Why I’m Worried: 5 Reasons to Fear Indiana Jones IV

I’m a fanboy. I like big movies. I like big tubs of popcorn with double butter. I like super-ginormous drinks that they actually give you free refills on – and I take them up on at least one. I like cramming into a theater with 300 of my favorite strangers who are as dedicated to pulpy summer fare as I am.

Now – the only way you get that right mix of fans, film and popcorn is at the midnight showing on Opening Day. I’ve been to a few in my time… And we got the band together to do one last one. This Wednesday night/Thursday morning we’re gathering the crew to see Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. I’m more excited for this than I was for Attack of the Clones (Phantom Menace had ruined #2). I really want this to be good. Really. But, age has tempered my blind love that I once had. And so that is why, here and now, I will state, “I want to love this movie and I hope it doesn’t suck.” Here are 5 reasons why I’m worried. But for what it’s worth – I’ve already purchased my tickets and rescheduled my Thursday morning meetings.

1. Harrison Ford is too old. While talking to Sandy, he brought up a good point – the last GOOD Harrison Ford movie was Air Force One (1997). That’s 10 years of stinkers. Shall I name a few? Six Days Seven Nights. Hollywood Homicide. Firewall. Need I go on? Franchises have few things going for them – either you introduce a new actor no one’s heard of, and he/she steals the hearts of America OR it’s an actor riding high on his/her career. If you are trying to revive a franchise only to re-ignite your career – then we’ve got issues.

2. Spielberg is trying to make me love Shia. I don’t love Shia. I tolerate Shia. I just saw this kid last year with big robots, now I’m supposed to believe he’s a “greaser”?! C’mon. I truly hope this kid is a better actor than what he’s led me to believe so far. Did you see Disturbia? Neither did I. Also – if you are going to inherit a franchise, you need a name America can say. Ask 5 people how to pronounce his name – you 7 different pronunciations (2 people will try twice).

3. The Russians?! I guess it’s just historical perspective, but the Nazis are the greatest bad guys of all time. Why? Because they slaughtered 11 million people. Anytime you can give them come-uppance, everyone’s on board. The Russians – sure, they were bad in the Cold War. They had their own sort of problems, but looking back – who is more dangerous – the Russians or the Nazis? I’d pick Nazis every day of the week. The Russians end up collapsing because of poor economy and bad politics. We had to defeat the Nazis in war. Let’s hope it feels good when Indy defeats the Russians like it did when you saw the Nazis faces melting at the end of Raiders.

4. Spielberg. Look at the last few movies he’s done. Munich. War of the Worlds. The Terminal. He’s dark now. He’s sad. He’s old. Will he be able to bring the same light-heartedness the first and third movies had? And even in Temple of Doom – the opening sequence is one of the greatest pulpy bits of cinema ever. Night club deal gone wrong, into chase sequence into crashing plane… Nonstop fun with humor and a little bit of death – spectacular. Let’s hope there’s still some kid left in him.

5. No Brody, Sallah or Henry. C’mon! How can you cut out a character like this:

He’s got a two day head start on you, which is more than he needs. Brody’s got friends in every town and village from here to the Sudan, he speaks a dozen languages, knows every local custom, he’ll blend in, disappear, you’ll never see him again. With any luck, he’s got the grail already.

You fans know exactly the following cut scene. We’ll see if we can love a whole new batch of crazy characters.

So there you go. I’m a fan, but a fan that has concerns. This is what I’m going to be watching for – let’s see if they’re taken care of. If not… Well, there’s always the ability to watch Last Crusade again…. At least Spielberg/Lucas/Ford gave me that.