Conceived as a prequel to Raiders of the Lost Ark, this kids off in old Shanghai and quickly hotfoots it to the Himalayas in pursuit of another magical talisman. While the set pieces are as spectacular as ever (a neat Busby Berkeley pastiche of 'Anything Goes' as an opener, a corker of an underground helter-skelter ride), the intervening filler shows signs of desperation. Part of the trouble is that anything clearly does go, including the slender hold on credibility that Raiders managed to maintain. Gone is Karen Allen's tough, no nonsense heroine, and instead we have the off-putting sight of Capshaw wittering on about her broken nails. Foreigners are generally perceived as an exotic bunch who are essentially savages at heart. The thrills are there all right, and delivered by the hand of a master, but the frantic flash-bang-wallop sounds altogether more hollow than last time around.
Cast and crew
|Screenwriter:||Willard Huyck, Gloria Katz|
Ke Huy Quan
I understand that the stuff of these 'serials' is the reading and movies of their makers when they were boys. Cut out the dark parts of the movie and you have a fun ride into adolescent male fantasy. Nobody needs to see children being whipped, or the whole dark violent 'voodoo' scenarios. These aspects of the movie did not fit with the whole, and were quite disturbing. As always it was enjoyable to see Harrison Ford as Indie. One of his most unique abilities as an actor is to show fear and distress in the face of impending death. The charm of seeing him too tired and exhausted to use the 'whip' and resort to the 'gun' in the original movie is priceless. Maybe he looks so worn out because he has done so many of his own stunts, but I love it nonetheless. The boy companion was mostly irritating, and I sorely missed Karen Allen. If it were possible to edit out the nasty parts of this movie I'd give it 4 stars. but as is can only give it 2.