Decades have come and gone since our dear Dr. Jones' not-so-last crusade, and it's good to report that his return will entertain series fans. Sure, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull's good vs. evil race to the finish is marked by twists and turns that require not just a suspension, but a complete removal, of disbelief. But that's only to be expected -- after all, the Indiana Jones mythology wasn't built on reality. It's the ride, not the details, that audiences are paying for. And what a ride: The suspense, the wisecracks, the gloomy caves to explore -- they're all there. When Indy first enters the frame, it's like seeing a dear old friend. The filmmakers didn't reinvent the wheel (so don't expect any innovations), but they didn't ruin it, either.
And the newbies? When it comes to an iconic film series like this, passing the torch can be tricky. But diehard fans can relax: LaBeouf proves himself worthy enough to carry on the Indy tradition. He's prickly and adventurous, edgy and intelligent -- much like Indy himself. Though he's no Harrison Ford, LaBeouf could believably have been cut from the same cloth. As for the women, while Karen Allen's return to the series as feisty Marion is a delight, Blanchett's Russian accent is somewhat marred by plummy, Australian inflections when she says Indy's last name, which is often. And that's not the only jarring tone: While the first two-thirds of the film is classic Indy, the last act takes a hard swing that swerves into otherworldly territory. It's like Indiana Jones meets E.T. -- which is pretty iffy. The transgression's forgivable, but only just.