Sketch o’the Week

May 14th, 2008 | Posted in Sketch O'The Week

Harrison Ford as Indy

This week’s sketch is of Harrison Ford, the aging star of the new Indiana Jones movie, “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull“.

Am I the only person in the world who has zero interest in this film? I’m old enough to be able to say I sat in a real theater as a fifteen year old kid and watched with my jaw hung open as “Raiders of the Lost Ark” exploded on the screen in 1981. The other two movies were also enjoyable (although they had their problems as well) and worth making and watching, but nothing will ever be able to match the sheer fun and excitement of seeing Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones in that first, unforgettable film.

Do I really want to see a Harrison Ford that looks more like my dad than Indy creaking across the screen in an attempt to recapture the magic? I don’t think so. Maybe 10 years ago they could have pulled it off with a story about an aging Indy who goes on one more adventure, but Ford is WAAAAAY past the age of being a believable action hero now. Just watch “Firewall” or “Air Force One” if you don’t believe me. It’s too late to do another Indy film. They should have left well enough alone.

Ford himself seems to be getting tired of hearing about his age. I read a quote the other day in an interview where he responded to the length of time since the last Indy movie with a little profanity: “Yeah, I’m 19 years older. You’re ^%$#&@ 19 years older too!” That’s right…. I am. However I am not trying to convince the world I can swing across a gaping chasm on a bullwhip, crash through the windshield of a speeding truck and shrug it off with a smart ass quip. At age 65, Ford probably has to get up three times a night to take a piss, much less survive that without breaking his hip. Suspension of disbelief is a part of action films, but come on.

Maybe I’m being too hard on the team behind the new Indy. They might have a brilliant script that really does the characters justice and makes everything make sense. I hope so. I’d hate to see this movie being a final sour note in one of the most beloved film series of all time.

Comments

  1. cedricstudio says:

    Yeah, Indy looks pretty old. But I still want to see the film. Part of the fun of Indiana Jones was always watching him get in way over his head and then find his way out. Hopefully the writers will acknowledge Indy’s aging body and use it to add humor to each problem he gets himself into.

    I read somewhere that this movie takes place in the 1950’s during the start of the Cold War. At least that’s a sign that the writers aren’t totally glossing over Indy’s age.

    Anyone see a parallel to when Sean Connery played an aging James Bond in “Never Say Never Again”.

    Terrific sketch by the way! Harrison Ford is not an easy guy to caricature.

  2. meredithd says:

    No, you’re not the only one. I saw the preview at Ironman (which rocked, by the way) and there was a collective sigh and eye roll from the audience. I suspect from the previews that this movie is intended as a bridge to pass the Indy mantle to Shia LaBeouf and kickstart a new franchise. I don’t really blame Harrison Ford for this one, just the opportunists involved in trying to squeeze blood out of this stone.

  3. pmcmicheal says:

    Tom, I don’t think you’re being too hard on them! This attempt almost boarders on “SAD” and I also felt that the last 2 movies were rather LackLuster! I’ve seen several interviews with Harrison Ford ( I wonder if his friends call him Harrison? ) and he always seems like a bit of a prick! I admire an aging actor like Clint Eastwood who understands the boundaries of the BELIEVABLE character. I bet Clint is a cool dude out of character as well!

  4. Tom says:

    I also heard a fair amount of sighing and saw some rolling eyes when the Indy trailer played at a recent movie I went to. No doubt this film with be a blockbuster but I think it will fall well short of expectations… unless they surprise us with an unexpectedly fantastic story.

    The Sean Connery parallel occurred to me as well, and not just because he played Indy’s father in the last movie. He was only 53 when they did “Never Say Never Again”, and I think Ford at 53 would have made a great older and wiser Indy. Connery starred in a number of action films later in life. In fact, he was almost exactly Ford’s current age when he starred in “The Rock”, which is a great movie. Connery at 66 pulled that off nicely via a combination of his look (the short beard makes him look younger), wearing special ops webbing and gear and not trying to do anything more superhuman than some quick hand to hand combat moves. Plus Connery at 65 still had a vibrant presence, where Ford looks saggy and craggy.

    Still, if you saw “The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen” in 2003, you’d see a 70 plus Connery that could not pull off the action hero anymore. I think that point came a little early for Ford, but then again I haven’t seen the movie yet. Maybe he pulls it off somehow. The trailers don’t show it, though.

  5. Keelan says:

    All 65’s aren’t equal, though. Frank Zane, a bodybuilder I’m talking a bit about on my blog today, is the same age and looks amazing. Of course he’s not in a movie asking us to buy him as an action hero, either.

    BUT…. Stallone is going to be 62 in a few months. That’s pretty close to Ford’s age. I didn’t see Rambo, but I did like his over the hill boxer turn in “Rocky Balboa”. He’s still amazingly well built (with some HGH help), and does a convincing turn as an aging action hero.

    As for the Indy movie, I am looking forward to it. If for no other reason than to introduce my daughter to the first, original movie.

  6. mengblom says:

    I’m not especially thrilled with the new Indy movie as well, although I have to admit to getting a shiver when I heard the whip-crack sound effect over the thrilling John Williams score during the preview….but more for the memories that it triggered than any real anticipation of what aging funmeisters Spielburg and Lucas have cooked up.

    I’ve long given up on Lucas’ batty, bizarro instincts on what makes a good movie, and Spielburg isn’t the visionary he used to be…add in Harrison “Mr. Reluctant” Ford and the irritating Shia LaBeouf and there’s not a whole lot there to pull me in.

    Still…you know I’ll be there on opening weekend like the fanboy zombie I am.

  7. JWB1 says:

    Yeah, I’ll be there opening weekend. I thought the same thing when I saw the trailers for “Rocky Balboa”, but I was able to get past the idea that the boxing commision would allow the match, and actually enjoy the movie. Didn’t catch Rambo, though. I’m hoping that Spielberg will be in good form again. And in most of the press interviews, Ford seems to be in good spirits (unlike his last few press junkets where he looked miserable). Word is that Connery passed on returning for the film. It’d be a shame if “Gentlemen”‘s his final movie. “Indy” will do alright at the box office, but I don’t agree with Entertainment Weekly that it’ll be #1 summer film.

  8. Tom says:

    Speaking of Lucas and his “instincts” on what makes a good movie, I read a CNN article today with the following excerpt:

    In its earliest incarnation, Lucas proposed an all-out alien flick called “Indiana Jones and the Saucer Men From Mars.” Spielberg and Ford didn’t like that idea…


    Indiana Jones and the Saucer Men from Mars… the fact that Lucas is involved at any level does not help my fears about this new Indy film.

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