2020 is upon us..and, by extension, also on all of those movie characters whose company we sometimes share..so here are some tips for their New Year!
What a year! What a decade! Marvel owned the day / month/year/decade. DC lagged behind but caught up in the end. James Bond only lived twice, onscreen but is back for 2020 and beyond. Star Wars has basically been and gone in a rushed 4 years, now transitioning it seems, more and more toward television yet retaining a tight grip upon YouTube channels with every correspondent offering 6 hour dissections of individual movies. Those platforms would baffle even the directors of said films but ironically enough, sometimes prove more entertaining than the actual products being examined? This was the decade of PLINKETT! And also the one where everyone tried to be him.
WOKE politics came in, big time, in line with the seismic shock and resultant shift surrounding #metoo. Sometimes that works; sometimes it doesn’t and I feel a natural balance is to be found; a ‘third way’ whereby movies are open and compassionate and inclusive yet avoid didactic lectures on social politics as substitute for character / plot substance.
In short? We live in what the Chinese philosophers might term ‘interesting times’: a world of opportunity for new artists to express viewpoints from an I-Phone / home editing suits, yet juxtaposed against increasingly corporate, soft reboot franchise product, spearheaded almost solely by Disney. Streaming is now gold dust. Netflix and Amazon have reinvented the cinematic wheel.
The possibilities are endless, limitless and yet somehow narrow and closed. It’s all on YOU now, as budding writer/director/critic or simply as a discerning fan. And in that spirit of responsibility, allow me to make some gratuitous suggestions to a set of film characters, selected at random, for 2020 and the decade ahead..(Your’e welcome).
Indiana Jones: Very simple. MAKE A FIFTH FILM. YESTERDAY! You can still be Harrison Ford. Older yet still vital, good in a fight, macho, world weary, grumpy yet charming, attractive to women of all ages, super-cool, clever, classy, academic. Still a rogue but not too ‘dark’ as you have made moral progress over the past 4 films. Don’t make a big deal of it being a final adventure though do not rule out prequel flashbacks as those did work well before. Marion is now a ghost, literally (disappeared into ether in Bermuda Triangle), haunting the house anytime you bring a woman back for drinks / after-hours archaeology.
You are up against a resurgent Nazi cult in America and are chasing a prize of some mystical, magical, menacing yet ultimately epic and redemptive impact (Eden? Book of Job?). Snakes, spiders and sharks; sand and snow storms and a Campus /City foot chase en route? Son of Belloq (or Donovan?) is after you for revenge..or is he? But that’s ok because you were a rogue in your time and turns out you have yet another lost kid..this time a daughter..a Hitchcock blonde. helping you edit your memoirs..who may have her very own mystical power..you save the day again, you doff your fedora, looking up into sunrise with lop sided grin, as credits roll..
JAMES BOND: James, James. I will do you a deal. If I shut up about my old flames / muses, as my new year’s resolution..then so YOU must MOVE ON from VESPER! If I get ONE mention of that girl in No Time to Die then we are 00-ver! And that’s a lifelong commitment; a Bond..:). But it’s tough love. Cheer up. Fight baddies. Save the world. Eat and drink in high style. Run away with a beautiful woman, even if it’s Lea Seydoux and I’m a bit jealous of that.
Also, ENOUGH with the office politics. M is there to give you a mission and Q to equip you for said. It’s not a soap opera! That said? Maybe YOU can become the new M, thereby enabling Daniel Craig to remain in the series post inevitable umpteenth reboot? Just a thought..
ETHAN HUNT: Big year ahead, Mr Hunt: TWO missions, back to back. Blimey. My advice, should you choose to accept it? Let TOM CRUISE do ALL your most dangerous stunts. He insures himself, it’s cool. Do not trust ANYONE in the IMF: Full of bad apples! Marry Elsa. Do not let Benji anywhere near the field again (seriously; he should now be running ops anyway: clever chap). DO NOT GO ROGUE AGAIN! Good luck!
BATMAN: Ok so you will be going through changes in your body. You may feel younger, prettier. But don’t let ANYONE tell you that the body has got skinnier and do not stress out over bulking up. You can be sleek, athletic, lithe, fast and the suit can do most of the work. And in any event? An alternate reality might also be unleashed, whereby you exist as a bulkier muscular veteran in a Snyder cut. You can be both. Best of all worlds. Relax. Lighten up.
John McClane/Martin Riggs: Team up! Seriously, a two for one fifth film. It is your destiny! John is forced to go undercover in jail where Martin has been framed? Initially antagonistic, you team up, escape and have big showdown with baddies before a happy ending that sees you reunited with loved ones, for Christmas 2020. Go on. Gibson vs Willis: Lethal Weapon, Die Hard!
Palpatine /Ob-Wan/ Han Solo /Luke Skywalker /Snoke et al: Ensure Disney Plus give you adequate room in spin off shows to explain / fill out / remedy back stories from the gaps in the sequel trilogy. I loved Rise of Skywalker but there is much to do, still.
Rocky Balboa / John Rambo: Keep training Adonis Creed if you are Rocky. If Rambo? Join an Indian reservation and defend it from a cabal of white supremacists that lead right back to your first adventure; no more inane violence or heart cutting, please!
Hannibal Lecter: Try going vegan?
Dominic Toretto: Fly a car in space. Save the world. And don’t take ANY shit from those upstart spin off wallies.
TONY STARK / IRON MAN: I’m sorry, Downey, but I aint settling for Dr Dolittle or even Sherlock Holmes 3. Marvel misses you, already. I miss you! You defined a decade in Cinema. You can again. Come back soon and start planning it NOW.
HAPPY NEW YEAR, one and all. What I’m saying, if I’m saying anything at all is..Here’s to a beautiful 2020. See you at the Movies! We’re in the beginning game, now! 🙂 x