That’s the “spoiler” which has made the new Indiana Jones one of the most polarizing movies to be released in some time. Featuring a plot long kept secret, a script undergoing an absurd number of rewrites and one aging hero, the fourth Indiana Jones film was a gamble for its creators, Steven Spielberg and George Lucas. And with all the hype, amidst all the criticism for daring to bring the series back at all, they decided it was time for Indy to face the extraterrestrial.
It’s head-scratching to think that audiences are really just now complaining about the believability of Indiana Jones movies. Biblical ghosts, demon-possessed stones and immortal knights they could handle, but aliens? No way.
But the yarn spun by Lucas is just as interesting (and unapologetically far-fetched) as anything we’ve seen in previous films. As the tale unravels in a series of stunning action sequences, we find ourselves in a true movie adventure once again, the likes of which we haven’t seen in some time. Sure you probably can’t survive three trips over a waterfall, nor can you hide inside a refrigerator from a nuclear explosion. But “that couldn’t happen” is never a legitimate argument when you’re talking about Indiana Jones.
The film’s most pleasant surprise is the return of Karen Allen as Indy’s former love interest and Mutt’s mother. Allen lights up the screen, having the most fun out of anyone in the cast.
The boys are clearly enjoying themselves as well. Harrison Ford moves a step slower than his younger self. That said, he still has a hell of a right hook which he now uses to lay out Commies instead of Nazis. Shia LeBeouf finds himself about midway through doing a swordfight on the hoods of two moving cars. By the end, you’ll actually be approaching the idea of an “Indy 5” starring him.
The film is simply fun, there’s no denying it. Of course, when measured against the greatest action trilogy of all time, it falls short of perfection, but that doesn’t mean it’s not one of the best adventure films of at least the last few years. And anyone who says otherwise is a goddamn Communist.