You know how The Last Crusade was a step in the right direction for Indiana Jones after the disappointing sequel? Well, this is another step, a re-step if you will in the wrong direction, and easily the worst film in one of the greatest series of all time. This film brings the good old-school action and must have been quite the breath of fresh air at the time it came out, but it's still very disappointing and has very questionable special effects, plus one plot element that ruined the entire film for me (but we'll get to that later).
This film takes us back to the Cold War, where Indy is forced to help the communists find some magnetized remains. These remains turn out to be that of a...(rageful sigh) an alien. An alien with an entire skeleton made out of crystal in fact. Apparently these aliens are significant because there are others and they are extremely powerful. Indy is following the trail of Harold Oxley at the request of a young greaser named Mutt, who turns out to be.....his son! Indy finds that out after encountering Marian (and the communists) in the jungle. A chase to get the skull to it's original place ensues with some great action.
The story is the main problem. It is entirely out of place for an Indiana Jones movie and there was one plot element that completely ruined the movie for me. Permit me to rant about it now. Steven Spielberg, you are not allowed to let your obsession with aliens leak into Indiana Jones. It's just wrong to put aliens in an Indiana Jones movie. They are not science fiction movies, they are old-school action and should be treated as such. It should be written down in the rules of film that aliens should not be in Indiana Jones movies, just like cowboys should not be in Star Wars movie. Anyway, I don't wish to belabour this point, so we shall move on to the acting.
I am one of the mindset that Harrison Ford can never do wrong with Indiana Jones. The role fit him like a glove then and it still does now. Same goes with Karen Allen, who still rocks as Marian. Now I was one that was kinda mad when I found out Shia LaBoeuf was in this movie, but to my surprise, he wasn't that bad. He played third fiddle to Harrison and Karen, and rightfully so, because they are much better actors. In terms of villains, Cate Blanchett was okay, but definitely not the performance of her career. John Hurt was pretty good, but again, not great either. All in all, it's great seeing Harrison Ford and Karen Allen back in action, but the rest of the performances were just okay.
The special effects, well, the special effects were very questionable. I must admit though, the special effects in the scene at the end were pretty cool. The scenery was lush as ususal, but the rest of the special effects just looked plain unrealistic. The action was okay, especially the fight in the jungle. However, it wasn't nearly as good as the frst three films. This is definitely the worst in the series, although it is not a heinously terrible film altogether. It has good acting and action, but the series should have ended with the third. All in all, see it if you want to round out the series, but if you don't, why bother?