Watching Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull is like going to a family reunion. You wait for the event with as much anticipation as you can have with the thought of seeing relatives that you haven’t seen for twenty years. The event itself may be lavish and well-attended, and you do get to meet new cousins or maybe even young nephews and nieces who weren’t even born the last time you saw their parents. You have a lot of fun maybe get to sing a few songs and play a few group games.
But in the end you go home, say “It was good to see those guys again” before you go to sleep, and when you wake up you go on with your life as normal.
It’s the difference between seeing Indy again and meeting Tony Stark for the first time. Indy is your old uncle. Tony could be a potential lover.
I was sixteen when I first met Indy on Raiders of the Lost Ark, twenty-one when Temple of Doom came out. By the time The Last Crusade hit the screens I was entering my thirties and Indy was an old boyfriend that was good for laughs when we met, but someone I could live without when he wasn’t around. Seeing him again now gave us time to catch up on things, like sitting in a coffee shop sipping adrenalin-laced iced cappuccinos. When I walked away I felt good, and by the time I got home I was ready to face reality again.
And the reality is we grow old, some more gracefully than others. It’s been said that Harrison Ford kept himself so fit that when he put on the old costumes no alterations were necessary. I wish the same could be said for Karen Allen. I wish the same could be said for me. Shia LaBeouf might fit into Henry Jones Jr.’s shoes a few years from now as the movie implies and indeed this young actor has gone quite a long way since his acne-filled Even Stevens days. Everyone else is either dead or retired.
Getting to see Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull did give me exactly what I wished for. But then again, I really don’t wish for much these days.