Chris Pratt is America’s sweetheart and I love it. I loved him when he was a doughy goofball on Parks and Recreation, and I loved him as chiseled, swaggering Star Lord. He even made Jurassic World worth watching with the way he could smolder on a tiny scooter while wearing a tiny vest. In that role, he proved that he can star in the reboot of a beloved franchise and still keep the love of the American public – even of people like me who think Jeff Goldblum will always be the sexiest man of Jurassic Park.
Since his rise to stardom, and especially since Jurassic World, there have been whisperings about him becoming the new Indiana Jones.
None of the rumors have been substantiated, but regardless, as much as I love Chris Pratt, I really, really hope they don’t do it.
I have yet to see a remake that was anywhere as good as the original. And I can’t imagine anyone – even Chris – who could be a better Indy than Harrison Ford.
To me, Harrison Ford is and always will be the perfect action hero. Sure, he isn’t lithe like Chris Evans or gorgeously sculpted like Chris Hemsworth. He doesn’t have the playful arrogance of Robert Downey Jr. or the adorkability of Mark Ruffalo. But it’s because he’s so un-Hollywood that he’s the best.
I have yet to see a remake that was anywhere as good as the original. And I can’t imagine anyone – even Chris – who could be a better Indy than Harrison Ford.Don’t get me wrong, he is handsome. He’s still handsome even though he’s in his seventies. But he somehow seems like so much more of an everyman than other ruggedly gorgeous movie stars.
Maybe it’s because he was a Life Scout, the second-highest rank in the Boy Scouts. Or maybe because he’s a self-taught carpenter, or a pilot who sometimes helps lost hikers near his land. His Wikipedia page sounds like it was written for one of the characters he plays and not a real person. And maybe he’s just a really good actor. But no matter if he’s playing the President, a smuggler, or an archaeology professor/adventurer, I always believe him.
And who could ever make an Indy movie better than Raiders of the Lost Arc? I know there are people who prefer Temple of Doom or Last Crusade, and I also like those movies, but the opening sequence of Raiders is just perfect. Yes, it is campy and dated, and yes, the representation of indigenous people is somewhat troubling. But come on, that boulder!
And Indy’s cool calm even when a skewered skeleton shoots out of the wall! Not only does it establish him as a badass but there are great moments of humor. Like when Indy just up and runs away when the bad guy’s back is turned. And the shot of him running towards his airplane while he’s being chased by dozens of mostly naked men with spears is just the right mixture of high stakes and silliness.
Even the theme song is everything I want in an action movie theme song – all soaring bravado and excitement – and comes at just the right moment.
With today’s advanced special effects and high production values, a sequence like that would never work. It would either be too slick or try too hard to recreate the camp of the original. Indiana Jones belongs in the time it was created.
The one attempt to make an Indiana Jones movie in recent times, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, was by all accounts not great. I haven’t seen it and I don’t think I ever will. The mediocrity of the reviews it got is enough to convince me that it could never hold up to the original films.
Indiana Jones belongs in the time it was created.But at least it had the original Indy in it. To remake the movies with Chris Pratt or anyone else trying to fill those shoes would be a pale comparison. I would rather have a slower, grayer Harrison Ford than anyone else.
And, anyway, today I would rather see writers and directors focusing on new projects that would be as relevant and perfect for our time as Indy was for his. I think it’s often a waste to try to recreate something that was already good when there are so many new ideas out there and so many issues being talked about now that couldn’t be discussed in 80s.
Let’s have an adventure story as great as Raiders with an intrepid female explorer, or a cast where non-white actors play more than bumbling guides or painted people shooting poison darts. To remake Raiders would be to make another movie with predominantly white, male cast that features women tied to poles and all non-white people with thick accents. Nazis always make good villains, but surely there’s a more creative Big Bad to fight.
So, Hollywood, please don’t remake Indiana Jones – leave it as it is, flawed and fun. Don’t try to replace the only man who could pull off that hat. Don’t introduce special effects that make his mad whip skills look paltry and dumb. Make something better.
Laura Jewell writes for Girls in Capes and has a BA in Theatre from Miami University. She currently lives in Chicago and enjoys many fandoms, including her favorites Harry Potter and Doctor Who. Her favorite weekend pastime is curling up with a book and her fifteen-pound orange cat, Orange Cat.