Meet the New Boss, Same As the Old Boss

I appear to have a naively misguided belief that there are creative impulses at work in the movie industry, in which writers, directors, actors and producers are attempting to create, if not art, at least original entertainment. That’s why I’m disheartened at the return of some creaky old heroes to the multiplex. Among the never-say-die characters shuddering back to life are The Terminator, Detective John McClane, Rocky, Rambo, Indiana Jones and some nasty dinosaurs.

I loved each one of the original films and in the case of Indiana Jones, all three of the series, but when they have been laying fallow for many years and are now coming back with fours (a sixth in the case of Rocky!) it is time to say enough. Who is funding Sylvester Stallone’s rage against the dying of the night? What 60-year-old could return to professional boxing or professional soldiering for that matter? The last versions of those films were 16 years ago (Rocky V) and 18 years ago (Rambo) and I don’t recall anyone clamouring for new chapters in their lives.

Bruce Willis’ return in Live Free or Die Hard is almost as problematic, as the plots and titles are becoming equally clunky. In his early 50s, it is reasonable that McClane is still a working cop, no matter how improbable it is that he stumbles upon yet another elaborate scheme – this one involving terrorists and computers. If Willis is going to keep playing the same character, he should do it in other films, a lá Sin City.

The Terminator is going back to the future, sans Schwarzenegger, to tell the tale of Skynet and the apocalyptic nightmare humanity has in store. Prequels are a handy trick to explain away the absence of the star who appeared in the original film and may also explain the lack of an audience. The flick could do okay if they spend Arnie’s salary on new special effects. As I haven’t even seen the third incarnation, I’ve got no interest in this one either.

As for Jurassic Park, hasn’t this storyline been exhausted? We get it, velociraptors are brilliant hunters and the T-Rex is an eating machine. Sure, nature finds a way, but how hasn’t this island been wiped off the map? Perhaps some get lose during a cargo transfer to some uber-rich guy’s private reserve, resulting in Jurassic Park IV: Dinosaurs on a Plane. We should be so lucky.

The only one of the bunch I’d be interested in is the one that seems that furthest away from fruition. Steven Spielberg, George Lucas and Harrison Ford have been unable to agree on a script since 1993, despite all of them being interested. Ford now is older than Sean Connery was when he played his father in The Last Crusade, but I’d still be willing to go on another adventure, as long as he wasn’t still chasing Nazis in the 1960s. If this one doesn’t happen, I will be satisfied with the trilogy as it is.

An Entertainment Weekly piece heralding the return of these films suggested that in new hands, film series can be reborn in the same fashion Christopher Nolan breathed new life into Batman Begins. But none of these characters are being torn down and rebuilt, it is just the studio returning to the same old mine and hoping there is still some gold left over. I just wish they would go and look for some new gems.


  1. Now that Sean Connery/Harrison Ford age thing was a nice bit of detective work on your part. I wouldn't have even thought of that.

  2. Honestly, with the exception of Indiana Jones, I have no interest in seeing any of these films. I personally thought no more Rocky movies should have been made after the first one. As to Die Hard and Jurassic Park, I think the formulas on those were exhausted with the three movies apiece. As to Indy, I could see another movie featuring him, although I think they might have to move the action from the Thirties to the Fifties. Ford isn't as young as he used to be...

  3. mc - there is nothing like IMDB to get you through your bloggin day.

    mercurie - here I go through all the figuring out of ages and I forget Indy takes place in the '30s and not the '40s. Yeesh.

  4. Don't I know it, don't I know it.

    *wonders if sequels are worse than remakes though*

  5. I'm not holding my breath on another Indiana Jones. I really think these three are blowing hot air. I just can't see it happening over the next year or so and Ford is just getting too old to reprise his role!

  6. I'd have to say remakes are the worst of the bunch, creatively. It is akin to tracing, remaking someone else's work. Sequels have the chance of moving a character and story forward, but when they get into four or more it becomes tedious.

    As for Indy, I'd like to see it but agree that it seems increasingly unlikely.

  7. Go see T3. You might be surprised.