Tuesday, June 16, 2009
INDY...WHY DID IT HAVE TO BE INDY
THE BEEF & THE FORD
So according to the latest Hollywood gossip sites Shia The Beef (not mine but fucking funny as hell) proclaimed that Spielberg has cracked the back of the story for Indiana Jones 5. At first I was hoping that meant he cracked George Lucas's back so that we can finally prove the man responsible for Episode 1-3 and Crystal Skull is actually an evil robot built by Paramount to screw 20th Century Fox. Sadly that wasn't it, apparently Spielberg has a story idea for the next shit-my-pants-and-cry installment of a franchise that ran out of steam after the first one.
Yeah, I said it. Everything post Raiders Of The Lost Ark was a failure. I've said it and I feel better.
Scream, shout, piss and moan all you want but I can prove it. I've sat silently for over twenty years while people lathered themselves in the jizz of the Indiana Jones movies the whole time scratching my head and wondering why. Raiders Of The Lost Ark was an amazing movie, a perfect adventure film from A to Z. It also ended perfectly with Indy getting the girl and facing his life with her in it. We didn't need to know about the other adventures but sadly Stevie and Georgie decided to force it down our throats.
Indiana Jones And The Temple Of Doom was a train wreck of a movie from the very beginning. Not wanting to screw with the Raiders success G&S (George & Steve) decided to make this a prequel. The film itself felt like everybody started one idea then decided it wasn't good so they stopped and started shooting something else. At the end G&S dropped all the film off at an editor's suite and told the guy to make a movie.
If you really watch Temple Of Doom there is no story, it's a constant series of events that just moves Indy from one wacky thing to the other. They needed to intro a new girl which they couldn't do in India so here comes the elaborate and silly Hong Kong intro where Indy takes a fast acting poison and then 20 minutes later when he takes the antidote he's totally fine. I was also curious why not, if it's a sequel, go back and tell of the adventure that cost Indiana Jones his relationship with Marion and how he betrayed her father Abner Ravenwood. I guess that would have been actually interesting which was a big no-no so we're stuck with this.
During the wacky Hong Kong part we meet Short Round the kooky kid with the smart mouth. This was during Spielberg's "Child like wonder" era so he had to inject kids into fucking everything he did. So Indy, his young boy sidekick and the new girl who barely knows them all board a plane together. Now Indy has taken the time to figure this ENTIRE ordeal in Hong Kong will go badly and he'll have to race to an airport. Even though he has that presence of mind he doesn't think to double check that the plane is owned by the guy he is running from.
That was done so we'd have a reason for the pilots to jump out and Indy to crash in India and drift to the town where he meets the villagers and heads to the castle to get the stones blah blah blah. Somewhere during it G&S realized they were making it too kid friendly so from out of nowhere it got extremely violent and gory.
Like I said, not a movie but a series of starts and stops that got edited together.
After Temple Of Doom we got The Last Crusade which was essentially a plot device to dumb down the movies even more. Hey wouldn't it be crazy-nutty-kooky-yah-yah if the king of the old male adventure series James Bond was the dad of the new adventure king Indiana Jones. I can see the high fives and ass slapping at Lucasfilm when G&S came up with this little gem. From there the two basically designed a movie not with a story but around getting Harrison Ford and Sean Connery together. It appears here that after the so-so reaction of the audience towards Temple Of Doom that G&S needed to make sure this was bigger and better than ever.
With that in mind they threw everything in but the kitchen sink. Nazis, betrayal, a hot girl, escapes, stunts, the Holy Grail, a ghost knight, even a life lesson. The worst part was the beginning which was so obviously there because Lucas was simmering the young Indiana Jones idea in his brain. Not only do we get to see young Indy but WOW we get to see in one afternoon exactly how he became Indiana Jones.
Apparently nothing happened over the course of his life but all at once. Why he dressed that way, where he got his hat, why a bullwhip, why he's afraid of snakes, everything in a few hours. Thanks G&S we almost had to think for ourselves for a minute or use....GASP.....our imaginations.
This was also the hokey era of G&S so Last Crusade was full of way too many jokey moments. Indy banters with bad guy, Indy banters with girl, X Marks The Spot to the treasure, getting to the treasure meant going through rats so Indy jokes how his dad hated rats, Indy imitates snooty Scottish guy, wacky slap stick with pop, Indy comes face to face with Hitler who signs an autograph. That and all of the Sean Connery Scottish wit we could handle. The jokes flowed so continuously that you never felt any real peril for the characters mainly because it was all based off of a plot device where James Bond is Indy's dad.
Jump ahead 20 years and we get Indiana Jones And The Crystal Skull. G&S have long since gotten old and rich and have forgotten anything about making movies. Crystal Skull managed to slam everything wrong with the last two into one movie and then add shit. The plot device of Shia The Beef being Indy's son and his name was Mutt? What the fuck? The movie was way too filled with jokes and had zero story but instead felt like a bunch of various ideas slapped together. Hmmm, that seems familiar.
Sure I hated the big stuff like Indy escaping a nuclear blast by hiding in a refrigerator, the helpful monkeys, the go-nowhere psychic Nazi chick storyline, the fact that it was about Aliens, etc. However I also hated the small stuff that proved G&S just don't care anymore. The tossing in of all these "reminders" of the old movies e.g. when Indy is escaping from his enemies and the truck he's driving knocks over a crate it exposes the Ark from the first movie. How G&S just tossed Marion back in for no rhyme or reason mainly to get butts in seats. I also hated how explaining the deaths of both Indy's dad and his old boss Marcus meant showing photos of them that were obviously press stills from the old movies. THAT is just the height of lazy.
Now we have a part 5 in a series of films that should have ended after the first one. I can't imagine what the new story will be but I'm sure it will be a collage of scenes pretending to be a movie for the benefit of the mass media frenzy and marketing tie-in boom. More than likely G&S will dust off the Last Crusade script and re-write it so The Beef can be Indy and Indy can be Sean Connery. Won't that be a fucking awesome good time?
I'm thinking Indiana Jones could fight his worst enemy in the world: The Franchise