The Badass of the Week.

Dr. Henry Jones Jr.

"Nazis.  I hate these guys."

As soon as you hear the trumpet section start belting out the most inspirational theme song in the history of music, you know that some fucking serious shit is about to go down.  It means that the most badass archaologist/historian in history is about to do something insane like swoop in on his bullwhip, swing across a ravine, sucker punch an SS officer in the back of the head, grab the girl and the long-lost priceless artifact, hop on a horse and start riding away while being chased after by motorcycles, airplanes, arab warriors, Nazi stormtroopers, cultists riding in baby carriages and drunk rampaging elephants.  It means that Indiana Jones is doing what he does best - being a fucking balls-out badass.

Dr. Henry "Indiana" Jones was a Professor of Archaeology in the 1940's, where he lived the normal life of a college faculty member.  He taught classes, he held office hours, and he spent his summers performing research and writing books.  Except while most history professors out there choose to spend their much-needed research time pouring over ancient volumes of primary source material in dusty classical libraries, Jones opts for a little more hands-on approach;  Instead of writing a book about some treasure of the ancient or medieval world, he just throws on his hat and leather jacket, travels to some fucking remote part of the world, navigates trap-filled tombs, fights indigenous populations of primitive third-world island countries, snatches the item from it's last-known resting place and narrowly escapes before the entire tomb collapses down on top of him and ten thousand Nazi infantrymen machinegun him to death.

One thing I dig about Indy, other than the fact that his job is to basically travel the entire planet seeing all kinds of awesome remote places and having insane adventures, is the fact that he's really a no-bullshit kind of guy.  He's tough as hell, but you don't see him doing any sort of fancy-pants martial arts or judo flips or anything.  When somebody pisses him off, he just reaches back and slugs the guy in the face like a real man.  None of that crazy acrobatic bullshit.  If the face-punching doesn't do the trick, he can pull out his bullwhip and crack the shit out of someone like a spiteful dominatrix.  I like the bullwhip as a melee weapon because it's eccentric but not fruity, not like if he was fighting people with a tape measure or a giant toothbrush or something.  As far as signature weapons go, it's respectable, plus it doubles as a means for him to get out of some tight spots, mostly by virtue of the fact that he has the uncanny ability to hit something and have the whip wrap around it in such a way that it can somehow support his entire body weight.  Failing that, he doesn't have problems pulling out a revolver and shooting anyone damn fool enough to fuck with him.

Not to say that Indiana Jones is all just tough-guy asskickings and feats of unparalleled strength.  He's also completely fucking brilliant.  He not only uses his extensive knowledge to pin down where a certain item is buried, but he's well-versed in pretty much every legend and myth out there, meaning that he's highly prepared for any sort of insane shit that his line of work might throw at him.  This is pretty critical, because by "insane shit" I mean like spike-filled pit traps, blades that pop up out of the ground, bottomless cliffs, poison dart traps, gigantic rolling boulders... you name it, and he's almost been killed by it half a dozen times.  He also speaks like two dozen languages, so he can effectively make himself understood anywhere he decides to travel to, which is key when you rack up as many frequent-flier miles as Dr. Jones does.

Jones is also the master of the chase sequence.  He's demonstrated time and time again that he's an expert and running away from things, be it on foot, car, motorcycle, horseback, tank, speedboat, zeppelin, airplane, roller blades, ice skates, mine cars, or unicycles.  If it can be used as a means of locomotion, Indy has used it to escape from people who are desperately trying to kill him, or he's had other people use it to chase him down.  His crazy-ass ability to drive every sort of vehicle ever created has saved his ass more times than he can probably remember, and he doesn't even flinch in situations where he needs to be completely balls-out and jump a motorcycle over a thirty foot wide ravine, fly a plane through a narrow tunnel fifteen feet above the ground or slide underneath a stone door right before it closes.

Indiana Jones is the ultimate adventurer and the epitome of what every historian worth their copy of The Art of War wishes they could be.  He journeys across the globe, meets all sorts of interesting people, gets it on with hot foreign babes, cracks Nazis in the face with his right fist, has all kinds of adventures, sees ancient forgotted relics up close and personal, and is highly-regarded among his colleges for his contributions to the field.  Perhaps even more amazing than all of that, he actually manages to make history and archaeology cool, which is something that few people can accomplish.



Trailer for The Last Crusade


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