Saturday, June 21, 2008

Indiana Jones and the Undue Popularity

Everyone knows Indiana Jones. Even if you haven't seen the movies, who doesn't think of him when they see a whip or a brown fedora? And isn't the Indiana Jones ride at Disneyland one of everyone's favorites? (besides Pirates, but I'll get to that in a minute)

I've never really understood the whole fascination with Indiana. Maybe that's because I've only seen the first movie. So last night when my sister suggested that we watch "The Last Crusade," my reaction was, "Meh. Okay. Let's do it."

I still do not understand Indiana's popularity. The filmmakers rely too heavily on big exploding action sequences rather than actual plot. The plot is as follows; Indiana Jones is looking for the Holy Grail. Lots of things blow up, and he hooks up with a hot Austrian-Nazi chick. Nazi chick betrays him. He follows the Nazis into the desert. Lots of things blow up. They go into a random cliff-temple thing. Indiana Jones finds the Holy Grail. The bad guy dies. The Grail is lost to the world, and so is the Nazi chick. Things blow up.

Yeah, that's pretty much it. I guess I'm too much of a girl to appreciate the action sequences. I almost fell asleep during the dog fight between Indiana and the Nazis after he escapes from the zeppelin. I'm not a huge fan of hit-you-over-the-head action; I like suspense, like in murder mysteries. There's a difference between Indiana getting coshed by an unrealistic amount of bad guys (none of which come even close to beating him, despite the fact that there are 500 of them and one of him) and Phillip Durrant being stabbed in the base of the neck because he got too close to finding out who the murderer was (Ordeal by Innocence).

Or perhaps it's the lack of clever dialogue. My guess is that the script writer got brain damage halfway through production and the producers were too nice to fire him. It was awful. "That belongs in a MUSEUM!" That is the lamest catchphrase ever. I mean, I can understand if the golden cross was actually stolen from a museum, but the dudes just dug it up, for heck's sake. Who cares? And "Nazis. I hate those guys." Yeah, the hatred is kind of implied. Does anyone who paints Nazis as the bad guys genuinely like them? Of course not. Completely unnecessary.

I'm not against actions movies in general. I just have my standards. I LOVE Pirates of the Caribbean. It's clever and thrilling. (Although Orlando Bloom is the one bad casting job; his main acting abilities consist of whispering and shouting.) The Italian Job is one of my favorites because it's not just brainless explosions; it's explosions coupled with quick-witted characters.

Would anyone care to explain Indie's popularity to me? I just don't get it.

1 comment:

Brandon said...

I concur.

Also, he should use his whip more. The man uses it like twice a movie.