I just saw the TV teaser trailer for the new Indiana Jones movie, the clumsily titled Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Despite being a big fan of all 3 movies, even the sorely mistreated Temple of Doom, I really wasn’t that excited by it. Now, I know Harrison Ford is 60-something now and I accept that Lucas, Spielberg and Ford couldn’t agree to make another one sooner than 19 years after Last Crusade.
Because they had to make him older, they had to give up the standby of Nazi villains for Soviets. That’s fine actually, they were always awesome villains in the Bond movies and even better foils as fanatics to the state.
However, watching it again online gives me hope. Sadly Sean Connery won’t be returning as “Dad,” his funniest role and the best sidekick since Sallah, and we seem to be saddled with Most Annoying Young Actor in the Universe Shitty LeDouche, I mean Shia LeBeef, in the Short Round role. Except he’s sort of a greaser. This movie may redeem him, after Transformers and Constantine, where I wanted to shove Raisinets up my nose until I choked to death rather than hear his non-stop Vince Vaughn meets Woody Allen patter. If they ever make that live-action remake of The Last Unicorn, Shia LeBoueuef can play Schmendrick, if someone feeds him a constant supply of Xanax to shut him the fuck up for five minutes.
The villain’s a broad in this one, and she looks good- rather like Greta Garbo as Ninotchka in leather pants good. Ol’ Indy looks to be picking up some of the comic relief slack himself here, which is what he did in Raiders- the best of the series as of now- so it should work out fine. The TV teaser is cut short than this one, and you don’t see the most reassuring prop ever, Indy’s .45 Webley top-break revolver. After Spielberg toyed with the idea of tinkering with Raiders, and turned guns into walkie talkies in E.T., it’s been a niggling fear that the pulp hero would be emasculated in this entry. Thankfully you can see him packing heat in the last bit here, so we won’t have to endure him killing nameless thugs via convoluted whip and “oops you fell into an exploding barrel” maneuvers.
After seeing Apocalypto, the scenes in Mexico looked a little familiar, and I hope they manage to make them impressive. Apocalypto may be one long chase scene, but it’s fucking gorgeous to watch. Watch the trailer and tell me what you think. Mr. Ford definitely shows his years, but he also looks up to the task. Those familiar crates should have instant appeal to fans of the first movie and its iconic ending.
It’s just a teaser, but if Lucas didn’t meddle too much and Spielberg hasn’t gone too soft, this should be one hell of a summer. Iron Man opens this weekend, and we have The Dark Knight, Hellboy 2, The Fall, Get Smart, The Incredible Hulk, Pineapple Express, Speed Racer, and Wall-E (the latest Pixar, which looks like Brazil meets Short Circuit). And that’s just big studio offerings. Errol Morris, Guy Madden, Darren Aronofsky, and many others have stuff coming out this year too.