Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom is the sequel to the 1981 film Raiders of the Lost Ark and is the second movie in the Indiana Jones franchise. The movie takes place a year prior to the events of Raiders of the Lost Ark, detailing another exciting adventure of the beloved archaeologist, Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford). After a relic-exchange gone wrong, Indiana Jones and his small crew of companions find themselves stranded in the middle of India.
Like the first movie, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom is directed by Stephen Spielberg, one of the most respected directors in film history. In addition to giving us more signature adventurous action sequences, Temple of Doom introduces a few fun characters and deepens the lore of the suave archaeologist. Whether you’re a fan of Raiders of the Lost Ark or are new to the Indiana Jones franchise, Temple of Doom is an awesome film.
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The Movie Review
Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom takes place in 1935 with our hero, Indiana Jones, attempting to trade a recently recovered relic for a precious diamond in at night club in Shanghai, China. During the exchange, Indiana meets Willie Scott (Kate Capshaw), a ditsy but beautiful American singer performing at the club. Although things seem to be going well at first, Indiana Jones is quickly betrayed as the Chinese gangsters attempt to poison him.
In his typical fashion, Indiana Jones is able to escape with explosive results, with Willie Scott whisked along for the ride. After meeting up with Indy’s sidekick, the witty orphaned child Short Round (Ke Huy Quan), the trio make their getaway on a plane leaving the country. Unfortunately, the plane crash lands in the mountains, with the trio barely escaping certain death.
With no way to contact help, Indiana, Short Round, and Willie travel to a nearby village, which has fallen on hard times. After asking around, the group learns that the village has recently been robbed by a dangerous new Maharaja, stealing both their sacred stone and the village’s children. It is also rumored that the leader has been utilizing ancient evil rituals to gain power, going as far as a human sacrifice to appease a dark god.
Believing that their prayers for help have been answered, the village elders refuse to grant Indiana save passage unless he helps them with their plight.
Seeing no alternative, the trio head to the Pankot Palace, where the new Maharaja lives in riches. What they find at the Palace is far more horrific than they could ever imagine, leading the group on another death-defying adventure.
Throughout the movie, Indiana and his friends find themselves in increasingly dire situations, pitting them against several classic adventuring dilemmas. In addition to fending off a dangerous cult, the trio must escape crumbling ruins, overcome their fear of bugs and snakes, and outwit their captors.
There are a number of cheeky callbacks and references to the first Indiana Jones film, offering a bit of fan service to boot. The action is as fun and exciting as ever, but there’s a decent amount of humor as well, usually delivered by the wise-beyond-his-years Short Round. Unfortunately, Willie Scott ends up being a typical damsel in distress, with very rare character development. Although the character eventually grows on you, she feels a bit like wasted potential.
Despite these small annoyances, the Temple of Doom has a personable and fun cast of characters.
Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom takes the style of the first movie and amps up the action, giving viewers a non-stop ride of suspense, adventure, and excitement. While it lacks a bit of the mystery and intrigue that Raiders of the Lost Ark had, Temple of Doom makes up for it with a solid script and interesting ideas. As always, there’s a fun interjection of the supernatural that sets the series apart from other classic adventure films. Even decades after release, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom is an undeniably entertaining movie that hits all the right notes.
- Fun set design and scenery
- Classic action sequences
- Indiana Jones is as charming as ever
- Too much gross-out humor
- Lack of character development