I enjoy most of Joss Whedon’s work, but by the same token, the guy has his strengths and weaknesses. And a new weakness has recently cropped up; a total lack of self-awareness.
Specifically, Joss Whedon has a problem with the joke in Temple of Doom when Indy is confronted with these guys:
And goes for his holster only to find it empty. Which of course refers to this joke:
Whedon’s complaint is, well, let’s let the man speak for himself:
“A movie has to be complete within itself; it can’t just build off the first one or play variations. You know that thing in Temple of Doom where they revisit the shooting trick? … That’s what you don’t want. And I feel that’s what all of culture is becoming — it’s becoming that moment.”
Worse, Whedon was also talking about The Empire Strikes Back and its ending. Whedon is, of course, entitled to his opinions; I actually see his point when it comes to Empire, although I disagree with him about it not being a true, self-contained ending; it would be a frustrating one without Jedi, but we know where everybody is.
Still, this complaint coming from him is just a wee bit hypocritical, since he first rose to prominence writing a serialized, self-referential TV show, got his first film directing gig making a movie that is tied directly to a fourteen-episode show he created and shepherded, and recently had his career boosted over the top by making a movie that amounted to a ubersequel to three different franchises.
And considering how popular and imitated his shows are, and The Avengers will be, at least a small portion of the blame for this lies with Whedon himself. So, Joss, do us a favor? Own up to it, and if it bothers you, stop doing it.