The first series of "Young Indiana Jones" relied on more drama than
action. The new DVD set, "The Adventures of Young Indiana Jones: Volume
Two: The War Years," relies more on action.
"The War Years" isn't without flaws, but it's more entertaining and
quicker paced than the previous set.
Once again, if you're not familiar with this incarnation of Indiana
Jones, don't expect wall-to-wall cliffhangers and mystical occurrences.
What you can expect are some very well done serials with fine acting,
writing, production design, and direction. If you go into this series
expecting traditional Indy action, it's a different kind of action. More
epic than campy, it's still entertaining.
By far my favorite of "The War Years" is "The Phantom Train of Doom"
(1993). This one's a real treat and feels the most like a traditional
Indiana Jones movie. Written by Frank Darabont ("The Shawshank
Redemption"), "Phantom Train" is a rollicking adventure and could well
be a theatrical movie on its own. The story is a blast and the cast
includes Freddie Jones and Paul Freeman. Yes, the same Paul Freeman who
played the evil Dr. Rene Belloq in "Raiders of the Lost Ark" (1981)
plays a good guy, Selous, in the series. If you don't care for some of
the episodes in "The War Years," this and the supplemental discs will
still keep you very entertained.
Indy is off to war in the first World War, fighting in the trenches for
the Belgian Army. He and his friend Remy
(Ronny Coutteure) go on a series of
adventures through Europe and Africa. Most of the episodes
maintain Indy's personality throughout. Actor Sean Patrick Flanery does
a credible job as Harrison Ford's alter ego. Flanery's mannerisms and
demeanor seem to parallel Ford's iconic character very well.
The series plays with history and historical figures, but does it with
respect. For example, the opening episode, "Trenches of Hell," shows
what horror men faced in Europe during WWI. The series also introduces
audiences to historical figures like T.E. Lawrence, Charles de Gaulle,
and Albert Schweitzer.
"The War Years" is a rich and feature-packed DVD set and whether or not
you're an Indiana Jones fan, this is worth a look.
Photos: © Lucasfilm/Paramount/CBS. All rights reserved.
Indy's off on new adventures and they're
Cast: Sean Patrick Flanery, Daniel Craig,
Catherine Zeta-Jones, Ronny Coutteure
An archeological dig's worth of extras
Not rated (some violence)
Contains some really entertaining adventures this time around
Aspect Ratio (1.33:1)
Dolby Digital 2.0
DVD RELEASE DATE
December 18, 2007