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June 16, 2009

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Inevitable Sequel


It was inevitable. Despite massive fan disappointment with Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, Steven Spielberg has apparently "cracked" the plot for a fifth movie and is "gearing up" to make it a reality.

At a press soirée for "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" in London, Shia (aka Jones, Jr.) LaBeouf let it slip that Spielberg is hard at work on yet another Indy sequel, on top of an already heavily congested shooting lineup.

Does this mean that the rumors of Harrison Ford passing the Indy torch (not to mention the fedora and whip) to LaBeouf are true? I certainly hope not. I like LaBeouf more than most, but an "Indiana Jones" film without Indiana Jones is unthinkable.


I don't get this rumour. Historically, the Indiana Jones series has always been Lucas's thing more than Spielberg's: Lucas is the one who comes up with the basic idea for each movie, and then Spielberg goes and does the actual directing. And in the case of Crystal Skull, Lucas held on to his original idea for over a decade before Spielberg finally gave in and agreed to make the movie that Lucas wanted to make. Is Shia saying that Spielberg came up with the story this time?

INDY 4 scored a worldwide gross of $787 million - a sequel was almost a guarantee.

I'd lay odds this never comes to fruition. Spielberg's plate is already pretty full. Though, he has pushed projects aside to hammer out a quick blockbuster before; who's to say he wouldn't do it again?

Maybe he's feeling the morose of those unsatisfied fans. Maybe he knows deep in his gut there was, as Steven Greydanus put it, one good Indy movie and a string of copycats, and he wants to try for one more good one.

As if, right?

I hope they do a fifth movie, since the series seems to have a good/not-so-good pattern: Raiders (good), Temple (not-so-good), Crusade (good), Skull (not-so-good), fifth movie (good?).

Oh no! Indy has the Star Trek curse!

I don't get why people didn't like Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Excellent filmmaking, solid acting all around, and a good story. The complaints about the plot have me stumped. The Indiana Jones series is an homage to the old adventure pulps and serials, and Crystal Skull's story was right in line with the vintage pulps my mom used to collect, and the Flash Gordon/Buck Rogers/etc. serials that I used to watch on TCM...not to mention in line with the rest of the series.

I'm going to be a bit of a snob here and suggest that one big reason for widespread dislike of Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, at least in my age group (25-30), is a lack of familiarity with the villains - and when the plot revolves around them and their nefarious doings, that's a bit of a roadblock to enjoyment. The Nazis, the book of Genesis, and the Arthurian myth are all familiar creatures to in current-day Canada/US; the USSR, not so much. Most of my Soviet Union knowledge came from my mom, and Tom Clancy books - all I heard of it in school was that they put up a wall in Berlin once, but it didn't take.

The funny thing is, mind control and telepathy were actual, serious areas of research and development for the Soviet Union. It's definitely one of the weirder elements of their history. Why don't they teach the fun stuff in school? :D

All this to say, I thought it was a great film, high-quality entertainment, and as weird as a Ford-less film would be, I'll still look forward to Indy V. I hope they do a prequel akin to Young Indiana Jones - that was a fun show!

Like a ill-fated reunion of an old rock band and the disappointment that comes from the fact that "the guys don't rock like they used to, they're older" so it was and will be with any sequels to the original Indianna Jones. I regret I went to the movies to see it, Indy was not suppossed to get old and slow, but he did and his illegimate smart assed boy was a lousy actor and potential legacy to Harrison Ford's greatness. I was mostly dissappointed that the young quirt wasn't zap by or abdicted by the aliens in the movie the most. Please Spielberg don't run this into the ground. It's over with, move on to a new project already !!!

The gang over at SlashFilm do a bit of debunking...or at least retreating: