Tomatometer Watch: Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Looking Good!

Worried about the mixed buzz? Early reviews mostly allay those fears.

The early reviews of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull are in, and it looks like Indy and the gang still have a bit of the old magic. Skull, which reunites the team of director Steven Spielberg, producer George Lucas, and star Harrison Ford after a 19-year layoff, drew applause at its Cannes premiere, as well as solid -- if not spectacular -- notices from the critics.

Given that the first three installments are among the seminal film-going experiences of a generation, it's not completely surprising that The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull is currently being pegged as a cut below Raiders of the Lost Ark (95 percent), The Temple of Doom (87 percent), or The Last Crusade (90 percent). But fear not, Indy disciples: at 74 percent on the Tomatometer, it appears that the early negative buzz was overstated. And if it stays on course, Crystal Skull will join the same Certified Fresh ranks as its predecessors.

Richard Corliss of Time Magazine writes that "Crystal Skull delivers smart, robust, familiar entertainment." Variety's Todd McCarthy says, "Director Steven Spielberg and star Harrison Ford have no trouble getting back into the groove with a story and style very much in keeping with what has made the series so perennially popular." And Roger Ebert writes, "No Indy adventure can match Raiders of the Lost Ark But if Crystal Skull... had come first in the series, who knows how much fresher it might have seemed?"

However, not all the pundits are sold. Michael Phillips of the Chicago Tribune argues Skull "is so nervous about falling into the quicksands of camp it forgets to deliver a good time." The Hollywood Reporter's Kirk Honeycutt calls it charmless, writing that "the actors are asked to do little more than look reasonably alert. This proves to be Indiana Jones' greatest challenge."

RT's Cannes correspondent Joe Utichi, while not overwhelmed, found enough to like: "You get the impression that Spielberg and Lucas did their best to take on board the lessons of the Star Wars prequels, and you are left in no doubt that everyone involved desperately wanted preserve the quality of the franchise."

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull hits theaters Thursday, May 22. Check out RT's features on Spielberg here, Lucas here, and Ford here.

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