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Everything needed to make sure “Indiana Jones 5” doesn’t suck

Everything needed to make sure “Indiana Jones 5” doesn’t suck

Everything needed to make sure “Indiana Jones 5” doesn’t suck
March 28
12:19 2016

Harrison Long@HarrisonGLong

Preston Mitchell@Presto_Mitch

With the announcement of a new “Indiana Jones” installment, fans across the world raised their eyes in collective shock and skepticism. Following a “less-than-stellar” return to form in 2008’s “Kingdom of the Crystal Skull”, many are wondering if another Indy film is even necessary. We believe that there are bright days ahead for the swashbuckling archeology professor, and thus have thrown a few suggestions for film-makers to take heed of before the film’s 2019 release.

With Harrison Ford returning as the titular character, there are two structures that could work here:

1. Many hardcore Indy fans grew up watching “The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles” from the early 90’s. A great strength of the series was the narration from a 93-year-old Indy (George Hall), who bookended adventures of himself as a young boy (Corey Carrier) and a teenager (Sean Patrick Flanery). One possible way the new movie could work is if it translated a similar methodology, presenting the aging Harrison Ford in the 70’s to narrate a 1930’s Indy adventure. Not only would Ford’s casting make sense here, but also it would pass his torch to a new actor with less of a sting.

2. Spielberg and Ford could pull an “Unforgiven” and make a film all about an aging Indy. In this case, Indy would be divorced from Marion (Karen Allen) and have an estranged relationship with his son (Shia LaBeouf). This fixes all the silliness of “Crystal Skull,” and having a plot where Indy is forced out of retirement and disillusionment could make for mature, compelling storytelling that a fifth film needs.

Now, it is unlikely that the film we are anticipating will be the final installment of the series, so we need to seriously consider who could properly replace the legend of Ford onscreen. Here are our top picks for a new Indy:

1. Chris Pratt – The new model of the supporting actor-turned-bonafide star, Pratt oscillates between lovable manchild (“Parks and Recreation”) and ridiculously charming action hero (“Guardians of the Galaxy”). Pratt knows how to add spit and polishes to old jokes and make them very funny, ladies love him and he was one of the few great things about “Jurassic World.” His Indiana Jones would probably be the funniest and most compelling since “Last Crusade.”

2.  Zac Efron – We know, we know. He starred in “High School Musical” and “Charlie St. Cloud.” But keep in mind that Leonardo DiCaprio and Johnny Depp did teeny-bopper roles before becoming legends. Efron has solid acting chops that have proven his talent in films such as “Me and Orson Welles” and, more notably, “Neighbors.” He has the comic timing, dramatic heft and physicality necessary to make Indy feel like a living, breathing human being.

3.  Taron Egerton – Easily the standout of 2015’s surprise hit “Kingsman,” Egerton displayed great comedic timing, an action prowess, and an immeasurable charisma. If Spielberg is actually planning to do a throwback to the 90’s show, Egerton would make the most sense since he’s the youngest of the three and has the most ahead of him.

On the flip side, here are people who should not, under any circumstances, don the whip and fedora:

1. Jai Courtney – The very definition of trash, Jai is the discount Sam Worthington whenever filmmakers can’t hire Sam Worthington. He’s also a really bland, generic actor that keeps ruining franchises, starting with “A Good Day to Die Hard.” He still owes me $7 for seeing that on opening night.

2. Channing Tatum – Don’t get me wrong; Tatum’s had an impressive career. He went from pandering to the cheap seats (“Step Up”) to delivering stellar performances in Steven Soderbergh movies and “Foxcatcher.” However, he’s a little too old to be taken seriously as a young Indiana Jones and has shown a liking for intimate indies recently that critics would rather see him do.

3. Shia LaBeouf – You’re not Indy, bro. “Transformers” aside, you have some really good (even great) films in your repertoire, but “Crystal Skull” isn’t one of them. When everyone saw you swinging with CGI monkeys on vines, we were done. We love you, but stay the hell away from this franchise.

The MacGuffin: 
All of Indiana Jones’ adventures revolve around a MacGuffin, which is simply an object for the sole purpose of driving the narrative and nothing more. Past MacGuffins are the Ark of the Covenant, a mystical stone, the Holy Grail and unfortunately, a crystal skull. For the new film, we feel that there are many directions that could be taken and ultimately are not too concerned with what is chosen. As long as no aliens appear onscreen, and no fridges are nuked, we think everything is going to be just fine.

Some notable worries:
Our biggest concerns lie in the fact that Spielberg is directing Indy again. While he’s directed every other Jones film, he’s simply not the same filmmaker he was in the 70’s and 80’s. That Steven was concerned with nothing but commercially viable films with rich subtexts. Nowadays, he’s a celebrated footnote whose only great films in the last decade have been “Munich” and “Bridge of Spies.” Spielberg only makes Oscar dramas now, and his one foray into Indy-esque filmmaking, “Adventures of Tintin,” kind of sucked. Hopefully he can connect with his younger sensibilities once more.

Conclusion:
The upcoming Indy film has an equal share of knocks going for and against it. At the end of the day, we’re all wishing for it to be the best movie it can. Since George Lucas has been taken off and banished from the production process, there is a high likelihood we will see a return to form not unlike the crackling excitement we saw with 1981’s “Raiders of the Lost Ark.” Like with the massive success found in J.J. Abram’s “The Force Awakens,” we truly do hope that those in the creative process have learned their lesson — we aren’t sure if our hearts can take another “Crystal Skull”.

Featured Image: Courtesy | Bing Images

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