genuinely exciting. It doesn't take itself too seriously, since the whole thing feels like National Treasure 2 and 1/2, right down to the treasure map and the hokey history references.

In this installment, we find "Doctor Jones", 20 years after his Last Crusade, happily teaching in his tweed jacket after running afoul of the KGB--specifically the mentat Thufir...whoops wrong movie...noted psychic Irina Spalko, played by a sword-wielding Cate Blanchett. A greaser straight out of Brando's Wild Bunch turns-up delivering the suddenly jobless Indiana a treasure map written in a dead pre-Columbian tongue (which, naturally, he and he alone can decipher).

Fast forward to Nazca Peru, and things get all Art Bell on us--things with eerie magnetism, lines visible only from see where this is going.

I liked it in spite of myself. Not the gushy, send-me-flowers-in-the-morning love I had for Iron Man, but a worthy spectacle.

That it happened to be our free quarterly outing from the powers-that-be wasn't bad, either.

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