I Hate Indiana Jones: Day 12

Day 12: Indiana Jones and the Atomic Fridge

This one is so screamingly obvious that I can't believe it made it into the film. Profoundly stupid doesn't begin to describe it. I didn't see Crystal Skull the day it came out, I waited a few days and caught it on the next Tuesday. In that five day period, nearly everyone I know saw the film, and each one, talking to me afterwards, was suspiciously cagey about giving me details about the film. In retrospect, it seems they were trying to protect me from going in with any preconceptions that may lead me to be too harsh in condemning the film.

The most detailed information I received was from my colleague Mer-Man while discussing one of the most entertaining parts of the first three Indiana Jones films, just how viciously beat up Harrison Ford gets before managing to pull through and succeed. He maintained that no matter how severe those beatings were, Indiana Jones could have plausibly survived them, and that his survival tagged him not as some sort of superhuman, but just a man with an unusual measure of determination. "This time," Mer-Man explained, "it seemed like the filmmakers were totally unaware of just how little it takes to kill a human being."

I puzzled just what he could have meant by that as the film started, and Indy went through the standard series of beatings and escapes until, twenty minutes in, I had my answer.

On the run from Commie spies, Indy ducks into a small house he finds out in the middle of a desert. Seeing that the house is populated by mannequins, Harrison Ford realizes that he's about to be the subject of a nuclear weapons test. Thinking quickly, he tosses all of the food and shelving out of a heavy, lead-lined fridge then climbs inside just as the bomb detonates.

So, just to be clear, Indiana Jones is within the blast radius when a nuclear weapon goes off, and he isn't killed. Fairly preposterous, but let's give Indy the benefit of the doubt, and say that the fridge he climbed into was unusually sturdy, and protected its contents from both the concussive blast wave and its radiation. What it couldn't possibly protect him from is the fact that the fridge is picked up by the force of the explosion and thrown more than a few hundred yards through the air until it slams down into the earth.

Up until this point the most ridiculous thing Indiana Jones had ever survived was leaping out of a plane on an inflatable raft, then falling thirty feet onto a mountain slope. Sure, it's a bit of a stretch, and, according to the Mythbusters, the raft wouldn't slow the people on it enough to save their lives, but at least to the average viewer it seems plausible, which is all we can ask from light adventure fare.

This, by comparison, is so far beyond the pale that all anyone can do when looking at it is to roll their eyes, embarrassed, and try to avoid the urge to leave the theatre and demand their money back.

In some ways, I regret fighting that urge.

1 comment:

kimkac said...

Hello, I finally had a chance to look up your blog. Hee hee, love today's Indianna hate, I feel very much the same way. I will have to go back and read the other days of hate. Looking forward to it, it will be more fun than the actual movie!!! Take care, Kim.