Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008, USA) C-122m. SCOPE ** D: Steven Spielberg. Starring Harrison Ford, Cate Blanchett, Karen Allen, Shia LaBeouf, Ray Winstone, John Hurt, Jim Broadbent. Harrison Ford's return as adventurer Indiana Jones is a disappointment for various reasons. First of all, Ford's too old for the role, and Allen as his sidekick (from the first movie) doesn't fit into the 1950s (when the movie is set). LaBeouf is an unlikely action hero, and the story - a mind-bending concoction about Jones' quest for El Dorado and extra-terrestrial (Roswellian) involvement - is a mere excuse for showing off some (unbelievable) CGI stunts. No imagination or cleverness in this one. Even John Williams' score sounds artificial. Written by David Koepp, story by George Lucas and Jeff Nathanson.

© Ron Altman