Four Things About Indiana Jones Four That Don’t Suck... Thank God This List Doesn't Go to Five
The trailer for the newest adventure featuring everyone’s favorite dirtbag academic, Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny, just hit the internet — and it seemingly has everything fans could possibly want: car chases, beating up Nazis and Indiana Jones’ stubborn refusal to believe in the paranormal despite decades of witnessing the freaky effects of magic doodads firsthand.
People are no doubt hoping that this movie will wrap up Harrison Ford’s tenure with the franchise — before he’s replaced with a CGI Harrison Ford inexplicably voiced by Chris Pratt — on a high note after the widely-lambasted Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.
But as we once did for X-Men: The Last (But Not Too Last, Considering There Were Like 10 More X-Men Movies Still To Go) Stand, let’s dive into this particular flaming dumpster fire and find the good in, what we freely admit, is a terrible, terrible movie.
Karen Allen Is Back, and She’s Awesome
Easily one of the best parts of Raiders of the Lost Ark is Marion Ravenwood, as portrayed by Karen Allen. While so much of the movie is a throwback to old-timey adventure stories, the character of Marion is a more modern rejection of the damsel-in-distress archetype — a love interest who’s as smart and tough as our hero.
Despite the fact that she’s a big part of what made that movie so special, Marion was sidelined in later films, replaced with a far more dependent love interest in the prequel, The Temple of Doom, and with a Nazi double-agent in The Last Crusade. Finally, she shows up again in Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, and her and Indy picking up where they left off is one of the film’s few bright spots.
The Campus Chase Scene Is One of the Best in the Series
Before the action devolved into unconvincing sequences involving CGI jungle animals, one of Crystal Skull’s early set pieces is… surprisingly great?
It begins with Indy and Mutt being cornered at a diner by Soviet agents, and then it finds the pair escaping on a motorcycle and winding through the campus of Marshall College, and even disrupting an anti-communist rally. They end up crashing the bike in the school library, and none of the students seem all that surprised that their archeology professor is a geriatric action star.
The ‘Nuke The Fridge’ Scene Is Actually Really Great (Until It Gets Really Stupid)
One of the most famously terrible scenes in the entire movie is the scene in which Indiana Jones survives a nuclear blast by hiding in a refrigerator — which is lead-lined, but this presumably wouldn’t prevent a 64-year-old man from shattering every bone in his body after being rocketed into the sky inside a small metal coffin.
But it’s easy to forget that the scene leading up to this dumb moment is actually really great. Indy escapes from the bad guys and stumbles into a suburban community, believing he’s saved, only to discover that the houses are populated with soulless mannequins who are about to be obliterated from the face of the Earth. It’s a genuinely unnerving fake-out.
At Least They Didn’t Kill Off Indiana Jones
While the end of the movie was clearly intended to tee up the future adventures of Indy’s son,
Turd Punchbowl Mutt Williams, one of the easiest ways to do this would have been to bump off Indiana Jones. After all, that’s what happened with another high-profile Harrison Ford character in another belated sequel to a Lucasfilm franchise…
Instead, Crystal Skull, which we’ve argued previously is a meditation on mortality and regret, gives Dr. Jones a happy ending, one where he marries Marion and reconnects with his son (who we’re guessing will never ever be mentioned again).
Keeping Indiana Jones alive also preserves the canonical status of that show where he harasses teenagers as an old man.
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