Joss Whedon on What He Hates about Temple of Doom

08.28.13 4 years ago 92 Comments

Joss Whedon fans have a tendency to be so obnoxious that they can overshadow Whedon himself, who, as he proves in a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, often has some interesting things to say. For instance, you know those cutesy, winky fan handjob scenes that say little more than “remember that?!?” that populate so many films these days? Especially sequels and reboots and properties with a built-in fanbase? Well, Joss Whedon doesn’t like them either. He mentions a scene in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom as the seminal example.

“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.” [HuffPo]

He’s speaking, of course, of the scene where Indy is confronted by sword-wielding bad guys, and reaches for his gun to shoot them like he did in Raiders of the Lost Ark, only this time the gun isn’t there and he smiles. Mike Ryan at Huffington Post has a thorough breakdown of why the scene doesn’t work, but the gist is that it only makes sense as a wink to the audience and does nothing to advance the actual scene (for one thing, Temple of Doom was supposed to be a prequel, so what was Indy smiling about? the memory of something that hasn’t happened yet?).

Whedon, whose Avengers sequel, Age of Ulton, is scheduled for 2015, also fielded questions about Twilight. Sure, why not.

“A small part of you is like: ‘Well, you know, I did that first. I liked that band before they were popular,’” he says. “The thing about Buffy for me is–on a show-by-show basis–are there female characters who are being empowered, who are driving the narrative? The Twilight thing and a lot of these franchise attempts coming out, everything rests on what this girl will do, but she’s completely passive, or not really knowing what the hell is going on. And that’s incredibly frustrating to me because a lot of what’s taking on the oeuvre of Buffy, is actually a reaction against it. Everything is there — except for the Buffy. A lot of things aimed at the younger kids is just Choosing Boyfriends: The Movie.” [EW]

I never watched Buffy, because, you know… why… and I agree with him about Twilight, but is it just me, or is it kind of ballsy to point out the lack of strong female characters in a property that, unlike yours, was actually written by a woman? It’d be a little like Tarantino saying he sets a more positive example for the black community than Tyler Perry.

Anyway, Whedon is an interesting interview, which is more than you can say for most people. You always wonder what’s going on in that planetarium-sized skull of his. He’s a hero to everyone who’s ever been affected by Mr. Burns’ nerve tonic.


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