The Indiana Jones series is one of my most beloved film franchises, and it’s getting a complete airing in chronological order. As a kid I watched Temple of Doom more or less every Sunday morning, I would get up early and watch it with a bowl of Coco Pops. So, I got up extra early today and instead of one Sunday afternoon movie, I had 4 Sunday afternoon movies to get through today.
As time passed Raiders became my overall favourite, but I was a slave to the charms and humour of Last Crusade. Long story short (too late), I adored these films and barely a year would go by that I wouldn’t watch them all.
Like most fans I was disappointed with Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, it wasn’t awful but there’s no escaping it wasn’t up to the series standards. Spielberg has since spoken out about not being happy with the MacGuffin, namely he made it because George Lucas believed he had written the best possible Indiana story. So the lesson there is simple, George! Leave Indy alone! Tinker away with Star Wars but Dr Jones is off limits!
Temple of Doom takes place a year before Raiders, and sets our hero down a darker path to recover a mystical stone for Indian villagers who have also had their children stolen. From voodoo magic to a thrilling mine kart chase, Temple of Doom was dark, daring and established Indiana Jones as a rival for our own James Bond.
Raiders of the Lost Ark is as old as me, it’s been nearly 31 years since this movie was made and it has stood the test of time. Spielberg and Lucas wanted to make a film series that was a throw back to the old movie serials.
Blending the wartime setting with rip-roaring adventure and a dash of the supernatural, Lucas and Spielberg struck gold and a movie hero icon was born.
I still can’t come to terms with Tom Selleck very nearly being cast as Indiana.
Last Crusade may suffer from too much slap stick comedy, but the addition of Sean Connery as Indiana’s Father was an inspired choice. And come on, who better than a former James Bond to be Indy’s Dad. Henry Jones Senior is a firm religious man but every bit the rouge and charmer his son is.
Returning for the third part was Denholm Elliott as Marcus Brody and John Rhys-Davies as Sallah, and the four characters bounce off each other like old friends. Sadly Denholm passed away just three years after this movie, an underrated and mighty talent that will never be forgotten but will always be missed.
I was excited to the point of madness when the fourth installment finally was released. I too felt a bitter pang of anger and disappointment over the finished movie. I couldn’t escape how it didn’t retain the feel of the previous films, something was missing and to this day I don’t know what that is. It was lovely to have Karen Allen back as Marion Ravenwood, but the magic was gone, the charm was gone and there was no reason for that wretched swinging through the trees sequence.
There is still talk of a 5th and final part (it was always meant to be 5 films), but my fear is they have left it too late to revisit it now. Some fans will go to extremes and state that the 4th movie ruined the series, or destroyed their childhood memories, but I disagree. No sequel, remake, reboot or follow up that takes nearly 20 years to arrive can take away what the first three Indiana Jones movies mean to me. I know these movies so well that they almost feel like old friends, and we forgive old friends mistakes like Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Just leave Shia out of part 5 and it’s already a better movie.
Until next week.Pin It