'Indiana Jones' debut survives critics

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, earned a respectful reception at the Cannes Film Festival.

Harrison Ford 88 224 (photo credit: )
Harrison Ford 88 224
(photo credit: )
Indiana Jones received louder applause going in than he did coming out. His latest adventure, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, earned a respectful - though far from glowing - reception Sunday at the Cannes Film Festival, avoiding the sort of thrashing the event's harsh critics gave to The Da Vinci Code two years ago. Yet Indy's fourth big-screen romp is not likely to go down as one of the most memorable. Some viewers at its first press screening loved it, some called it slick and enjoyable though formulaic, some said it was not worth the 19-year wait since Steven Spielberg, George Lucas and Harrison Ford made the last film. Cast and crew were unconcerned about how critics might dissect the film. "I'm not afraid at all. I expect to have the whip turned on me," Ford told reporters after the screening. "It's not unusual for something that is popular to be disdained by some people, and I fully expect it." But, he said: "I work for the people who pay to get in. They are my customers, and my focus is on providing the best experience I can for those people." The new movie hurls archaeologist Jones into the Cold War in 1957. He survives a nuclear blast in the desert in typically creative fashion and is reunited with Raiders flame Marion Ravenwood (Karen Allen). As speculated, the film has an alien connection. And it reveals the relationship between Indy and his new sidekick, an angry young motorcycle rebel played by Shia LaBeouf. Crystal Skull is so hotly anticipated that it will be virtually immune to critics' opinions. The film is expected to put up blockbuster box-office numbers when it opens globally Thursday.