Indiana Jones returns 19 years after his last adventure, and early reaction suggests the majority of Cannes film festival’s notoriously picky critics are happy the whip-wielding archaeologist is back.

Harrison Ford reprises his most famous role in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, a high-octane fantasy set in the 1950s when Jones no longer faces Nazis but a KGB agent after the ultimate Cold War weapon -—- mind control.

There are plenty of jokes about 65-year-old Ford’s age, and he reunites with Karen Allen, co-star in the first Indiana Jones movie, Raiders of the Lost Ark, released in 1981.

“Not as easy as it used to be,” Jones mutters early on.

His young sidekick, Mutt Williams, played by Shia LaBeouf, at one point bluntly asks: “What are you, like 80?,” and there are strong hints he will take over the mantle from Ford.

Australian actress Cate Blanchett, with severe fringe, dark hair and over-the-top Russian accent, plays evil Soviet agent Irina Spalko who races Jones to the secret of the crystal skull.

Warm, though not loud applause broke out as the credits rolled at the first press screening ahead of a glitzy evening red-carpet event, and early online reviews were mostly positive.

“Nineteen years after their last adventure, 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,” wrote Todd McCarthy of trade publication Variety.

But Kirk Honeycutt of Hollywood Reporter told Reuters: “They (the audience) got a rollercoaster that didn’t seem to want to stop for nearly two hours and they didn’t get much story, or character, or wit or plot. “We’re all kind of bewildered about what they thought they were making.”

Thousands of people crowded outside the Grand Theatre Lumiere cinema in a sun-kissed Cannes to get a glimpse of the stars.

Asked if he, Spielberg and Ford planned a fifth Indiana Jones movie, George Lucas, who conceived the film, replied: “Harrison, Steven and I haven’t talked about it. We can’t do it unless I can come up with a good idea, which I haven’t.”

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