INDIANA JONES survived his first perilous outing in the Kingdom of Critical Knives yesterday, winning a comfortable round of applause at a press preview at Cannes as well as mixed reviews.
The world premiere of the fourth and latest installment in the adventure series, and the first in 19 years — Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull — was the hottest ticket at this year’s Cannes film festival.
Set in the late 1950s of the Cold War era, the two-hour movie sees its swashbuckling archeologist hero racing against Soviet agents to recover a mysterious pre-Colombian skull in the wilds of Peru.
The plot had been kept strictly under wraps and promotional stunts kept to a minimum as Hollywood heavy-hitters Steven Spielberg and George Lucas awaited the response to what is arguably this year’s most-anticipated movie.
“It’s well made, you get your money’s worth, and enjoy it,” said Paris-Match critic Alain Spira. “It’s like a ride on your favourite merry-go-round, with the same characters, the same laughs.”
London’s Telegraph critic David Gritten was less enthusiastic, however.
“It’s not that (it) is bad, exactly. But it’s undeniably creaky,” he said.
“He doesn’t wear the fedora with quite the same jaunty angle, his bullwhip doesn’t crack as smartly — and Harrison Ford looks all of his 65 years.”
Hollywood blockbusters have a chequered history at Cannes, with the 2006 “Da Vinci Code“, for instance, mauled by the pack of 4,000 journalists.
Harrison Ford last night said he was not afraid of what critics would make of his hotly-anticipated movie.
Asked if he was afraid of what the critics thought, 65-year-old Ford said: “I’m not afraid at all.
“I expect to have the whip turned on me.
“It is not unusual for something that is popular to be disdained by some people and I fully expect it.
“I’m not really worried about it. I work for the people who pay to get in — they are my customers.
“My focus is on providing the best experience I can for those people.”
He described the film as a “celebration of the movies”.
He said the movie was made to re-acquaint people with the pure joy that could happen when people saw something they had not seen before “that will just kick your butt”.
Ford told the press conference he did not perceive himself as a star.
He said: “I think of my job as being a movie actor.”
The actor was asked about the hundreds of people outside the press conference building holding “need Indy ticket” signs.
Ford said: “I am very gratified that there has been a consistent interest in this character and in these films over a long period of time.”
Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull is released in Ireland this Thursday.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved