Last Saturday, I saw a triple feature at the Aero Theater in Santa Monica. The film fest featured "Raiders of the Lost Ark", "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom", and "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade". Since I have already reviewed "Raiders" on here, I will just review the two sequels.
"Temple of Doom" is a prequel to the events of what happened in "Raiders". The reason this is a prequel is because George Lucas did not want Indy fighting Nazis again. Instead, Indy is in India and he is trying to save a civilization from poverty by retrieving a special rock that has power over the community. He finds out that a secret cult is in possession of the stone and they have enslaved the community's children. The children are being beaten and whipped in order to find the remaining stones. With the help from the famous American singer, Willie Scott and Indy's kid sidekick, Short Round, Indy sets out on an adventure that will involve voodoo, bugs, mine cart chases, and monkey brains.
"Temple of Doom" was my favorite Indy film as a kid. It is still great, but I prefer "Raiders" now. This film has the most action out of any of the Indy movies and it never gets boring. My favorite sequence from the film is the bug tunnel and spike room scene. Everything is perfect. I love the music and Harrison Ford's acting is excellent. When the spikes start to lower and Indy is calling for Willie, it really seems like Ford is fearing for his life. He is frustrated and angry with Willie. It shows in Ford's acting.
A lot of people have a problem with Kate Capshaw as Willie, but I don't mind her too much. Yes, she is annoying, but that's fine. Indy knows she is annoying and he yells at her to shut up throughout the movie. If Indy did not acknowledge how annoying she was, then I would not like it.
Short Round is a great character. His relationship with Indy really seems to be one of true friendship. Indy is Short Round's hero and what kid wouldn't want to go on an adventure with Indy. I think having Short Round in the film is very important to a younger viewer. It makes it seem like any kid could keep up with Jones.
"Temple of Doom" is the darker second act in the original Indy trilogy. The film deals with the occult and voodoo. It is very scary and it includes several scenes of graphic violence. Mola Ram is a great villain who is truly terrifying. Unlike the Nazi villains of the other films, Mola Ram has special voodoo powers himself. With just a few words, he can gain the power to rip your still beating heart out of your chest.
"Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom" is a great addition to the Indy series. While it might not be as important and deep in character development as the other two, it is still fun and amazingly entertaining.
A- I recommend it.