Friday, June 20, 2008

Term of the Day: Nuking the Fridge

I wouldn't mind if "Jumping the Shark" got replaced by "Nuking the Fridge":
Nuking the Fridge is a colloquialism used by U.S. Cinema critics and fans and has a meaning similar to jumping the shark. It is used to denote the point in a movie or movie series at which the characters or plot veer into a ridiculous, out-of-the-ordinary storyline. Films that have "nuked the fridge" are typically deemed to have passed their peak, since they have undergone too many changes to retain their initial appeal, and after this point critical fans often sense a noticeable decline in their quality. It is considered as the movie equivalent of what Jumping the shark means for television.

The term is an allusion to a scene in the 2008 film Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull of the Indiana Jones series, when the title character Indiana Jones is literally hit by a atomic bomb blast while hiding inside a refrigerator in a desperate attempt to escape a nuclear test facility. The fridge is hurled several miles through the sky, and tumbles hard to the ground. The scene was considered so preposterous that many believed it to be an attempt at outdoing the over-the-top action of the classic introduction sequence of the series.

Yes, that moment in Crystal Skull was ridiculous, but I enjoyed the movie more than many of the people bashing it seem to have. Maybe my expectations were lower. Or maybe I'm just so pleased when I get an opportunity to see any movie in a theater these days that I turn off my critical faculties a bit in order to enhance my enjoyment of a precious and rare might at the cinema.

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