This article will be a lot shorter than the one I wrote for the Star Wars movies, most likely because Steven Spielberg isn’t quite the dolt that George Lucas seems to be.
Raiders of the Lost Ark
Being the first film of the series, there really isn’t much in Raiders of the lost Ark that boggles the mind. About the only thing I can think of is when Indy swims to the Nazi submarine. The movie shows him climbing up the sub, but never shows him getting in. The sub is also diving as he’s climbing it. The next scene Indy is in the sub. How the hell did he get in? From what I understand you can’t open the hatch on a sub from the outside.
When Indy and Marion are trapped in the Well of Souls, Indy pushes a giant statue over into a wall, breaking it. Marion goes through the whole in the wall, and a bunch of skeletons, that were somehow just standing up in there, start to fall over on her. How the hell were they moving?
The last thing is the fight with the giant German near the plane. The fight ends while the leviathan man stands with his fists ready while Indy lays at his feet. Meanwhile, the plane is turning the the propellers are coming right at Indy’s German foe. The guy eventually gets shredded by the propellers, which is kind of cool, but how did he not hear that getting closer? Unless the dude’s deaf it just doesn’t make sense.
Temple of Doom
I’m not sure if Lucas wrote the Indiana Jones stories before turning them into movies or what, but this movie is actually set before Raiders of the Lost Ark. A prequel, if you will. Not sure why he did it that way.
Secondly, the movie starts in Shanghai where Indy is trying to trade the remains of China’s first Emperor to a Chinese crime lord, Lao Che, for diamonds. He even takes Willie Scott hostage for a bit when Lao initially refuses to give him the diamond. This doesn’t seem to be in Indy’s character at all. Even as a teenager, Indy thinks all archeological artifacts should belong in a museum, so why would he be trading a find like this for a lousy diamond?
As an aside, the name of the club where this show down goes, uh, down is Club Obi Wan. I see what you did there.
After escaping Shanghai, Indy, Short Round, and Willie unwittingly get on a plane owned by Lao Che. Somewhere over India the pilots dump the fuel and jump of the plain, but not before throwing the extra parachutes out the door. The three jump out of the plane on an inflatable raft and slam into the mountain top. The three survive which is plausible since it wasn’t too far of a drop, but there would’ve have been injuries I think. As they slide down the snow-covered mountain top in their raft, the plane they just leaped from crashes into the mountain side and explodes….even though there is no…fuel…left…in…the…plane. They then go flying off of a cliff and land in the river, and somehow all three remain in the raft and unharmed.
The next bit of nonsensicalness is when Indy gets attacked in his room at Pankot Palace. The fight ends with one end of Indy’s whip wrapped around his attacker’s neck and the other end gets tossed up into a ceiling fan. The attacker is then pulled up by the ceiling fan and hung by the whip. Now, I don’t know how well ceiling fans were made in the 1930′s (especially in India), but if that were to happen with my ceiling fan the fan would either stop spinning or it would be ripped out of the ceiling because ceilings aren’t designed to hold that much weight and neither are the fans.
After Indy, Willie, and Shorty witness the ancient Thuggee ceremony, Indy goes down to grab the stolen Sankara stone. When the stones are close together, the light up. Indy takes the stone, and the lit stone doesn’t hurt him or burn his hand. However, near the end of the movie, while fighting Mola Rom on the severed bridge, the stones are all together in Indy’s satchel. They are so hot they burn a hole through the bag and two of them fall out before Mola Rom grabs the third one, which subsequently burns his hand. Mola Rom looses his grip on the Sankara stone and Indy grabs it, without getting burnt. So basically, either Indy’s hand are impervious to heat or the stones just aren’t hot while he’s holding them.
EDIT: Just saw this on Wikipedia:
In one final struggle against Mola Ram for the Sankara stones, Indiana invokes an incantation to Shiva, causing the stones to glow red-hot.
So I guess that explains that.
During the mine chase, Indy’s cart comes to a section where the track is missing. The mine cart somehow leaps off the end of the track and lands perfectly on the other side, which is lower. Over-the-top theatrics of this cart jump aside, how do the Thuggees get their carts back to the mine with that section of track missing?
The Last Crusade
This isn’t really a big deal, but after Indy returns to the University after retrieving Coronado’s cross, he’s literally bombarded by students after class. I’ve never really understood why.
This is more of a curiosity than an inconsistency, but why would Indy’s dad go on a quest without telling him? I know Indy and his father have a strained relationship, but would his dad really leave the country without at least telling him? In an age where telephone and mail are the only other means of communication aside from conversation? Doesn’t make sense to me.
Next, there’s the tomb in the library in Venice. The tomb is half-submerged in water, and the water is coated with petroleum. First of all, I would think Dr. Jones (my professional name) would be smarter than to carry a torch in petroleum-infested water. Secondly, it’s plainly obvious that burning petroleum is dropping into the water. How on Earth is the entire tomb not engulfed in flames the very first time that this happens?
The Jones boys eventually end up in Berlin, to retrieve Dr. Jones Sr’s Grail diary. While trying to leave, Indy gets caught in a crowd of spectators trying to reach the Fuhrer. Indy inadvertently ends up right in front of Hitler, the journal held out in front of him. Even though there is a ginormous mountain of books being burnt behind him, Hitler takes the book, autographs it, and hands it back to Indy, who he mistakes for an adoring fanatic. I don’t personally know Hitler (obviously), but I would think that he would have chucked that book into the fire.
As the Nazis follow Dr. Jones Sr’s map to the Holy Grail’s resting place, Indy attempts to rescue Marcus, who is being held in the Nazis’ tank. At one point during the skirmish, Indy shoves a rock into one of the tanks guns causing it to back fire and explode right in the barrel, rendering the gun useless. Right.
In the first of the tests to get to the Grail, Indy must kneel before God. He does so, and therefore doesn’t get his head lopped off by a razor-sharp blade. He then gets flipped over another blade. While this is happening you see a pair of arms throw a rope around the wooden lever that triggers these blades. Who is that guy?? Is it the knight?
The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
This movie (even though I like it overall) has the most flaws out of them all and the biggest inconsistency in the entire series. At the end of The Last Crusade, Indy and his father both drink from the Grail, giving them eternal life. Yet Indy’s father is dead in this movie. How can this be? Last I knew, eternal life meant you life forever.
In the warehouse, while looking for the box with the dead alien in it, it’s extremely inconsistent what, and how strongly, objects are magnetically drawn to the box. At one point the lights hanging from the ceiling are being magnetically attracted to the box yet the soldiers stand around the box with their guns perfectly fine.
Then, Indy survives a nuclear explosion by climbing into a refrigerator. Instead of being completely obliterated, the fridge and Indy go flying completely outside of the blast radius, which he also somehow survives. I imagine if I went flying for miles in a refrigerator I wouldn’t survive when it landed.
“If you wanna be a good archeologist, you’ve gotta get outta the library!” Indy says when he and Mutt crash through the library on a motorcycle. In The Last Crusade, however, Indy tells his students “70% of archeology is spent in the library, doing research.” So what gives? Which is it?
Other nonsensicalness is Mutt swinging from vines like he’s fucking Tarzan, the main characters surviving four long falls into the water (without getting at least injured) in that Jeep/boat thingy, and huge man-eating ants.
I love the Indiana Jones movies, but some things were a little over the top. Just imagine, these could be completely different movies if Tom Selleck had gotten the part like they had initially wanted.