Saturday Movie Review – “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom”

Yes, this is a few hours later than usual. I’m still adjusting to my new keyboard, so the review takes longer to enter than usual. The weekly DVD picks will likely be postponed until tomorrow for similar reasons.

Cast, Crew, and Other Info

Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones
Kate Capshaw as Willie Scott
Ke Huy Quan as Short Round

Written by George Lucas, Willard Huyck and Gloria Katz
Directed by Steven Spielberg

Complete information is available from the IMDB.

Buy from: Amazon.com
or Amazon.ca

Past movie reviews can be found here.

Premise

Indy and company get sucked into a search for fortune, glory, and kidnapped kids.

High Point

The villain’s natural response to the threat against the stones on the bridge.

Low Point

Fortune and glory? The last time I saw this character, he was in love
with an old girlfriend and was more concerned about getting his finds
into a museum than in making money off of them.

The Scores

This felt less original than the previous entry. It had a
far more standard structure, and actually lost some of the
opportunities to maintain a unique format. (eg. The Marcus and Marion
characters, the sense of an archeological puzzle to solve, etc.) This
just became a standard action movie. I give it 3 out of 6.

The effects had worse blue screening than the first film, and
some occasionally lousy mannequins. Other portions, such as the heart
“surgery,” were well done, particularly for the time. I give it 4 out
of 6.

The story had a major drive to include more action than the
first, leaving less space for actual plot. What plot there is works
well enough, neglecting the perpetual whining of the herione, and lack
of back story explaining what happened between the end of the first
film and the start of this one. I give
it 4 out of 6.

The acting from Ford is as good as ever. Quan is passable
for his age group, but Capshaw did a lousy job. I have to question
the director’s judgement on that choice, but as he ended up marrying
her, I’m not sure he’d agree. I give it 4 out of 6.

The emotional response wasn’t as strong as it could have
been. There wasn’t a clear goal for the film until we were almost a
quarter of the way through, and the challenges to reach that goal were
all physical. This just didn’t engage me as much as the original. I
give it 4 out of 6.

The production is well done, as we’ve come to expect from
Spielberg. The staff he hires (Kahn, Slocombe, and Williams in
particular) are exceptional, and the movies comes together very
nicely. I give it 5 out of 6.

Overall, in spite of its inability to live up to the other
entries in the trilogy, it’s still a strong film, well worth checking
out. I give it 4 out of 6.

In total, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom receives 28
out of 42.

12 replies on “Saturday Movie Review – “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom””

  1. obiwan says:

    Concerning the low point
    Chronologically, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom occurs *before* Raiders of the Lost Ark, so the "last time" you saw Indy, it was actually in the future (where perhaps he had changed) :)

    Sigh. I’m such a Indy Jones geek.

    • octa says:

      Re: Concerning the low point
      Offtopic:

      I hope you put up a review of that keyboard sometime!

      • Jethro says:

        Re: Concerning the low point

        Offtopic:

        I hope you put up a review of that keyboard sometime!

        Seconded! I want to know more about that keyboard too!

        • obiwan says:

          Re: Concerning the low point

          Offtopic:

          I hope you put up a review of that keyboard sometime!

          Seconded! I want to know more about that keyboard too!

          Thirded!

          • Jethro says:

            Re: Concerning the low point

            Offtopic:

            I hope you put up a review of that keyboard sometime!

            Seconded! I want to know more about that keyboard too!

            Thirded!

            Fourthed!

            • Jethro says:

              Re: Concerning the low point

              Offtopic:

              I hope you put up a review of that keyboard sometime!

              Seconded! I want to know more about that keyboard too!

              Thirded!

              Fourthed!

              Yeah, Jethro’s right! Tell us about the keyboard!

  2. chad says:

    Additional Low Point
    The "raft" ride down the side of the mountain.

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    • Timeshredder says:

      Re: Additional Low Point
      I really didn’t like this one, and wondered why they needed a sequel to a movie that successfully accomplished what it intended (The third wasn’t bad, though). It had so many problems: the overly-long mine ride, the needlessly sadistic violence, the annoying sidekick….

      Still, that’s an interesting keyboard.

      • GrimSean says:

        Re: Additional Low Point

        the annoying sidekick….

        I like Short Round, and I remember being slightly annoyed that The Last Crusade didn’t even mention him in passing.

      • jbrecken says:

        Re: Additional Low Point

        the overly-long mine ride

        "Go-motion" was invented for that mine car chase (I’d have given the effects a higher score because of it), so it was something the audience hadn’t seen before, and wasn’t too long when it was new even though it’s old hat now.

        the annoying sidekick….

        If they do make a new Indy movie, Maybe showing a grownup Short Round would be a good way to pass the torch.

  3. dgswensen says:

    Well
    Kate Capshaw’s character was supposed to be a shrieky, annoying ninny. I’d say she did a spectacular job.

  4. Timeshredder says:

    And let’s all avoid Godwin’s Law
    I recognize that some people call racism at the drop of a hat, and others assume that denouncing political correctness constitutes an unbeatable response to such allegations. The fact remains that this film has drawn accusations of racism. Some east Indians, in particular, were upset by the portrayal of Indian culture and India under British Imperialism. Few consider the movie deliberately racist, but hold that the attempt to capture the feel of the old serials, which exotified and misrepresented any number of cultures, resulted in racist depictions.

    Does anyone have any thoughts on the matter?

Comments are closed.