CANNES, France (Reuters) - Good or bad, Harrison Ford will not be reading reviews of the new Indiana Jones movie, which divided the Cannes film festival’s notoriously picky critics.
“Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” had its world premiere at the annual festival on Sunday, and initial reaction was positive.
But with more time to reflect on a blockbuster that cost an estimated $185 million to make, reviews have become more mixed.
“I suppose it would be interesting, but I don’t read reviews,” Ford told Reuters in an interview to promote the film.
“I don’t want to believe the bad stuff and I don’t want to believe the good stuff. It doesn’t really matter,” added Ford, who reprises probably his most famous on-screen role as the whip-wielding archaeologist at the age of 65.
In Crystal Skull, he teams up again with Karen Allen, his co-star from the first Indiana Jones film in 1981.
They are up against an evil KGB agent, played by Australia’s Cate Blanchett, who is seeking to harness the power of a skull which leads them on a high-octane adventure that includes an encounter with extra terrestrials.
Reviews appearing on the Internet within minutes of the end of the press screening in Cannes were largely positive, and on critic rating site www.rottentomatoes.com on Monday, 34 out of 45 opinions tracked were “fresh” as opposed to “rotten”.
Several, though, have questioned the wisdom of resurrecting a successful franchise which last hit the screens 19 years ago.
“There’s a reason the previous Indy film was called ‘The Last Crusade’,” wrote David Gritten of the Daily Telegraph. “Now it’s ... time to entomb this elderly series once and for all.”
Cannes, which is a major showcase of independent film making but thrives also on the star power Hollywood brings, has a fearsome reputation among actors and directors.
“They can kick your butt here and will if they’re not happy with the movie, so I think we got a pretty good reception,” Ford said, referring to the world premiere screening.
Blanchett added that veteran director Steven Spielberg was not immune to a negative response.
“Steven was wanting to throw up before he went into the press conference he was so nervous about the response and I think it’s because he cares,” she told Reuters.
For Ford, the cinema-goer, not the critic, matters most.
“It’s the people who pay to get in, and whether they are getting satisfaction for their dollars spent,” he said.
Even critics underwhelmed by the latest Indiana Jones venture conceded that it would make little difference in terms of the box office, which they predicted would be strong.
Studio Paramount would have preferred more unanimous praise for one of this year’s biggest movies, but they were also most likely to be breathing a sigh of relief that it avoided the critical mauling another recent blockbuster had in Cannes.
“The Da Vinci Code” was universally loathed in 2006, and while it went on to make an estimated $760 million at the global box office, it was an uncomfortable opening.
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