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Redeeming Indiana Jones (and Harrison Ford)

It’s hard to say goodbye to our favorite fictional characters. They become dear friends, and we’re loathe to give them up. And when these beloved companions don’t receive the send-off they deserve, saying goodbye gets even tougher.

That’s why a part of me still hopes there’ll be a fifth Indiana Jones movie. Kingdom of the Crystal Skull wasn’t a great film.[1] The character deserves a sequel done right—something to redeem his fictional legacy.

It’s not unusual for a later sequel to course-correct for earlier, failed outings. Think of Balboa, the sixth (!) Rocky movie, far more watchable than the disastrous Rocky V. Or take The Undiscovered Country, the respectable sixth Star Trek film. Its predecessor, The Final Frontier, nearly killed the franchise. Or, heck, remember Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, a far more satisfying sequel than the subpar Temple of Doom.

And it’s not just the Indiana Jones mythology that begs for redemption. A long string of bad movies threatens Harrison Ford’s legacy, too. Ford’s career has sputtered ever since Air Force One. In fact, I challenge you to name a single worthwhile film that Ford has made in the past twenty years.[2]

Given his recent filmography, it’s not hard to believe the rumor that Ford has been lobbying for another Jones installment. One last swashbuckle[3] could erase two decades of mediocre releases from fans’ minds.

Or… it could kill off Indy once and for all—and cement Ford’s reputation as a has-been.


  1. But it wasn’t awful, either.  ↩

  2. No, Six Days Seven Nights does not qualify as “worthwhile”.  ↩

  3. Along with another smirky stint as Han Solo in J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars sequel.  ↩