Well, took a trip to see Indians Jones and the Incredibly Long Title With Something About Crystal Skulls In It yesterday. I love the originals and hold Raiders to be a perfect film---you'd be a harsh harsh critic to find fault with it--so went in with an open mind but mixed opinions. So what did I think?
Well, it certainly didn't stand up as one of the "real" Indy films. Sure, there were some great scenes and sequences but inevitably Harrison Ford COULDN'T do the action as he used to. He does a bit but the spark and charm of the original Indy has been replaced by a more weary and beaten Indy, who is obviously struggling in some sequences. As cinema's leading action character, Indy now is a shadow of his former self. The opening sequence, traditionally a Bondesque prologue, is still present but takes a lot of time getting to actually show Indy. The plot isn't as exciting as the originals and the usually reliable Blanchett struggles with the comedy Russian accent.
Having said all that..the film does warm up and is a fine movie in its own right. The final 30 seconds alone made me want to cheer and after a comparatively muted storyline, the quest ends in a pretty spectacular sequence. The plot does nicely reflect the 1950s setting, shifting the basis of the plot away from the mystical more towards the science fictional but still keeps the general Indy ambiance.
I can't view this as one of the "real" Indy films: it's simply too different, but as an epilogue, it's a great Happy Ever After sendoff to a much-loved cinematic icon.