I Hate Indiana Jones: Day 47

Day 47: Indiana Jones and the Deja Kung Fu

As I've mentioned in a previous entry, the Zombie Monkey Kung Fu Indians weren't a great idea. That being said, I'm sure they would have been more bearable had they not been so bafflingly repetitive. There's a simple rule to go by if you're going to put something odd, or stupid, or cheap in a movie: If it absolutely has to be there, get it onscreen, get it out of the way quickly, and then move on. And whatever you do, if it was ridiculous the first time, don't bring it back. Heck, even things that were absolutely wonderful the first time in a film can find themselves giving off a stink of increativity the second time around.

So why is it that we get two seperate scenes of kung fu monkeymen running around behind walls, peeking out through cracks ominously? They first do it in the graveyard, and then later in the cave on the way to the valley of the crystal skull. Even worse, in the second scene, the Indians are shot more ominously than the first time we'd seen them, as if they're being presented as a credible threat. A credible threat that, just a few scenes earlier, were considered so unimportant that Harrison Ford was able to defeat them off camera. A credible threat that, just a few months earlier, had failed to kill John Hurt, a frail, presumably unarmed, old man.

Which brings me to the second confusing part about the repetition is just where the Kung Fu Monkeymen appear from in their second reveal. They burst out of the walls. That's right, they don't just duck out of holes in the floor and walls, they actually leap right through the stone, causing it to shower everywhere around them.

This raises a whole slew of quesitons, which I'll be kind enough to enumerate. 1: Why on earth would they do this? Isn't it ridiculously dangerous? How can they tell which parts of the rock are easily jump throughable, and which are solid and concussionistic?

2: If this is a thing they do, why did they wait until now to do it? John Hurt was in this very cave a few months earlier, and apparently they didn't jump out of the walls then, since those selfsame walls are intact and un-jumped-through when Harrison Ford and company arrive at the cave. I suppose it's just slightly possible that they reset the walls every time someone comes visiting, using clay from somewhere to sculpt new breakable walls. If that's the case, I'd say their talents were being wasted guarding an alien spaceship. They easily could have made it in hollywood as set builders, since the breakable walls manage to match the firmer ones seamlessly.

3: What possible purpose did they think leaping through the walls would serve? There's only one that I can think of, and that's surprising your enemy and getting the jump on them at the beginning of a fight. Of course, if that's the case, why on earth did the Indians wait until Harrison and friends were already hurrying out of the room before leaping through the walls? If your prey has been alerted to your presence, isn't a grand entrance kind of wasted on them?

The whole scheme reminds me of the opening of most Scooby-Doo episodes, when the gang would drive into a strange area, and just as the mystery machine left the frame, a giant glowing monster would lean out from behind a tree and cackle fiendishly. Later in the episode, when we discovered that the monster was just a projection made by a specially-devised 3D camera, we were left wondering why the villains bothered pointing it at an empty road where no one could possibly have seen it.

Like the villains on Scooby-Doo, when the natives jumped through the walls, it seems that they were just putting on a show for the people in the theatre.

Well, at least someone in there was thinking of us.

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