There is an adage in the star trek fandom that, for the first six movies, only the “even” ones are good. Indiana Jones fans are hoping the opposite proves true in the fifth movie, in which Indy does what he does best: beat up Nazis. Disney released images of Harrison Ford as the titular Doctor Jones and Mads Mikkelsen as the evil Doctor Voller. The loose synopsis says that the ex-Nazis try to do something evil while working on the space program, and it’s up to Indy to beat them to a stop.
Look, despite all the talk about Indiana Jones being an adventurer and an archaeologist, in search of the lost ark Y the last crusade they’re favorites in canon because he’s fighting the biggest villains in history. temple of doom Y The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull They have their charm, but they come too close to reinforcing cultural stereotypes rather than satirizing them. Beyond that, the movies lack the clear moral focus of the others. Indy is flawed, but viewers find it much easier to forgive those flaws when he violently throws bad guys out of blimps.
Indiana Jones is a terrible archaeologist, and that’s the point
In temple of doom, Jones is not trying to preserve some ancient artifact for history. Rather, as he tells Ke Huy Quan’s Short Round, his goal is “fortune and glory”. At least, at the end of that movie, he returns the Shankara stones to the village instead of taking them to some western museum. However, the clearest example of Indiana Jones being a bad archaeologist comes in raiders when in the Tanis Map Room.
The purpose of this visit is to use a semi-magical staff and the sun’s rays to find the Well of Souls. Yet an archaeologist worth his mountain of student debt would have pointed his allies in the right direction and spent the rest of their lives studying the ancient model. Again, it’s a movie, but Tanis’s map room was a climb recreation of the city as it was millennia ago. Among the profession, it would be the greatest archaeological discovery of all time, no matter how many faces the Ark melted. However, Indy can’t get out of there fast enough.
That is not an oversight or a mistake. There is at least one moment in every movie where Indiana Jones is, at least implicitly, accused of being a grave robber. He may not be seeking fortune and glory anymore, but even his “pure” motives are unpalatable. Even more so through a modern lens. Unless, of course, he’s beating up stormtroopers trying to steal some people’s cultural artifacts for themselves.
Indiana Jones deserves one last showdown with the Nazis
In the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, the post-fridge scene revealed that Indy continued to do his best work during World War II, namely killing Nazis. He’s a war hero, apparently. This movie broke with the indiana jones tradition in more ways than simply substituting Nazis for Soviet agents. A better movie than people remember, it’s akin to Lucas and Spielberg getting together and playing with their favorite toy at the dawn of the modern visual effects era. Director James Mangold, behind the camera for indiana jones 5he made the right choice of antagonists for this first non-Spielberg installment, if only for the sake of familiarity.
The Soviets in Crystal Skull they didn’t carry the same kind of familiar threat with them. The real-world conflict that inspired these characters is morally grey, at least more so than the fight against the Axis powers. Add to that the bizarre story of interdimensional aliens, a nod to 1960s sci-fi movies, and it makes sense that fan reaction has been harsh. Mangold’s film can avoid such criticism because, sadly, stories about the fight against hateful totalitarianism are as necessary and relevant as ever.
Lucasfilm’s current project, Andornarratively addresses those issues in ways that Star Wars project has ever done. Pitting Indiana Jones against the Nazis one last time with the man he led Logan could tell the most important story of the character. While fans are happy to see the old Indy back, they also get a chance to redefine the character’s legacy.