7.10.08

I Hate Indiana Jones: Day 41

Day 41: Indiana Jones and the Idiotic Archaeologist Part Two

When addressing yesterday's problems I left out the most egregious and offensive aspect of the entire scene. That's right, there's something more egregious than the way Indiana Jones, a professor of archaeology, demonstrating a total disdain for all practices of archaeology or, in fact, human decency. No, the absolute stupidest, most offensive thing about the scene is the dialogue.

The scene: Indiana Jones is preparing to open up a mummy for absolutely no reason. He turns to Shia Laboeuf.

Harrison Ford: Do you have a knife?

It may not seem readily apparent to the reader who hasn't seen Indiana Jones and the Valley of the Crystal Skull just why this apparently innocuous line of dialogue is in fact the stupidest thing said in the entire course of the film. Readers who've actually seen the film will know that up until this point in the movie there's barely been a scene in which Shia Laboeuf did not take out a knife and attempt to show off by flipping it end over end. In fact, the only time the character hasn't been publicly waving around a knife was when he was riding a motorcycle, keeping his hands busy.

At this point in the film there's basically only a single thing that the audience knows about the character Mutt Williams: that he is Indiana Jones' secret son with Marion Ravenwood, and that for some reason the filmmakers think we're idiots and are trying to hide this incredibly obvious fact. If the audience knows two things about the character, though, it's that first thing I just wrote about just now, and that he carries a knife.

So why on earth wouldn't Indiana Jones just say "Give me your knife, kid"? This has to be a mistake by the filmmakers, since I don't know what purpose the line could possibly serve. There is no danger of anyone in the audience thinking that Mutt Williams doesn't have a knife, or that Indiana Jones asking for the knife is somehow presumptuous or coming out of left field. There's no way that anyone could be surprised to find out that Shia Laboeuf is carrying a knife. Having Indiana Jones even ask about the knife makes his character look like someone who can't pay attention to what's going on around him.

This is kind of a dangerous move to make. After all, when you're making a film that stars a 60-something year old man as a 50-something year old action hero, isn't making him look like a doddering old fool the exact opposite of what you should be trying to do? This is like taking In The Line of Fire and adding a ninety second scene where Clint Eastwood struggles to remember where he left his car keys.

The stupidity doesn't end there though. As Indiana Jones finishes desecrating the body of a Conquistador he grabs a knife from the corpse's belt, perhaps realizing that he shouldn't have to keep relying on Shia Laboeuf for all of his cutting, severing, and slicing requirements. Seeing Indiana Jones do this somehow offends Laboeuf who then glares at Harrison, inspiring the character who this film is about to sheepishly look down and ashamedly return the knife to the corpse.

Why? He's an archaeologist! Finding historically relevant artifacts and then taking them back to civilization so people can talk about them and study them is his job! How on earth would anyone be better served by leaving a surprisingly pristine 500-year-old knife in the middle of a secret Peruvian graveyard? This scene takes history's greatest, most heroic archaeologist, then has him react to a single dirty look from a random punk by feeling ashamed, which motivates him to ignore his entire profession, to which he's devoted his entire life! According to the filmmakers not only is Indiana Jones a moron, he's also a surprisingly weak-willed one.

1 comment:

Real Indiana Jones costume said...

Haha funny post, I always wonder how people can completely dissect the movie so completely.