Ten Things We Demand From Indy IV


18th February 2008

Part of the charm of the original Indy trilogy was that the practical effects had all the ropey charm of the campy B-movie adventures they were emulating. Flash forward 20 years later and adventure movies are riddled with CGI; heroes fight against green screen backdrops against computer generated opponents. CG just can't compare to the classic effects - would the rolling boulder scene in Raiders been half as exciting if Indy was running from a tennis ball on a stick? Would the ace rope bridge fight in Temple have worked digitally? The best directors - and you are one of those, Mr. Spielberg - use CG sparingly, as just one of many visual tools at their disposal. We expect nothing less for Indy IV - this is a movie that very much belongs in the last century, not this one.

Sorry to any ladies reading, but Indy's world is a man's world - if this was a genre women could do well, we'd all be super-excited about the possibility of a new Tomb Raider movie. We are not. We live in fear of one. But that's not to say we're not super-excited about the women featuring in Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull. Karen Allen looks like she hasn't aged a day (we always fancied that Marion Ravenwood anyway) and as for Cate Blanchett? Steven, let's just say that whoever came up with the idea to make her an sexy Russian bitch in a sharp black bob deserves a payrise. Plus, she'll probably get nominated for an Oscar, like she always does. Give these ladies their moments to shine and give the girls something to chew one, but don't dare try and shoehorn Willie in there somewhere. You wear the trousers, Bergo.

Sidekicks: we shit 'em. Has there ever been a cinematic sidekick - Short Round aside - that's been anything other than a lame comic foil or last-reel bullet magnet? This is why we're concerned about the appointment of kid du jour Shia LaBeouf as Mutt, the slick young greaser who, in all likeliness, will turn out to be Indy's kid. We've already had one Indiana Jones family affair in The Last Crusade - do we really need another father-son combo? This is this is not to say we don't have faith in LaBeouf - hey, the kid's got charm (even if he does say "nononono" a lot) - but this is not the Young Indiana Jones Chronicles. This is the Old Indiana Jones Chronicles, and no fresh-faced star should be upstaging our ageing adventurer. Show Indy the respect he deserves, young padawan - your day will come.

If there's one way to completely dump on the goodwill your movie has generated, it's by going on a merchandise offensive. We know George made his millions in Star Wars toys, but be under no delusion Steve - this movie is guaranteed to make, like, a bajillion dollars at the box office. We don't need to be swamped with Indy action figures, toys, burger deals and the like before the movie's even been released - guys, you've already got our money, we're on board. A new Indy movie should arrive with an air of mystery surrounding it; over-saturating the market with various forms of merchandise will make us bored with the movie before we've even seen a single second. And for Christ's sake, don't even think about product placement: if there's a single logo on Indy's body, we're coming for you with flaming torches. Seriously.

So Steve, we know it's been heavy reading so far, but if you only follow one of these guidelines, then make it this one: quit when you're winning. The Indiana Jones movies are not a franchise. They are not cash cows. It's simply not up for discussion. If you even dare leave an opening for a sequel (much less a trilogy) then you'll cheapen the whole thing. We gave Stallone a second chance and entertained his Rambo comeback, but the thought of him returning to the role AGAIN? Not a chance. Same deal for Indy: let him retire in peace. Don't do a Lucas and drive your hard work into the ground with unnecessary sequels, prequels, cartoons and TV series. Have the balls to go out on top. Always leave 'em wanting more.

So there you have it Mr. Spielberg, ten simple things to consider before you unleash the beast. Heed our warnings and we'll turn out in numbers; ignore them and the backlash will be overwhelming. We know you can do it. We trust you to deliver. We'll see you on May 22nd.


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