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Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (Special Edition) (1984)

1 rating: 3.0
Action & Adventure movie

It’s hard to imagine that a film with worldwide box office receipts topping $300 million worldwide could be labeled a disappointment, but some moviegoers consideredIndiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, the second installment in Steven Spielberg … see full wiki

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1 review about Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (Special...

A Dark Indy Adventure

  • Sep 17, 2008
A prequel to RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK, INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOM follows Indiana from China and through India as he attempts to get back to civilization. After being double-crossed by Chinese gangster, Lao Che (Roy Chiao) in a nightclub, Indiana (Harrison Ford), nightclub singer Willie Scott (Kate Capshaw), and young sidekick Short Round (Jonathan Ke Quan) find themselves on the run and flying over India. Left to die in a crashing plane, the trio escapes and eventually find themselves in a small Indian village. The crops are dying and the people are weeping in mourning. The village leader tells the visitors that the reason for their trouble is because the ancient cult of Thuggee has been revived. The Thuggees have stolen the village's Shiva lingam, a stone that Indiana comes to believe might be one of the Shankara stones, and have kidnapped all of their children. The village elder claims that the Thuggees are headquartered not far away in Pankot Palace. He believes that Indiana Jones and his friends have been sent from some higher power to help them. The village elders agree to take Indy and his friends to Delhi, but only if they first go to Pankot Palace. Indy agrees, more out of curiosity and the chance for "fortune and glory" than anything else. A disgusting meal, a horrible death, and a mine car chase all follow.

Most viewers find INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF JONES their least favorite Indiana Jones movie. That's not to say that ToD is a bad movie because it's not. ToD is filled with action and memorable scenes, e.g. the nightclub scene, the dinner scene, the sacrifice, the mine car chase, et al. There are all kinds of witty one-liners. I really enjoyed the character development we see in Indy through the movie, especially in his relationship with Short Round. Also, the acting is really well done from star Harrison Ford to Amrish Puri as villain Mola Ram to the small bit parts and cameos such as Dan Akroyd.

With so much good stuff in it one may wonder why ToD is one of the least-liked parts of the Indiana Jones saga. I think the reason for this is because of the shock factor of certain elements of the movie e.g. Mola Ram ripping a man's heart out of his chest while it is still beating or the special dessert of monkey brains at the dinner. These scenes are memorable, but they are completely unnecessary to the film. The dinner scene is just as funny and disgusting without the monkey brains in it. The sacrifice scene is just as horrifying without seeing the beating heart being ripped out of the victim's chest. These scenes and others like them made ToD more violent and scary than it needed to be. Scenes like these in the movie turned away many parents and brought rounds of protest when the film was originally in theatres. In fact it is because of ToD and GREMLINS (two movies that Steven Spielberg was associated with) that the PG-13 rating came to be (both of these movies would have been rated R if it hadn't been for Spielberg's association with them). Parents and other adults complained they were too violent for children, but children were the prime targets for the film.

I like INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOM. There were parts of it that frightened me a great deal when I first saw it as a child. However, over the years the film has grown on me. I understand now some of the reasoning for having such a dark episode in the saga. People can become lost in redemption, but they can also find salvation and illumination, something explored in depth in INDIANA JONES AND THE LAST CRUSADE.

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