When Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull was released in 2008, to a fairly mixed response, there was one question on our minds: was this it for Harrison Ford’s whip-cracking archaeologist?
It was surely only a matter of time before Disney greenlit a fifth Indiana Jones film and on 15 March 2016, the announcement finally came. Harrison Ford will dust off the hat one more time with franchise stalwart, Steven Spielberg on directing duties.
Since the news broke, the response has been fairly and somewhat depressingly predictable with many comments decrying the need for another Indy film as well as questions over Harrison’s age and fitness, and the physicality of the role. Those who didn’t enjoy the last outing are perhaps less than enthusiastic at the prospect of another sequel yet whilst I can empathise, I believe there is a greater chance of it being a success than some might be prepared to give it credit for.
Firstly, Harrison Ford may not be as young as he once was but The Force Awakens showed that Ford still has what it takes to be an action hero and his fronting a further Indiana Jones can only be a good thing. It’s common knowledge that Ford has, in the past, expressed interest in playing the role one more time and I’m thrilled he’s getting the chance for what will likely be the final time.
Secondly, Disney proved a great deal of naysayers wrong when their new Star Wars trilogy launched to success at the end of last year. I can still remember the doomsday predictions made in the distant days of 2012 when the company’s acquisition of Lucasfilm became known.
Fast-forward to 2016 and we have, in Star Wars, a franchise in ruder health than it has been for a long, long time and this is mainly down to the simple fact they actually made a great movie. It’s therefore not unreasonable to suggest that Indiana Jones 5 has a pretty good chance of being decent if not good.
Thirdly, all Indiana Jones 5 has to do to succeed is look to the triumphs of The Force Awakens, show an awareness of the audiences’ diversity and deliver a fun, action adventure film that provides interesting characters and an engaging storyline with a side order of archaeology thrown into the mix. At this early stage it’s difficult to predict how the film will turn out but I’d rather be optimistic about its chances.
Finally, it’s pretty neat that Hollywood has essentially ordered a big-budget action film with a star over 70. That doesn’t happen very often and if there’s one man who can pull it off, it’s Harrison Ford. Assumptions of his physical fitness aside, I’m sure Ford is more than raring to go on this new adventure and I can’t wait to hear that familiar theme strike up once more.
So whilst it may be ‘cool’ to moan about the revival of a popular film franchise, I’m personally looking to its release with a great deal of enthusiasm. I unabashedly adore Indiana Jones, and yes that includes Kingdom of the Crystal Skull and Temple of Doom.
Indiana Jones 5 is scheduled for release on 19 July 2019.
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