By Ashley Pauls/Box Office Buzz
When I was a kid, I thought Harrison Ford was pretty much the coolest person ever. After all, he was Han Solo AND Indiana Jones, my two favorite movie characters. Since then, Star Wars and Indiana Jones have remained two of my favorite film franchises, and I was very pleased with Star Wars’ recent return to the big screen with “The Force Awakens” — and Harrison Ford’s role in that film. Now we’ve learned Indiana Jones will be returning to the big screen as well: Disney just announced that a fifth film in the franchise, starring Ford, will be released on July 19, 2019. However, even though Disney found success with Star Wars, is it a good idea to try the same thing with Indy?
The first Indiana Jones film, “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” was released in 1981 and is one of my all-time favorite movies. The brainchild of Steven Spielberg and George Lucas, the film is an old-fashioned action-adventure with both historical details and supernatural surprises. Harrison Ford was perfectly cast as the danger-seeking archaeologist Indiana Jones. While the sequel, “The Temple of Doom,” didn’t quite live up to “Raiders,” the third film, “The Last Crusade” was a fun return to form and featured Sean Connery as Indy’s father. It seemed as though that film would be the end of the franchise, until “The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” arrived in 2008. And it’s a bit of a different story.
Many fans don’t have fond memories of watching “The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.” I personally don’t hate it, and I think there were plenty of redeeming features. However, it is the weakest film in the franchise. Shia LaBeouf doesn’t quite fit as Indy’s son, and it’s probably best not to even bring up the film’s strange ending involving aliens.
Although I’m nervous that Disney’s new Indy film could turn out more like “The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” than “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” I do think it would be nice to end the franchise, or at least wrap up Harrison Ford’s involvement, on a higher note. Steven Spielberg is returning as the director, which I’m pleased about, and it’s good to see Ford will also have a role in the film. Part of me is still curious about what the film would have been like if those rumors about Chris Pratt taking over the role had been true. Maybe Pratt could still play Indy’s grown-up son or assistant in this new film.
It’s been a while since I’ve watched “The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull,” but it seemed to be that maybe Harrison Ford’s heart wasn’t fully in that film. However, I thought he was amazing in “The Force Awakens”; you could tell he wanted to be there, and he was excited to play the character one last time. I hope he’s able to bring that to the fifth Indiana Jones film. I’m assuming this film will be to the Indiana Jones franchise what “The Force Awakens” was to Star Wars: a chance to celebrate what’s come before but also carry the franchise into the future.
I’d love to see Indy go on an adventure with either his grown-up son or assistant (Steven Spielberg, please, please, please pick Chris Pratt!). It would be nice if this adventure returned to the roots of the franchise: an adventure with ties to history and a few hints of the supernatural (no more aliens this time). Maybe they could go on a quest to find something like the lost city of Atlantis.
Overall, I’m cautiously optimistic about this film. I love the character, and I’d like to see Harrison Ford in the role one more time. What are your thoughts on the film? Do you think it’s a good idea to add another movie to the franchise? If so, what do you hope to see in “Indiana Jones 5”?