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Cannes consensus: 'Indy' has lost a step

May 18, 2008 | 12:42 pm


Here are excerpts from the mostly mixed reviews generated by “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull,” following its world premiere Sunday at the Cannes Film Festival:

Leah Rozen, People:
“ ‘Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull,’ the fourth chapter in the saga of the whip-wielding archeologist-adventurer, is full of thrills, spills, chills and plenty of amusingly lame jokes. While the flick is easy to like, it never quite knocks you silly with delight the way 1981’s ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’ did.”

David Gritten, the Telegraph:
“[T]he audience cheered it in advance, even breaking into a wordless singing of its theme tune. But they ended up laughing at moments that weren’t intentionally funny, and they seemed listless for long spells. Their response at the end was polite but muted.”

Richard Corliss, Time:
“[O]nce it gets going, 'Crystal Skull' delivers smart, robust, familiar entertainment. Ford looks just fine, his chest skin tanned to a rich Corinthian leather; he's still lithe on his feet and can deliver a wisecrack as sharp as a whipcrack.”

Mark Savage, BBC News:
“As ever, Spielberg brings both humour and visual flair to sequences where other films are happy to provide mere spectacle.”

Michael Phillips, the Chicago Tribune:
“The dialogue doesn't even try to make its story points with any flair. ‘Indiana Jones and the Temple of Exposition’ is more like it.”

Peter Bradshaw, the Guardian:
“There are some nice moments, and everything is good-natured enough. But this is a moment for Harrison Ford to hang up the hat.”

Todd McCarthy, Variety:
“[The film] begins with an actual big bang, then gradually slides toward a ho-hum midsection before literally taking off for an uplifting finish.”

Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly:
“ 'The Crystal Skull' threatens at times to crumble under the weight of all the impersonal zigging and zagging loaded on for the sake of special effects. The precious ancient cranium itself — where it came from, how to keep it out of the hands of the Russkies and get it to where it belongs — is of little interest, no matter how many waterfalls loom, monkeys swing, and locks unmesh.”

Read the Los Angeles Times review from Kenneth Turan.

--John Horn

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