Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
Release Year: 1984
Director: Steven Spielberg
Writers: Willard Huyck (screenplay), Gloria Katz (screenplay), George Lucas (story)
Starring: Harrison Ford, Kate Capshaw, Jonathan Ke Quan, Amrish Puri, Roshan Seth, Philip Stone, Roy Chiao, Ric Young
Rating: Won 1 Oscar: Best Visual Effects. Nominated for 1 Oscar: Best Score. Nominated for 7 Saturn Awards: Best Fantasy Film, Best Director, Best Performance by a Younger Actor (Jonathan Ke Quan), Best Writing, Best Costumes, Bet Make-up.
A skirmish in a night club in Shanghai leads to Indiana Jones, his young friend Short Round, and singer Willie Scott crossing paths with the desperate people of an Indian village who ask Jones to retrieve a magic stone stolen from them by a secret and brutal cult.
Steven Spielberg’s follow-up to the excellent Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) gave us more of the same while straying away from the formula of the first film. Ford (What Lies Beneath, 2000) reprises his iconic role with great succes, whereas his sidekicks are slightly different this time around. Quan (The Goonies, 1985) is the Young and ressourceful street-raised Short Round, slightly annoying but endlessly charming and fun, and Capshaw (Just Cause, 1995) replaces Karen Allen as the love interest. She also happens to be the source of the critique most often associated with Temple of Doom; where Allen was a strong, clever, and willful female character, Capshaw is dismissed as a degrading female character. Capshaw’s character may be borderline hysterical at times and rather silly, but her behaviour is quite logical for a night club singer used to being spoiled suddenly finding herself well out of her depth, and furthermore her character grows significantly during the film, to her and the writers’ credit. The opening scenes in Shanghai are classic – filled with cameos (see below) and references and promises an action-packed film. The rest of the film is set in a humid Indian jungle, ripe with bugs, and savage cultists. Temple of Doom suffers slightly from cutting out the professor part of Inidiana Jones’s character that are handled so beautifully in Raiders and The Last Crusade (1989), but is an old-fashioned adventure story which will more than satisfy those that come for Dr Jones and some good fun and hardly deserves the lack of attention giving to it. A very good sequel which, like the first and third part of the original trilogy, are unmissable for fans of classic adventure stories.
The chilled monkey-brains served in a particularly memorable scene were made of custard and rasberry sauce.
Cameo: Dan Aykroyd appears in a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it role as Weber, the man showing Indiana Jones and his companions aboard the plane. George Lucas can be seen shortly as a missionary, while Steven Spielberg can be seen as a tourist at the airport.
Picture Copyright: Disney