At 64 years of age, most of us will be lucky to tie our shoes without experiencing significant pain, much less be up to the task of battling the Red Menace armed solely with a whip and archaeological wiliness gained from years of outfoxing the Nazis. However, Harrison Ford manages to do exactly that in the improbable fourth installment of the “Indiana Jones” series.

Those expecting some sort of deep intellectual fare from the venerable series and its equally venerable star will be sorely disappointed, but they deserve to be. Indiana Jones was never about subtle pleasures gleaned only from a fifth or sixth viewing; it is a series dedicated to thrills as immediate and intense as Jones sprinting for his life away from a marauding boulder after grabbing the wrong idol. “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” is no different from any other Indy movie in that way: It opens with Soviet troops – led by Colonel-Doctor Irina Spalko (Cate Blanchett) -infiltrating Hangar 51 in search of an alien corpse that Dr. Jones researched a decade earlier. During a frantic chase through the same warehouse that holds the Ark of the Covenant, Jones is betrayed by his friend George “Mac” McHale (Ray Winstone), but nevertheless manages to escape in spectacular fashion. Soon after, Jones is contacted by Mutt Williams (Shia LaBeouf), who informs him that an old friend of his, Dr. Harold Oxley (John Hurt) has gone missing after discovering a crystal skull in Peru.

From there, the movie takes a series of predictably unpredictable plot twists and turns that lead to something of a throwback scene to a previous Spielberg effort. In fact, most of the movie is engaged in a kind of wistful nostalgia for a time that never really existed. Mutt Williams is an almost exact replica of the character Marlon Brando portrayed in “The Wild One,” sans sneering intimidation and general biker goodness. Karen Allen reprises her role from “Raiders of the Lost Ark” as Marion Ravenwood in a surprisingly age-appropriate pairing between Jones and his long-lost love.

“The Crystal Skull” is not merely content with dwelling on the past. Ford still does most of his own stunts, which helps him to stay in character. The stunt work is where the movie really shines; Steven Spielberg is a master of using every facet of his onscreen environments to create thrilling stunt sequences, and “The Crystal Skull” is no exception. The chase scene through the jungle, the movie’s centerpiece, also serves to remind fans what made Indy great in the first place: No matter how bad it looks for Dr. Jones, he always manages to find a way to pull through.

Whether he is about to be shoved into a swarm of man-devouring ants or being held at gunpoint, Jones never seems to lose his nerve; when Spalko asks if he has any last words, his reply encapsulates everything good about the “Indiana Jones” series: “I like Ike.”