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Set in 1935, a professor, archaeologist, and legendary hero by the name of Indiana Jones is back in action in his newest adventure. But this time he teams up with a night club singer named Wilhelmina "Willie" Scott and a twelve-year-old boy named Short Round. They end up in an Indian small distressed village, where the people believe that evil spirits have taken all their children away after a sacred precious stone was stolen! They also discovered the great mysterious terror surrounding a booby-trapped temple known as the Temple of Doom! Thuggee is beginning to attempt to rise once more, believing that with the power of all five Sankara stones they can rule the world! Now, it's all up to Indiana to put an end to the Thuggee campaign, rescue the lost children, win the girl and conquer the Temple of Doom. Written by
Anthony Pereyra <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The rotating tabletop used to exchange items in the opening Club Obi Wan sequence is still common in Shanghai restaurants. It's normally used for easy access to the multiple dishes served at meals. See more »
The film is set in 1935 yet the car Short Round drives is a 1936 Auburn Boat-tail Speedster. See more »
The Paramount mountain dissolves into a mountain on a gong. Kate Capshaw's hands obscure the words 'starring in', after which her entire body obscures the "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom" title. See more »
Spielberg/Lucas' guide to sheer cliffhanging, shamefully entertaining adventure-lore
There's a part of me that wonders why I might have a rating as listed here as an 8/10 for Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, an 1980's blockbuster thrill-ride that many 'Jones' fans list as their least favorite- at the least inferior to Raiders- in the series so far. But then I have to take into account that for a film of this kind, one that poses the no-holds barred case of eleven-year old minds caught up in a grown-up control, it's quite spectacular in its manic, throw-in-the-sink kind of action film that more than pays homage to the matinée serials of the past. Since the last time I saw the film the bulk faded away from a random childhood day, seeing it today I'm struck by how it does tap into that sense of humor that is unhinged. This is more than just a vehicle for Harrison Ford, it's a crash course in delirious escapism, of things that make your skin crawl, thrills pushing a relentless arena, and dark comedy.
This time, in a way, Spielberg, Lucas, and the American Graffiti co-writers (hence a bit of a push from Raiders on the bits of comedy), they set themselves up to make what happens so outrageous and (in its classically conventional way) manipulative. The story takes place in 1935, a year before Raiders in 1936, but the links of the story lines aren't important like in the Star Wars movies. It's simply sets a precedent for the filmmakers- the audience knows he'll get out of whatever's dished out, almost as a kind of toughening up for future tales of Dr. Jones. On the one hand the film delivers with a lot of promise on just the terms of pure spectacle (the brilliantly over the top opening Shanghai sequence, the whole main temple arena with its satanic overtones, the cart chase) and in pulling laughs out of the supporting characters here and there (Kate Capshaw will hit or miss with people, though Short round is quite the amusing- and not annoying- side character).
On the other hand, however, there is a lack of real classic movie cliché thrills of Raiders, or with the movie star repore of Ford and Connery in Crusade. And, in truth, everything here is so completely immersed in the B-movie ideal of f***ing with you at every turn, even as a PG movie of the time, it very often pushes on the line of being hokey. The song that starts the film, Anything Goes, should give anyone an idea of what to expect from Spielberg and Lucas, two thirty-something men who in Temple of Doom- for better or worse- tap truthfully into their inner immature selves. It may miss the mark of greatness, but it's still one of the real guilty pleasures of the 1980's.
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