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Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

The latest installment of the action-adventure series stalls

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A filmmaker making the fourth installment of a smash-hit adventure franchise -- especially one whose predecessors were fantastic, or at least, good -- must find it liberating: You can ease back on coherent plot and realism, and your fans will still give you a break. But apparently, director Steven Spielberg snoozed through this outing. I wasn't looking for Indy Part IV to be great, or even very good, but I expected to be entertained and not to feel like I wasted my time. The opening scene was passable, and I even overlooked that 1,118-year-old Harrison Ford was playing the rugged action hero. But from the moment Indiana Jones survived a nuclear blast by hiding out in an old refrigerator, I knew this film was stuck in quicksand and sinking fast -- a fate I might have preferred more than this limp whip of an Indy sequel. Starts Thu., May 22. [capsule review]

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