CAUSE YOU'RE NEVER TOO OLD TO GET YOUR ASS KICKED
Fresh off the heels of the second [Star Wars: Episode VII — The Force Awakens](movie:711158) trailer and news that Ryan Gosling might be co-starring in the Blade Runner sequel, Harrison Ford is once again in the spotlight. The question now remains, should he don the fedora one more time as Indiana Jones?
Of course he should! I know that bothers some fans, especially after the last outing, but the more I look back on Crystal Skull, the more I can't help to believe that it wasn't Ford that was the problem, but a mediocre script. And seeing an old Han Solo in the recent Star Wars trailer really made me think, Disney should give Harrison Ford the swan song that he deserves. He has earned the right to play the character again in one last epic adventure, and here are some ideas on how to do just that...
What follows is an excerpt from an article that originally appeared here at abnersjournal.com
Flashbacks in cinema have been used effectively in the past. The film that immediately comes to mind is Godfather Part II. Acting as both sequel and prequel, the film follows the journey of both Michael Corleone in 1958 and his father Vito Corleone in 1917. The film, shot beautifully by Gordon Willis, transitions between time periods with seamless editing dissolves that help to creates an epic but very personal story.
Indiana Jones 5 could utilize the same sense of timelessness by having Harrison Ford's Indy searching for a relic that got away in his youth, flashing back and forth as secrets are revealed. One thing that seemed to be lacking in the Crystal Skull was emotional weight. In the three other films, the character was always feeling the pressure of doing the right thing, and doing that thing that would bring him immediate satisfaction, fame, fortune and glory. What would be the emotional impact of a hero, in the twilight of his career, looking back on his life, thinking of what could have been or what should have been. And I'm not talking about just drama, think of the epic action scenes that could be used to tell that story.
OR BETTER YET, DAYS OF FUTURE PAST
In X-Men: Days of Future Past, older actors portray iconic characters in a fantastic story that takes the audience back to the younger versions of those same characters. Ian McKellen plays Magneto in the future, while Michael Fassbender plays Magneto in the past. And it works! No one complained that Ian McKellen was too old to play the iconic character in an action movie, though there are suspenseful action scenes that he takes part in.
Still, that is a complaint of Harrison Ford, and I understand that the Indiana Jones films are a completely different animal but as far as I'm concerned formulas are not really positive things. They become stale after awhile, predictable. Why not shake things up a bit and make Indiana Jones 5 a film that goes against the model of the typical Indiana Jones film? I'm not talking about a complete restyling, just a tweak. Make a two part story, make a more dramatic emotional piece with suspense and mystery. You can still pay tribute to the old serials. Just add a little more depth. The last X-Men film didn't even have that many action scenes but it was still a box-office success.
A TRUE HERO, ONLY GETS BETTER WITH AGE
While we're on the topic of Ian McKellen, this poster for the film Mr. Holmes is fantastic and seems to symbolize what my argument is. A hero, a true iconic character, should not be set in one time period. They should be fluid, they should evolve, and we as an audience should want to see what happens to them as they grow. I love the Sherlock Holmes stories, love the films, from Basil Rathbone to Robert Downey Jr. This image makes we want to see this film. And guess what? Ian McKellen plays a 90 year old Holmes. No action and I don't care. You show me this same poster with a 70 year old Harrison Ford's silhouette and you got me, I'm hooked, I'm going to see that film.
"DESERVE'S GOT NOTHIN' TO DO WITH IT"
When I think of an old Indiana Jones I think of Clint Eastwood in Unforgiven. He is old, grumpy and doesn't give a shit. He's been around the block too many times to care. He would rather shoot first, ask questions later. But still there is an edge to him, something lacking, a chip on his shoulder. Missed opportunity haunts the man. A life of "what ifs".
Unlike William Munny, this character hasn't given up, he's not hiding. He is still out there searching, digging in the dirt. Maybe it's fortune and glory, maybe it's God, or maybe just the routine, I don't know, but he knows the day he stops is the day he dies.
A ROUGHER TOUGHER INDY
Harrison Ford could knock this out of the park. His Colonel Woodrow Dolarhyde from Cowboys and Aliens is spot on, just add a little sense of humor and a few of Indiana's cynical one-liners.
I imagine that he has turned down the Associate Dean position, preferring to be out in the field. Still working for Marshall College, he oversees archeological dig sites for the school, giving himself a valid excuse to teach and travel.
If you want youth and action scenes, have Indy with a few graduate students in a foreign country looking for an artifact. Even the time period would be great. The 1960's was a powder keg ready to explode, with the Civil Rights Movement, Vietnam, Cuban Missile Crisis. To see Indy as a teacher in this setting would be dramatic, trying to be protector in an environment where control seems to be slipping away.
I guess what I'm saying is, I don't care about recreating the action from the previous films in [Indiana Jones 5](movie:203950), age has nothing to do with it. I want a dark, suspenseful gritty adventure film with an old Harrison Ford as Indy. He deserves to go out in style.
A parting image, the last scene of the film...
Indy stumbles into his house in Connecticut after one last adventure. He enters the dark foyer, weary. He shuts the door behind him. Marion, hearing the door, steps into the living room. Their eyes meet. They approach each other, embrace. The John Williams' score soars. Indy pulls the fedora off his head, stretching his hand out, he hangs the hat up on a hook on the wall. Hold on the hat. Cue the Indy theme. The end.
And that's how Ford's last outing as Indy should end. He should be the one to hang up his hat. Come on Disney, stop pacing yourselves. The reboot can wait, we want Ford for one more! #fordforindy5