A terrible sense of deja vu has crept over me. The worst part is, this isn’t some strange illusion my mind is playing on itself—this is history repeating itself. While some might have rejoiced in this week’s news, the true fans of one of America’s most iconic heroes cried out in horror when Disney announced that a new Indiana Jones film was in the works—an Indiana Jones film starring the legendary Harrison Ford himself.
For many casual moviegoers, this probably seems like a gross overreaction to the jumpstarting of a beloved American classic. Especially with older viewers, the Indiana Jones films define adventure and mysticism. Many might see James Bond as the ultimate manly-man, but in my opinion, the gaudy “secret” spy would get his face sucker-punched in a match with the famous archeologist. As far as role models go, Jones has got Bond beat by miles. He found the Holy Grail for Christ’s sake, and he did it without being a raging alcoholic (at least on screen).
Indiana Jones is the exaltation of youthful adventurism. He’s dashing, sophisticated, and burly to say the least. So when it comes to thinking of doing a new Indiana Jones movie, why in God’s name is Disney still clinging to a 75-year-old man to play Jones?
When Disney first bought Lucasfilm, which has both Star Wars and Indiana Jones under its trademark umbrella, many became giddy at the thought of a possible Indiana Jones resurrection—in the form of a reboot, though. Many thought, including myself, that Chris Pratt or even Bradley Cooper would do a phenomenal job filling in the role, starting a new series of adventures for a younger Jones than was seen in Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Then Steven Spielberg went on the record saying that no one would replace Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones, “ever.” Even with this, I felt Spielberg (actually Disney forcing Spielberg) would change his mind when it came to announcing the fifth film in the series. Then Disney stated Monday afternoon that the famed adventurer would be hitting screens in 2019, with Harrison Ford in the leading role.
I died a little on the inside.
I don’t mean to give a load of crap to Harrison Ford. I get why he wants to do it. I bet he has a great time making these films with his old buddy Spielberg. My problem is we already saw old Indiana Jones, and, to say the least, it was a god-awful mess. The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull is rife with problems besides Ford’s age (i.e. Cate Blanchett’s atrocious Russian accent, the refrigerator/atomic bomb fiasco, and of course, Shia LaBeouf playing a greaser), but to an extent Ford’s age is a noticeable point in the degradation between the original series and the fourth installment. All of the “I’m getting too old for this/Things aren’t the way they used to be” jokes and moments are just sort of sad to go through. How the hell is another Indiana Jones film made another 10 years later supposed to remedy any of those problems?
Like I said, I don’t want to say Harrison Ford is not a good actor. For me, he was the best part about The Force Awakens, but it wasn’t because he was this awesome action hero. He hobbles around a bit when he runs. The one or two punches he throws are slow and creaky. The best part about Harrison Ford in The Force Awakens is seeing how far his character had come from being the reckless, self-absorbed smuggler he was in Star Wars—not all the stunts and harrowing action scenes his character makes it through. And Kingdom of the Crystal Skull sort of had all of this type of character development that could be had from Indiana Jones.
Then there are all the consequences of the last film that need to be taken into account. I don’t want to see Shia LaBeouf in another Indiana Jones movie. I don’t want Indiana Jones to be a married 75-year-old man. He needs to be the quick-witted, bone-crushing, fast-paced archeologist that people fell in love with in the first place.
In my head, Indiana Jones can beat James Bond to a pulp. He doesn’t slowly prod him with the tennis balls at the end of his walker. Disney shouldn’t be giving me the chance to make terrible Indiana Jones titles like Indiana Jones and the Search for Social Security Benefits, but there you go. Now we all have to deal with that.
Featured Image By Lucasfilm Ltd.