Indiana Jones

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Hot off the heels of Star Wars and Close Encounters of the Third Kind, George Lucas and Steven Spielberg introduced Indiana Jones to audiences with rave reviews and huge box office takings.

Raiders of the Lost Ark (Raiders) showed that Lucas and Spielberg really understood what audiences wanted: Harrison Ford charisma, action, archaeology and deserts. Looking back now it’s somewhat surprising that the first films title didn’t include the name Indiana Jones as the name is now so recognisable.

Despite Raiders and Last Crusade both basing themselves on Christian artefacts neither go into explanations more than once indicating that the subject matter was simple enough to understand. This is doubled in Temple of Doom probably due to the religion not being as well known to American audiences. Explanations actually triple in Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (Crystal Skull) which is perhaps a warning sign of dubious subject matter; the easier to understand the more fun can be had elsewhere. As an interesting side note, the two Christian artefacts in Raiders and Last Crusade are the only two which actually kill somebody.

In the prequel, Temple of Doom, young Indiana is more of a hot-head and much less forgiving; we see this in his kill count of 10. Raiders and Last Crusade set 1 and 3 years after include a much reduced kill count of 5 per film. In the final instalment Kingdom of the Crystal Skull he kills only 1 person. This is down to Indiana being an older man in Crystal Skull, taking over his father’s role and letting his son take over some of the action scenes.

One of the universally recognised symbols of Indiana Jones is his whip. The professor’s whip is a key component of his adventure kit but he uses it a lot less than we anticipated. In Raiders he uses it only 6 times and this decreases steadily throughout the franchise to Crystal Skull with 3 uses.

The Indiana Jones franchise is one of the best family adventure outings available; especially the first and third which provide very different atmospheres but are equal in entertainment value.

What we learnt from...

Indiana Jones

Archaeology is fun and dangerous
If you keep your hat, you’ll stay alive no matter what
Wear boxes tied to your shoes if you are too short to drive
Always have a whip handy
Believe in aliens, however stupid the plot of your life appears
Never call your son Mutt
Horse < Camels < Tanks
Never trust monkeys
All religions are correct
Nazi’s are bad
Dirty is the new clean
The umbrella is mightier than the fighter plane
Pursue your dreams, don’t care about who you kill, or leave to die
Save the girl, but resent her for it
Acquire a young Chinese boy to do errands
Don’t let the young Chinese boy get too cocky
If someone produces a sword, shoot them with a gun
Jump into every conflict with minimal planning, you’ll be fine
Believe every folk tale
Ignore your fathers ideas and put him down for them