Writers: David Koepp (Screenplay), George Lucas and Jeff Nathanson (Story)
Running time: 117 mins (approx)
Certificate (UK): 12A
Watched on DVD Monday 31st August 2009.
PLEASE NOTE: POSSIBLE SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW.
Having seen all three of the previous films in this franchise, I was interested to see what the fourth one would bring, particularly with there being such a big gap since the third. I guess I’m asking a lot for it to be as good, if not better than the first three, but I put the disc in the machine with a glimpse of hope in my heart. I remember not long after it came out the news reports were a bit quiet, and now I know why. Don’t get me wrong, it’s good, but not as good as the other three, unfortunately by some margin. It’s almost as if the writers had run out of good ideas, the acting, production, direction and cinematography were all fine, but the script fell a tad short of the mark. Anyhow, let me tell you a bit about the plot.
It’s 1957 and Professor Jones and his sidekick ‘Mac’ have been kidnapped by the Russians and taken to a secret US military storage facility. They want Prof. Jones to locate a particular crate that he was responsible for packing back in 1947. Having located the crate and escaping the Russians, using the cover of a nuclear test, Prof. Jones returns to teaching. He is not there for long when he is told that the FBI are putting pressure on the Dean to have him removed. He leaves only to be met by the young Mutt Williams, who tells him about how his old friend and colleague Professor Oxley has disappeared whilst working in Peru. Following clues in a letter written to Prof. Jones, the pair decide to try to find Prof. Oxley. Unfortunately, the Russians would also like to know the whereabouts of Professor Oxley…
The plot has a lot of twists and turns in it, my little summary of the beginning doesn’t do it justice. I think the trouble is the plot is a bit too complicated; it’s almost as if all the ideas for an Indiana Jones film were poured out in this one movie. I hope they’ve kept some back. Anyway, great performances from all of the main characters, Harrison Ford strapping on the whip once again as Indiana Jones, Cate Blanchett as his evil Russian nemesis Irina Spalko, Karen Allen reprising her role as Marion Ravenwood, Shia LaBeouf as the young Mutt Williams, Ray Winstone as ‘Mac’ George Michale and John Hurt as Professor Oxley. As I said at the beginning, great production and direction, as we should expect from Steven Spielberg, but just lacking something in the script department.
My score: 6.5/10
IMDb Site: http://uk.imdb.com/title/tt0367882/
Official Site: http://www.indianajones.com/site/index.html