Indiana Jones & The Temple of Doom

Release Date: 5/23/1984 – Rated PG-13

Starring: Harrison Ford (Blade Runner), Kate Capshaw (Space Camp)

Plot Summary:  In the first sequel to Raiders of the Lost Ark, we find our favorite archeologist (if you like Lara Croft more than Indy, stop reading this right now and shoot yourself in the face), up to his old tricks in Shanghai.  He ends up getting poisoned after a deal gone bad and is forced to flee the scene with a hostage, the ‘talented’ Willie Scott (Capshaw), and his side-kick, Short Round.  After attempting to flee in an airplane owned by the gangster trying to kill them, they end up crashing in India.  To steal a line from another one of Ford’s movies “Here’s where the fun begins”.

The trio encounters an Indian village that has recently had all of its children, as well as its sacred rock, stolen.  Indy and the gang set off to find the missing kids and the stone.  They are told they are being held at Pankot Palace, but when they get there, nothing seems out of the ordinary; except for maybe the dinner menu, chilled monkey brains anyone?  That night they discover a secret passage that leads them to a cult under the palace.  Apparently these are bad dudes: the stole the stones, enslaved the children, rip out people’s hearts and make you drink mind control punch out of a human head.  Everyone gets captured, but escapes, of course, but not before a guy gets pulled under a rock crusher and ends up looking like something that was served at dinner the previous evening.  Indy returns the kids and the stone to the village, and then he’s off  for more adventures and skirt chasing in some other part of the globe.

Alex’s Thoughts: While not the best of the Indiana Jones sequels, it isn’t the worst either, see Tim’s comments below.  I do enjoy this franchise a lot, and I;m probably more tolerant than most when is comes to a so-so episode, Indy is such a great character and these movies have enough humor and action to more than hold my attention.  I remember seeing this a few times as a kid and really being freaked out, not so much by the dinner scene, but  the scene with the bugs… OH THE BUGS… and the jelly covered handle!!!  I like it, but given a choice between this sequel and Last Crusade I’ll go with Sean Connery every time.  If this is the only sequel you have access to it will suffice well enough for you to get your Indy fix.

Tim’s Thoughts: Thanks to Crystal Skull this has ceased being the worst of the Indiana Jones movies, barely. If Spielberg wasn’t hot for the female lead, she would be inexcusable.  At least he married the poor woman. Woof. To be fair there are some great scenes, and Short-round has some funny parts.

Overall Review: Let this movie prove the oft committed sin that adding a kid to a sequel is DEATH. Thankfully Indy survived the experience, and the world has Last Crusade which is absolutely terrific. Other examples of a kid killing a sequel include, The Mummy Returns, Superman Returns, Look Who’s Talking Too….(no excuse really for this one, 1 kid was more than enough) Star Wars episode 1, I could go on and on, but you get the idea. This franchise still is one of the great ones, despite two busts. Raiders and Last Crusade are just that good.

Alex’s Score: 6/10

Tim’s Score: 4/10

“You Call Him Dr. Jones, Doll!”

View the IMDB entry for this movie here.

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