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Indiana Jones is back - and on form

Indiana Jones, Harrison Ford's dashing hero, was infamously named after George Lucas's pet dog. And there were rumours that the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull - the fourth movie of the film franchise - was the runt of the litter.

Special effects have been largely jettisoned for the film
So it came as a surprise to many people in Cannes that the film was so entertaining.
Swashes were buckled, rips were roared and sticks were slapped.
The film suffers slightly from the mumbo-jumbo plot device of that titular Crystal Skull, but it was always thus.
Every Indiana Jones movie has what creator and co-writer George Lucas calls a "MacGuffin" - a mystical artefact that the intrepid archaeologist has to track down - be it the holy grail or a sankara stone.
This time, Jones is on the trail of a skull that must be returned to a lost city in the Amazon which is guarded by the undead.
It is a load of old nonsense, of course, but the journey is worth the price of admission.
Visceral quality
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Harrison Ford on playing action hero Indiana JonesAll the classic ingredients are thrown into the mix - murky temples with devilish contraptions, ancient pictographs scrawled on walls, and horrible creepy-crawlies scurrying over the imperilled heroine.
Director Steven Spielberg has largely jettisoned computer generated effects (much to the chagrin of tech freak Lucas) with the result that the film's action sequences have a visceral, physical quality you rarely find in modern-day blockbusters.
An extended sequence with Shia LaBeouf and Cate Blanchett careering through the rainforest, swordfighting astride two army vehicles is a pure adrenalin rush.

Cate Blanchett plays a Russian baddieAs ever, Spielberg brings both humour and visual flair to sequences where other films are happy to provide mere spectacle.
The film kicks off at the height of the Cold War, with Dr Henry Jones Junior captured by Russians.
Like Ford, the character is older, if no wiser. David Koepp's script wisely gets his star's advancing years out of the way early in the movie.
"What are you? Like, 80?" asks Shia LaBeouf, a Marlon Brando-inspired tearaway motorcycle freak who gets wrapped up in the adventure.
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