Retarded Reviews: Indiana Jones and the Boring MacGuffin

Indiana Hitchcock

Warning: I’m going to spoil the shit out of this movie. This is actually going to be tricky because it has no discernable plot, although there is plentiful shit. Don’t worry, you’ll thank me for it later.

The Writers’ Guild of America strike last year obviously hit Universal Studios hard, as they decided to dig up and molest a few corpses to keep themselves entertained (it can’t have been for our benefit). Harrison Ford’s was easy to find, as he had become pinned beneath the latest Tom Clancy novel and expired. Karen Allen had to be retrieved from the middle of a giant ball of twine, while Denholm Elliott proved far too actually dead even for this grave-robbing exercise, so was merely recreated in bronze; this did not prevent him from putting in easily the best performance of the film.

Shia “Got mlik?” LaBeouf was then recruited to give the film a semblance of animation, and Ray Winstone was also introduced as an old mucker of Indy’s, completely without explanation. Rather presumptuously, the audience is expected to take him to their heart within 30 seconds, as if he’d always been there. This is a bit like waking up to find a complete stranger in your house, but cooking breakfast in the exact way you like it (presuming of course that you like it cooked with an annoying accent and plenty of ham).

Beloved Long-Term Character Ray Winstone remains a good guy for approximately one scene, after which he turns on Indy for Russian baddie Cate Blanchett.

“Why are you rubbing your nipples and moaning, Ray?” asks Indy. “Are you trying to turn me on?”

“Oooooh,” replies Ray.

“Enyuff of this syilly byanter,” interrupts Blanchett. “We hyaff to myake you find the MacGyuffin befyore the implausible chyase sequence. It’s a crystal skull or syomething, I don’t knyow, just gyet on with it.”

Indy is thus forced to lead everyone to the MacGuffin, which is indeed a crystal skull, and highly magnetic (we know this because when it appears on screen there is a menacing “bwarrrrmm” sound effect, just like a real magnet). Indy locates it by throwing gunpowder on the floor, and following where it runs. You may think this sounds stupid, but this is only five minutes before Indy escapes a nuclear explosion by hiding in a refrigerator, and a sprightly 90 minutes or so before Shia LaBeouf gets stuck up a tree and becomes the leader of a troupe of Capuchin monkeys, so enjoy this relative sanity while you can.

There then ensues the obligatory chase scene, which occupies about 90% of the movie. We’ll skip the bit with the monkeys, and the less said about the man-eating ants the better, but it climaxes when our heroes drive off not one, not two, but three Niagara-sized waterfalls in an open-topped amphibious vehicle without receiving so much as a scratch. Isn’t the point of Indiana Jones movies that he dashingly escapes the terrible peril, rather than just miraculously surviving? It’s no fun if Indy just waits to be run over by the enormous rolling ball of death, then gets up, says, “oh, I appear to be fine,” and carries on.

Using the fast-forward button cinema-goers wish they’d had, we’ll jump to the end of the movie when Indy and annoying crew have replaced the MacGuffin on a crystal skeleton, rejuvenated a council of long-dead aliens, abyandoned Cyate Blyanchett to get her eyes melted out with pure information, and finally escaped a collapsing ziggurat and the anal-probing clutches of a flying saucer. Job done, they sit on a hilltop and indulge in sub-sitcom banter. As we watch the spaceship lift gently into the sky (presumably in search of a movie franchise whose butthole George Lucas hasn’t done something unspeakable to), we’ll leave the last words to Indy:

Their treasure wasn’t gold – it was knowledge.

Knowledge was their treasure.

Yeah, thanks, Indy.

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