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Kingdom of dull
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 For the hardcore Indiana Jones fans, keep the fedora in the closet - maybe the fifth movie will deliver.

The much anticipated and speculated fourth installment of the Indiana Jones saga took Indy to new places and an out-of-this-world plot - too bad the result was just another blockbuster let down for a film franchise with a huge following.

We catch up with Indy (Harrison Ford) 18 years after his "Last Crusade" back in his old classroom at Marshall College - this time with fewer starry eyed students than in previous films but with a few more lines stretched across his face.

Jones meets the acquaintance of Mutt Williams (Shia LaBeouf), who spurs him into action at the request of his mother along with an old friend Professor Oxley (John Hurt) who have both been captured in the jungles of South America.

It turns out Mutt's mother is none other than Marion Ravenwood (Karen Allen), Indy's love interest from the first film in the series, "Raiders of the Lost Ark."

The rest of the film is an exchange of the possession of the much sought-after crystal skull that ends in a hidden ancient Mayan city.

And, oh yes, the appearance of a UFO - no kidding a UFO in an Indiana Jones movie - very X-Files to say the least.

Indy's South American search for friends and a crystal skull - apparently belonging to an inter-dimensional being - is a muddied tale of over-the-top CGI effects and a story line that gets lost in the ever-rambling cat-and-mouse game between the Indy crew and a group of Soviet soldiers - led by villainess Irina Spalko (Cate Blanchett), who apparently is more interested in the science of Ms. Cleo rather than any real archeological discovery.

The action pauses only briefly for a plot twist that most everyone saw coming from a mile away less than 30 minutes into the film.

"Crystal Skull" also lacks the witty dialogue that the previous three films mastered. Just another example of the new film not living up to the standard set in the by an original.

Even the gnarly creatures (in this case giant ants) for which the franchise is known - the huge slithering snakes, large furry spiders and monstrous rats - are somehow less scary and vicious in "Crystal Skull" due in large part to the over-reliance on computer animation.

Video gamers and Walt Disney enthusiasts should be beside themselves with anticipation because, if anything, the film looks like it would make a great theme park attraction or an awesome video game.

Amphibious car rides down not one but three water falls, a journey inside a refrigerator through an atomic bomb blast and a Tarzan-like, vine-swinging fight scene are enough to make any tourist wait in line for three hours in July heat - just not enough to keep the lines growing at the theater box office.

One of the few bright spots in the film was the performance of LaBeouf - who looks to be the heir apparent - or in this case the bullwhip apparent - to the great Dr. Jones.

Surely "Crystal Skull" will bring in the money expected by the movie's producers and distributors - let's just hope the fifth installment, which is more than likely already in the pre-production phase - will bring back some vintage Indy or at least some vintage Indy with a new cast.

Overall score: C-

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull is rated PG-13 for adventure violence and scary images. The film's running time is 124 minutes.