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Henry Indiana Jones is still teaching archaeology, but despite old age these are no quiet days for him. When searching some artefact (can’t remember which one), he gets hunted by Russians, blown up by a nuclear test bomb, needs to come back to the US government warehouse where all the secret reasures are hidden away, and help the Russians find the remains of an alien body killed decades earlier. Then for some unrelated reason he goes to Peru to find a former colleague of his who disappeared, and when he finds him and a crystal skull out of HR Giger’s private collection, he helps him return the skull to where it came from, because … er…. People chase each other a bit, some Russians die and get shot or eaten by killer ants. Not Indiana Jones, who takes the skull to protect themselves. And then all jump down some waterfalls. And then they go inside a Maya pyramid and find treasures and traps and some alien crystal skeletons, one without head. And then they destroy Machu Pichu and go home again. And marry each other.

Is it stunning or not that towards the end of 2008, with all the year’s end reviews and all the lists about best and worst films and performances and surprises and whatever – nobody mentions the long-anticipated, hot-commodity Indiana Jones revival? No turkeys or razzies, no best support actors or cheeky references to the ageing prophets, not even the hilariously (or was the word “stupidly”?) brave decision to discard a Frank Darabont script and replace it with an idea out of the every-creative George Lucas mental institution to confront Jones with an Alien recovered from Spielberg’s closet was mentioned agai – not even this previously unknown level of creative bankruptcy was but mentioned!

Indiana Jones was the most-hyped film of 2008, and the one most quickly and most thoroughly forgotten! Justifiedly so, byt the way. It took me three days to work my way through it, so dull is it and drags along like a mudslide on a very shallow slope. It is all there, no doubt about it, everything that you are used to from the old days of Indiana. But: it is all there in the same way it was 20 years ago, and a film that comes along like that just does not work very well these days. It used to be a state of the art, super-production-design, kinetic action joyride. It defined the genre of the adventure movie in a new way, and at that was copied times beyong measure. If you want to stick with the genre, give me Nicholas Cage and his stupid, but very entertaining, high-tech-ish “National Treasure” franchise. If you want to bury Indiana in style, give me “Indiana Balboa”. But for Heaven’s Sake, do SOMETHING and do not just pretend that today is 1987, and films are supposed to look the same way they did in 1986. Even Shia The Beef is not cool in this one, because for his cool he needs a modern environment – he had that in Transformers, a terrible film, but one that was in tune with its time. “Crystal Skull” does not only have the most stupid of all McGuffins (does anybody really know why he needs to return that skull to where?), but the action set in motion by that skull is just out of tune with the reality of the audience. At the end of the day, this is a completely forgettable experience, and will definietely be forgotten in two years’ time. Maybe that’s not even sad, as it may put at least one of Lucasfilms’ ghosts to rest.

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