ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Should I Watch..? Indiana Jones And The Temple Of Doom

Updated on July 23, 2018
Benjamin Cox profile image

Benjamin is a full-time carer and former volunteer DJ at his local hospital radio station. He has been reviewing films for over ten years.

Poster for "Indiana Jones And The Temple Of Doom"
Poster for "Indiana Jones And The Temple Of Doom" | Source

What's the big deal?

Indiana Jones And The Temple Of Doom is an action adventure movie released in 1984 and is the sequel to the 1981 film Raiders Of The Lost Ark. It is the second instalment of the Indiana Jones series and sees Harrison Ford return as Dr Henry "Indiana" Jones, archaeology professor and professional hunter of unusual artefacts. This film, based on a story by George Lucas, serves as a prequel to the first film and follows Indy on a quest to retrieve sacred stones in India stolen by a vicious Thuggee cult. Although it was a financial success, the film received mixed reviews upon release and is considered one of the lesser films in the series. Some of the cast and crew including director Steven Spielberg have since spoken of their disdain for the picture for its overly dark plot and excessive violence.

Watchable

3 stars for Indiana Jones And The Temple Of Doom

What's it about?

Escaping from Triads led by Lao Che in Shanghai with his companion Short Round and nightclub singer Willie Scott, Indiana Jones travels on a plane which is sadly run by Lao's men. As they parachute out and leave the plane to crash into the Himalaya mountains, our trio manage to escape once again and find themselves in a remote part of northern India. They come across a small village who urgently ask them to retrieve their sacred stone and their children - all of which have been stolen by evil forces at the nearby Pankot Palace. Indy agrees, believing this stone to be one of five fabled Sankara stones.

At the palace, they discover that all is well and are welcomed as guests. But during the night, Indiana Jones fights out an assassin and believes that something is definitely amiss. Discovering a passage in Willie's bedroom, they follow it to a hidden temple dedicated to the goddess Kali and populated by Thuggee members indulging in ritual human sacrifice. But when Indy spots the stone among two others, he must overcome the forces of evil once more in order to survive...

Trailer

Main Cast

Actor
Role
Harrison Ford
Indiana Jones
Kate Capshaw
Wilhelmina "Willie" Scott
Jonathan Ke Quan
Short Round
Amrish Puri
Mola Ram
Roshan Seth
Prime Minister Chattar Lal
Raj Singh
Maharajah Zalim Singh

Technical Info

Director
Steven Spielberg
Screenplay
Willard Huyck & Gloria Katz *
Running Time
118 minutes
Release Date (UK)
15th June, 1984
Genre
Action, Adventure
Academy Award
Best Visual Effects
Academy Award Nomination
Best Original Score
* based on a story by George Lucas
Neither Ke Quan's Short Round or Capshaw's heroine make fun travelling companions...
Neither Ke Quan's Short Round or Capshaw's heroine make fun travelling companions... | Source

What's to like?

It may take its sweet time getting up to speed but when it does, Indiana Jones And The Temple Of Doom provides some of the best action scenes in the entire series. The legendary mine-cart sequence is worth the admission fee alone as it continues to amaze, thrill and entertain with consummate ease. Hearing the famous theme tune also gets the blood pumping while the dizzying climax on the rope bridge ends things on a tense and gripping note. Of course, the action throughout is well choreographed and performed and Indy's trademark humour is still there somewhere.

The film feels a lot more grown up than before with a story that plunges Indy into conflict with murderous priests, brain-washed cultists and child slave labour. This is a properly dark movie - take the moment when the poor man's heart is literally pulled from his chest, beating limply in Mola Ram's hand. The Nazis and mythology from the first film have been replaced by something equally dramatic and disturbing and while it might not suit everyone, it offers viewers a different angle to the character than had been seen previously. Ford is on fine form as Indy, unflappable in a crisis as always but opposite him, Puri gets little screen time to make a lasting impression but still manages to do so.

Fun Facts

  • Amrish Puri shaved his head for the part of Mola Ram but made such a lasting impression that he kept it shaved afterwards. He went on to become one of India's most popular film villains.
  • Spielberg disliked working on such a dark movie but the experience still paid dividends because he would go on to marry Capshaw in 1991.
  • The rope bridge sequence was filmed on three different continents. The scenes on the bridge were shot in Sri Lanka, the bridge hanging down the side of the cliff was shot in London while the alligators in the river below were filmed in Florida.

What's not to like?

Sadly, not all the cast deliver the goods. Capshaw is extremely irritating as Wiliie who spends maybe 70% of the film screaming constantly at the various bugs, snakes, bats and other creepy crawlies that come her way. Just as annoying is Quan whose rapid delivery and heavy accent made it tricky for me to catch his dialogue effectively. And while Ford's performance as Indy is first-class, I didn't like the direction the character had been taken. Before, he felt like a man who made mistakes and who was out of his depth but in The Temple Of Doom, he seems to defeat almost every baddie with a good right hand and a throwaway one-liner. He's gone from being a desperate man forced to improvise to someone who seems one step ahead all the time.

I also disliked the script that lacked the narrative and familiarity of Raiders Of The Lost Ark. The whole thing feels poorly thought out (Lucas was going through a divorce when he wrote the story so I'd understand if he had other things on his mind) and cobbled together to make it last the full duration. I don't identify with sacred stones or the Thuggee cult whereas we all identify and understand Nazis and the Ark Of The Covenant. If you take the action away from the film then there isn't much left - in the first half of the film which sets up the story, hardly anything happens once the opening escapade is done and dealt with.

The film's legendary mine-cart sequence is a highlight of the entire trilogy
The film's legendary mine-cart sequence is a highlight of the entire trilogy | Source

Should I watch it?

It might lack the sense of fun that the first film had in buckets and spades and the pacing might be a bit off but Indiana Jones And The Temple Of Doom retains the same spiritual DNA of its predecessor. Noisy, exciting, exhilarating and much darker than before, this film is still worth a look. It's a proper adventure movie but one that's overshadowed by the first and third instalments.

Great For: stuffy archaeologists, patient action fans, fans of the series

Not So Great For: child sidekicks, people with sensitive hearing, India

What else should I watch?

For me, it's a toss-up between Raiders Of The Lost Ark and the third film Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade. Not only does it bring back the sunshine, humour, Nazis, action and desert escapades from the first film but also brilliantly inserts Sean Connery into the mix as Indy's equally adventurous and somewhat eccentric father. And if you're wondering why I don't consider the belated fourth film - Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull - than it's probably because you haven't seen it yet. Don't bother because it will genuinely upset you.

I don't know why but there seems a trend in Hollywood to make the second film in a series darker than the first. Examples include Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back, Batman Returns and Back To The Future Part II are all darker than their respective parents in tone but for the life of me, I can't figure out why such a philosophy exists.

© 2015 Benjamin Cox

Soap Box

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Benjamin Cox profile imageAUTHOR

      Benjamin Cox 

      3 years ago from Hampshire, UK

      In which case, you might not like my forthcoming article about it...

    • profile image

      Pat Mills 

      3 years ago from East Chicago, Indiana

      I don't think Spielberg ever found a female lead the likes of Karen Allen. Still, I have enjoyed the Raiders/Indiana Jones franchise very much - even the fourth one.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)