Chris Columbus and the Temple of Dreck

I think nearly all cultural connoisseurs can agree that Chris (Nine Months, Young Sherlock Holmes) Columbus is a terrible screenwriter. But, amazingly, Columbus was enlisted to write Indiana Jones IV and thankfully never got beyond the first draft stage. Bad enough that the title is called Indiana Jones and the Monkey King, a title decidedly without the menace (Raiders of the Lost Ark) or mystery (Last Crusade) of the other three films. But Columbus is such an incompetent and tone-deaf writer that he introduces Indiana Jones not hanging off a rock face, not running away from bandits in the jungle, and certainly not in the middle of any kind of action. What does Columbus have Indy doing?


Yeah, real action potential there.

(via MeFi)


  1. Chris Columbus only wrote one good film. Goonies.

    And if I had been older than 7 the first time i saw it, I would probably hate it.

    other than that he has released more evil into this world than any other writer and director. He was the mastermind behind Home Alone.

  2. So in your view Columbus would be less of a hack than if he wrote a script with a structure exactly like that of the previous 3 films? And this would, in your view, be more acceptable than a film which presents Indiana Jones in a different light? Would a Columbus clone of the previous 3 films be, in your view, “original?”

    Not that I’m arguing against the hackishness of Chris Columbus, or in favor of his secret hidden talents (so secret and hidden even he is unaware of them!). Or that I think he was a good choice to write the fourth sequel (in my view the idea of a 4th sequel is anathem, and there really can bo no good script for it).

    But, I mean… if it’s a “sequel,” then Indy is older, perhaps now living a sedate life (like most archaeologists). Maybe he’s drawn from this life back into adventures. If so, then isn’t showing him fishing a particularly simple visual key to his sedate life?

    I’m just asking. Being a writer, I think about these things…

  3. Lynne: I don’t doubt that fishing is exciting! I happen to love fishing and, in fact, this whole l’il discussion inspired a conversation in which I had planned a possible fishing trip!

    The problem is that fishing is not so exciting IN AN ACTION MOVIE NARRATIVE. This isn’t “Fishing With John” that we’re talking about. This is Indiana Jones!

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