THIS MONTH AT EM­PIRE

Empire (Australasia) - - Contents -

CAN YOU IMAG­INE what it would ac­tu­ally be like to be Har­ri­son Ford? As a Star Wars and In­di­ana Jones-ob­sessed sever-year-old, I sure as hell tried. To my lit­tle movie and comic-book lovin’ self, he was ba­si­cally a god: a totem of mas­culin­ity that flew space­ships, got the chicks and had a gi­ant dog who could tear your arms off as a best friend (yes Luke had a lightsaber, but he was a dork com­pared to Han Solo’s cooler-than-hoth-dur­ing-a-sev­ere­bliz­zard space pi­rate). And In­di­ana Jones? He had a whip and a sweet hat — ‘nuff said.

Although he’s ap­peared in dozens of great films over the decades (Wit­ness and The

Fugi­tive be­ing two non-lu­cas­film af­fil­i­ated faves), it’s nice to see the now 75-year-old Ford ease back on the grumpi­ness and lighten up in his old age, per­form­ing some­what of a ca­reer vic­tory lap by re­turn­ing to some of his most iconic char­ac­ters (re­spect­ful note to Steven Spiel­berg: please, forth­elove­of­god, make the next Indy film so mind-melt­ingly great that we for­get all about King­dom Of The Crys­tal Skull). As ev­i­denced by our on-set visit to Blade Run­ner 2049 (p. 32), the ac­tor is rel­ish­ing play­ing repli­cant-hunter Deckard for the first time in 35 years (“the best script ever sent to me” Ford says of the film, which should push your An­tic­i­pa­tion-o-me­ter into the red).

Else­where in the mag, we see some of cinema’s most vi­sion­ary di­rec­tors back do­ing what they do best. Re­turn­ing from the world’s short­est I’m-done-di­rect­ing-films re­tire­ment is Steven Soder­bergh, bless­ing us with his new crime ca­per Lo­gan Lucky (p. 40). Fea­tur­ing Adam Driver sport­ing a pros­thetic arm (note to self: com­pile list of great­est movie char­ac­ters with pros­thet­ics, start­ing with the One-armed Man from The Fugi­tive and end­ing with Ed­die ‘No-nose’ from Baby Driver) and Chan­ning Ta­tum as a cou­ple of hicks plan­ning a heist at a car rally, this looks like it could be one of the funnest flicks of the year.

“What else?” I hear you won­der, thanks to my height­ened ESP abil­i­ties. There’s Net­flix’s Marvel team-up se­ries The De­fend­ers (p. 46); The Fifth El­e­ment di­rec­tor Luc Bes­son giv­ing us an in­sight into his ca­reer (p. 52) and un­leash­ing some of the most in­sane aliens ever in

Va­le­rian And The City Of A Thou­sand Plan­ets (p. 58); an ex­clu­sive chat with Stephen King about The Dark Tower (p. 64); Sa­muel L. Jackson and Ryan Reynolds team­ing up — hope­fully to swear lots — in The Hitman’s Body­guard (p. 70); a blow-by-blow be­hind-the-scenes ac­count of the bonkers mak­ing of Nic Cage schlock­buster Con Air (p. 76) and, last but not least, some of moviedom’s big­gest names re­veal their crappest ever jobs to us. (Mine? Putting tiny plas­tic bits in fridges on a mind-numb­ing as­sem­bly line. It was not chill.)

‘Til next time: I love you. (My ESP al­lows me to hear your ap­pro­pri­ate re­sponse: “I know.”)

JAMES JEN­NINGS ED­I­TOR

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