Friday, November 01, 2013

We Named the Dog Indiana

Indiana Jones

Last month apparently was Indiana Jones Month on CBS as episodes of The Big Bang Theory and How I Met Your Mother centered on exploits of the greatest fake archaeologist ever. (Thankfully no one was forced to make homage to Kingdom of the Crystal Skull… yet.) That continues here as I inducted the original trilogy into the Scooter Hall of Fame. For men of a certain age, Harrison Ford is a god among men; the guy went from Han Solo to Indiana Jones. No one comes close to that two headed monster. The only person who comes close is Samuel L. Jackson but he was still a bit player in Star Wars and The Avengers.

Screw Amy Farrah Fowler and her silly logical takedown of Raiders of the Lost Ark. Who cares if the Nazi faces would have melted off even if Indiana Jones was not even in the film, it is the journey that matters. And what a journey it was. Indiana Jones was the first action movie I saw that was legitimately funny. There was not a one-liner Harrison Ford did not like to crew on and it was only equaled with his comical hatred of snakes (full disclosure notice: I have the same totally rational hatred of the creature). Armed with only a bull whip, Indiana Jones trotted across the globe on a race to find the rarest of artifacts before they fall into the wrong hands.

The second installment, The Temple of Doom got dark, like rip your beating heart out of your chest and you do not even die dark. The temple in question involved child slavery, black magic and ritual human sacrifice. That was even out by giving Indy a side kick Short Round (who had a nice one-two punch himself as his second movie he played Data in The Goonies but was rarely seen after that). The film also featured a very memorable mine cart chase that should have been made into a rollercoaster ride (at least one in America, there is one in Disneyland Paris).

As dark as the Temple of Doom was, they went the complete opposite route with the follow up The Last Crusade, no beating hearts being ripped, not even any melting Nazi faces. They even went so far away from the previous movie that they replaced the teenaged Short Round as the side kick with Indy’s elderly father (a very game Sean Connery). Though not as entertaining as the first two, it was entertaining to watch the two leads try to out grouch each other.

The less said about Kingdom of the Crystal Skull the better.

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