Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom

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Indy Goes Dark

Jan 29, 2008 (Updated May 29, 2008)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Lots of great action and some decent laughs

Cons:A few overly dark and gruesome scenes

The Bottom Line: Take those comments about a few scenes seriously, but don't skip this film.


Plot Details: This opinion reveals minor details about the movie's plot.

Have I mentioned recently that I didn't watch many films growing up? One trilogy I missed was the Indiana Jones series. While I saw the other two in college, I missed Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom until just recently. Frankly, I had mixed emotions about watching this film since I had heard mixed reviews of it. Those complaints were well founded, but I enjoyed it for the most part.

1933 finds Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford) is in China attempting to get paid for his latest find. When his employer double crosses him, Indy barely escapes with his life, dragging singer Willie Scott (Kate Capshaw) and young Short Round (Jonathan Ke Quan) along with him.

Well, Indy almost escapes. Yet another attempt at double crossing him leaves the trio stranded in India. There, they find a remote village that is willing to lead them back to civilization, but only after Indy has returned their sacred stone and their children from a nearby temple.

This mission turns out to have plenty of danger. Can Indy accomplish his mission and keep his companions safe from a very evil villain?

Every complaint I had heard about this film concerned the darker tone this movie takes. Frankly, I only found one section to be dark, but it was certainly dark and disturbing. There is a dinner scene I never care to see again. And, it served very little purpose in the plot. Even more disturbing is a scene of human sacrifice. It was gratuitous, in my opinion. How this movie ever got a PG rating with that intact is beyond me. (Yeah, I know, PG-13 wasn't around then. But still.) And yes, there are the ever present bugs, but they are more creepy then disgusting.

What's amazing about those scenes is the fact they are surrounded by lots of fun stuff. I actually found more humor here then in the first one. The scene with Short Round and Indy playing poker while Willie flips out is absolutely hysterical. And there are some other great laughs involving Willie who is definitely out of her element in the wilderness.

But this movie is an action film, and it never quite lets you forget that. There are wonderful actions scenes all the way through. A few of them aren't believable, but what action movie is completely believable? They work for this movie, and that's all that matters. And when it comes to the climax, you are certainly glued to your seat as our heroes face one crisis after another.

This movie had the potential to be very bad. In the wrong hands, it could have been over the top and laughable instead of a fairly serious action romp. Praise goes to the actors for keeping the tone just right. Yes, they have fun at the right moments, but they play things mostly straight. The biggest complaint I have heard is Kate Capshaw as Willie. While I'd say her character is the least believable of the film, I think it has more to do with the character rather then the actress. And, I felt the character fit in with this 80's film.

If gruesome isn't for you, you might want to view this film with caution. But keep in mind that most of the film is perfectly entertaining. I might fast forward through a couple scenes, but I will certainly be rewatching Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.

Indiana Jones Reviews:
1. Raiders of the Lost Ark
2. Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (you are here)
3. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
4. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
Indiana Jones Boxed Set


Recommend this product? Yes


Viewing Format: DVD
Suitability For Children: Suitable for Children Age 13 and Older

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