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Saturday, April 7, 2012

The Temple of Doom: 1984

   This is, "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom," the sequel to its incredibly high grossing successor, "Raider's of the Lost Ark."  By now Indiana Jones had developed a recognized name.  In order to cash in on his name while continuing his adventures, this film was made in 1984, by director Steven Spielberg, and writer/director George Lucas.  Sadly, this film went the way of the less amusing sequel.  However, it's a fair addition to our hero's adventures, and I will explain why.  Welcome to my review of "The Temple of Dooooooooooooooom!"

   "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom," is about our hero accidentally traveling to India and into a small village where he is pressured into retrieving a sacred rock which our film calls a, "Shankara Stone."  It is told in the film that there are three of these stones in total, and that when brought together, can unleash a great power.  Now I think that the film makers sat down and asked themselves, "what's worse than a Nazi?"  And one guy must have just said, " a...Cult Leader?"  Or, something like that.  And I'm not lying either! The villain is a cult leader, and his idea of fun is...going around villages

   Actually this is probably the most creative villain in the Indiana Jones trilogy, because this guy is totally insane!  Any scarred person would do what he does and love it.  Look at his face!  You know that he's got no shame in the line of work he's taken up.  I'm sure that once his, "term" as cult leader is up, he won't hesitate to add, "worked four years teaching voodoo to a young maharajah, lead hundreds of cult followers, and practiced hundreds of long lost Thugee rituals which involved a cage that looked like a waffle iron, the most efficient method of heart surgery, and a pit of death," to his resume.  Wait, do cult leaders even have terms, or is it a life commitment thing?  So then, what do they do when you get too old?  Do you, the cult leader, go into the waffle iron or do you just leave the cave.  But wait, how could you have gotten past all of the traps?  wait, if the traps were set up to keep trespassers out, then did the cult followers have to sexually harass a statue before entering the cult every time?  Alright.... whoa...we are going way off track here.  Next, lets talk about our supporting cast, Willie Scott, and Short Round.

   Willie Scott is this film's, "damsel in distress."  She first appears in the very beginning of the film, covering the title!  You think, "well, this could be interesting.  She can act, she's a stage performer, and she can speak Mandarin!  It's very different from Marian's character in the first film, but I can see liking this character a lot."  Yea, she's the most annoying character Iv'e ever had the pleasure of knowing.  It's all great until she starts talking, and then it's all down hill from there.  You don't really care about her at all throughout the film, and it really doesn't help that she gets captured and almost sacrificed and all  your thinking is, "Alright, the sooner she gets offed, the more time this film has left to redeem itself."  I know that they might have been thinking if they make her character more reckless, the more pressure it will have on Indiana Jones in order to save her.  But it doesn't work if the audience doesn't care about her!  Willie Scott is the worst damsel in distress of the series, and it really begins to dawn on you halfway through the film.  All she does is complain, and you'll hear, "IIIIIIIIIInnnnnnnnddddddddiiiiiiiii!" more than any other line of dialog.  

   Short Round was a character thrown into the whole side-kick mix of things to make the film appeal more to children.  This is also the character who will spew more catch phrases than Spiderman!  Okay, well maybe not that much, but read some of the catch phrases he's got in his short, round head:
  1. Okey dokey Dr. Jones!  Hold on to your potatoes!"
  2. Wow!  Crash landing!"
  3. "Ha Ha Ha!  Very funny!  Ha Ha Ha!"
  4. "Hang on lady, we going for a ride!"
  5. "He no nuts." "He's crazy!
  6. "You say to stand against the wall! I listen to what you say! Not my fault! Not my fault!"
   But, regardless, it does seem like Short Round was the actor that had the most fun with his role, and he's actually less annoying than Willie Scott.  However, I don't that his character was treated well.  Although Indy takes Short Round under his wing, after sparing him when trying to pickpocket him, Short Round doesn't appear in the next Indiana Jones Adventure.  This begs the question, "What happened to Short Round?" Well here are some possibilities:  Indy ditches Short Round on the elephant in the Indian village.  The Indian woman who shared a great deal of interest in Short Round when they arrive in the town kidnaps him.  Indy sells Short Round to the village leader.  Or, Short Round dies when the ship is blown up in the beginning of the third film. 

Alright, it's that time in the review again where I recount the action scenes in the film.  Lets get started.

1.  The restaurant in Shanghai and the car chase

"Here, hold my watch.  I need to take care of some guy looking at me funny." 

 "I don't have a name for it...but...It's the new way to travel."

2.  The plane crash and sliding down a mountain, into a river, and off of a waterfall on a raft.

"Do I have something stuck in my teeth?"


3.  Jones is attacked in his room

 "Yes, Dr. Jones.  Once I kill you with this deadly piece of string, your stylish hat will be all mine.....MMMUUUHHHAAAHHHHAAAHHAAA!"


"Alright folks....who wants to bet one of those bugs is gonna fly right down her throat?"

"Hey man, you told him to stand against the wall."  "It's not his fault."

5.  The Thuggee ceremony    

"This place has, "sacrilege" written all over it!"

6.  Jones and Short Round get tortured

"Pucker up, buttercup!"

7.  Willie Scott is sacrificed


8.  Jones fights the muscle

"Ahhhhh!  I BID MY DOUNGE!"

9.  Mine cart escape

"Weeeeeee!  We're all gonna die!"

10.  Climax on the Bridge


   Well, that concludes all of the action sequences in, "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom."  I have to say that this was the most violent, strangest, and most culturally offensive of the three films.  The sad part was that, for the longest time, I thought that this was the only Indiana Jones film that existed when I was younger.  This was because, believe it or not, it was the only Indiana Jones I had seen, and was one of the only films, IN SCHOOL, I watched as a child.  Yes, my elementary school actually showed us this film, not just once, but several times!  I suppose that they could argue that they couldn't show the first or third film because those films mostly focused on sections of the Bible.  But, regardless, this was a very good addition to the Indiana Jones franchise.  And if you want to learn a bit more on the whole cult aspect of the film, there do exist other movies that use Thuggee traditions, such as the film, Gunga Din. Well, thank you for reading, and I hope that you will read my next review from the franchise entitled, "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade!"

Watch the Trailer

Next Review:  Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade  1989 


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