Indiana Jones and the Idol of Eternal Youth

Indiana Jones and the Idol of Eternal Youth

The fifth and definitely last Indiana Jones film with Harrison Ford is, The Dial of Destiny.
There are numerous opinions on this film, good and bad. Some I agree with, some I don’t. My purpose here is not to give a film review but a personal reflection on my views before and after seeing the film. A reflection on my own attitude to heroes, aging, and my own aging.

Just too old

They say the only things you can count on in life is death and taxes. May I add to that, “Getting Older”.

When I heard they were making Indy 5, my automatic reaction was;
And he is, from the point of view of my teenage memories. Yes as a child of the 1980’s, (the greatest decade of them all), Indiana Jones was second only to Star Wars for my fan appreciation. So the thought of a craggy looking 78 year old Harrison Ford playing the part was an offence to my memory of those near perfect films, (especially the third). An offence to my own idol of eternal youth.

I wanted Indy to always be as I remembered him, like the way James Bond is. But guess what action heroes can grow old. It is a very odd thing to say but I’m now glad I saw my greatest action hero, (after Han Solo), as a 78 year old.

Don’t make jokes about the old man

One thing that is to be commended in the production of Indiana Jones and The Dial of Destiny is that Indy behaves in an age specific way.
Ok he’s a very fit and able 78 year old and as with all the other films, there is the use of stunt men.
There are scenes of physical action that are given to the female lead, ie getting into a moving plane etc. If by the use of CGI Indy had done this, it would have been mocked as impossible for a 78 year old.
The film never mocks his age in that way. Trust me in one particular scene they show Indy in all his 78 year old glory.

Yes the female lead does get the high action scenes and occasionally makes fun of the old man. I believe the point of that is to show her character development from being a kind of anti-Indy, to a woman who truly cares for him and will do what is best for him, even against his will.

In the film it is entirely believable that he would go on one last quest, this time to clear his name. By the end, this quest has lead to him finding his own Nirvana, a place where he believes he literally would die happy. Surely every old mans dream, as he has given up on ever being happier.

But even still he has one last personal adventure to have.

What adventures have you got left?

Before I saw Dial of Destiny I rejected the idea of an old Indiana Jones because I believed action heroes should not grow old. I wanted them to be effectively eternal, because it made me feel eternal in a sentimental way.
What a daft idea.

Aging does not mean the adventures of life come to an end, it just means they change. OK I don’t think a travel by map montage is ever going to be required for my life story, or perhaps yours. Yes there is less energy to even feel adventurous in life, but does that mean we give up?

Indy was prepared to give up, before one last personal adventure presents itself. This literally makes him grab for his hat one last time.

So what are your adventures that you still have to play out in the back garden of life?
Who is your sidekick for your journey of adventure?
What evil powers do you have to overcome so as to succeed in getting the prize?

So you think you’re too old?

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