Lara Croft learns the trade from a very old Indiana Jones
Most Hollywood blockbusters spawn their share of low-budget ripoffs, but only a few really successful movies are influential enough to be followed by big-budget copycats. Usually these followers get media-infused taglines such as "Die Hard on a ... " or "Aliens in a ... ", with the labels likely originating at the studio pitch stage.
Though Raiders of the Lost Ark and its sequels were already derivative and referential works, the Indiana Jones franchise also inspired derivatives of its own, some that were exploitive, some that paid homage and some that are only linked through minor elements. So, in celebration of the latest Indy movie, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, here's a look back at all the "Indiana Jones as a ... " knock-offs that Hollywood has delivered in the last few decades:
1. Indiana Jones as a woman: Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001)
The real source of this and its 2003 sequel, Lara Croft Tomb Raider: Cradle of Life, were the Tomb Raider video games, which were clearly inspired by the Indiana Jones films. In the movie we have an archaeologist who seeks a mystical object, which she must keep out of the hands of an evil society. There's an Asian temple, a reunion with a disappeared estranged father and a finale involving the crumbling self-destruction of an elaborate set piece. It's like all the initial three Indiana Jones films wrapped up in one, with added sex appeal in casting Angelina Jolie in the Harrison Ford role. Yet Jolie as Croft is too serious to be the female counterpart to Ford's Indy. Also, while the Indiana Jones films deal with some level of magically religious fantasy, they're at least grounded by "real" or familiar artifacts such as the Holy Grail and the Ark of the Covenant. And they tend to remain just realistic enough to avoid things like giant six-armed statues that come to life.