Day 27: Indiana Jones and the King of the Monkeys
In yesterday's post I mentioned in passing another incredibly stupid aspect of the jungle chase. When Shia Laboeuf elects to, ridiculously, go vine swinging through the jungle after the jeeps, a platoon of monkeys go right along with him. They race through the vines and leap out onto the cliffside, even going so far as to beat a Commie up, causing his jeep to go flying off the edge of the cliff.
Like Laboeuf's Tarzan-esque swinging ability that lies at the heart of this sequence, the monkeys themselves are such a ridiculous and unnecessary addition that I can't understand how it ever seemed like a good idea to include them.
First, you have to deal with the utterly ridiculous idea that, for absolutely no reason, a group of monkeys would swing towards the big scary machines that are roaring through the jungle. Then comes the idea that those monkeys would choose to assist rather than attack Laboeuf, the strange creature they found suddenly in their midst. Even if I were to accept the idea that the monkeys recognize something vaguely simian in Laboeuf's countenance and decided to follow him as their giant monkey King, that still wouldn't explain their eagerness to leap onto a speeding vehicle and attack its driver. It's not like they're following Laboeuf's actions a kind of crude mimickery. They're swinging along with him, almost as if they have some psychic knowledge of which way he's going.
This concept, that the animals decide to help out the hero for no discernible reason, has almost no presedence that I can think of, it comes so far out of left field. When fish help out Aquaman it's because he's their king and can psychically communicate with them. When every jungle animal helps out Tarzan, it's because, chances are, he's saved each of their lives on a number of occasions. I can't think of a single reason why a group of monkeys would go against every natural instinct and throw all pretense of self-preservation to the wind to help a random human attack giant loud scary metal machine. This isn't ferngully.
The worst part about all of this is that the monkeys had absolutely nothing to the sequence, other than yet another layer of completely superfluous CGI. Is there a reason that Shia Laboeuf couldn't have jumped into the cab of the jeep and thrown the driver out over a cliff? None I can think of. It was bad enough seeing Laboeuf Tarzan it up in the first place that to the layer the heroic anti-Communist monkeys into the mix replaces good old preposterousness with outright stupidity and contempt for the audience.