Indiana Jones

I left the cinema feeling pretty good after watching the latest Indiana Jones installment. As a big fan of the original trilogy, I thought that this was an entertaining if not groundbreaking sequel to the first three films.

A lot of people have complained about how unrealistic it the movie is, e.g. the tarzan scene, psychic powers, alien, etc. Lucas and Spielberg took a gamble by moving from the archetypal “adventurer stops evil army seeking religious relic” to the “adventurer stops evil army seeking extraterrestrial relic”. For some reason, people are a lot more forgiving when the origin of mystical powers is a god rather than a non-human intelligent species. To play devil’s advocate (no pun intended), I’d argue that this exploration of extraterrestrials in this Indiana Jones was necessary, for two main reasons:

1) Something fresh – The story of Nazis chasing a holy artifact to give them the power to overrun the Earth had been explored twice in the trilogy. Cries of “formulaic” would abound if they substituted “Nazis” with “Communists”.

2) Historical context – The Soviet Union was officially atheist, nein?  It wouldn’t have made sense for them to be searching for an Ark or a Holy Grail.  Also, remember the Roswell incident occurred around 1947, so the concept of intelligent life seemed a much more plausible concept then than it did in either the 30s or even today.

The cheese factor was high on certain sequences, but I thought the alien story was actually weaved into the script in a not-that-cheesy way.  The story might sound ludicrous to someone who hasn’t watched the film, but it didn’t seem that ridiculous on screen.

Well anyway, it might have been worse.  At least this wasn’t the Phantom Menace of the Indiana Jones franchise.  Rumor has it that George Lucas had even more outrageous ideas for the script, and if it wasn’t for Spielberg taming him, we might have had a Jar-jar Binks in place of Mutt Williams in the story.   This cartoon from Jolly Jack sums it up nicely:


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