Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom ★★★★★

Added to: Ranked: Spielberg │ The Features

"Hang on lady, we goin' for a ride!"

Boy, you said it, Shorty.

What a ride! This is my personal favorite Indiana Jones film, thanks in no small part to the incredible, hold-on-to-your-potatoes performance from Ke Huy Quan as Short Round. I think I wrote in my review for War of the Worlds that Dakota Fanning gave the best performance of any of Spielberg's child stars. Well... that may be true *if* you don't count Short Round.

It also contains a number of my favorite shots in all of the series. Especially that shot of Indy standing in the shadows as the light from the minecart lamp reveals him with that, "I'm about to kick some major ass" look on his face. Gets me every time.

Everything after that is just balls-to-the-wall adventure. 100% over-the-top in the best possible way. That bridge scene!! My God. He cuts through the goddamned bridge!! How bad ass is that??? I wish I was old enough to have seen that in the theater!(At least I got to see the next one.)

I don't understand the accusations of racism. Amrish Puri, who plays the terrifying(and fucking awesome looking) Mola Ram, High Priest of the Thugee cult Kali, thought the accusations at the time were silly. The Thuggee cult is based in historical fact, and the movie just uses it as a springboard for the supernatural elements that all of these films must contain.

And you'll notice how so many people will just put forth the term 'racist" without giving much(if *anything*) in the way of concrete examples. You could say that Indy and his friends don't meet any "normal" Indian people along the way. They're all either poor villagers, or members of a murderous cult. But of course, then you'd have to ignore the fact that it's the cult which has many of the good people, like the Little Maharaja(Raj Singh) under the curse of the "Black Sleep of Kali". And you'd have to ignore that you're watching an Indiana Jones movie in the first place.

Anyhoo, I'll support this movie until the day I die. Indy is at his most bad-ass, Kate Capshaw is actually funny, not annoying, and Short Round is my hero. So cool to see that Ke Huy Quan is back to acting in Everything Everywhere All At Once(which looks intriguing).

The film critic Walter Chaw posited a synopsis for a Short Round movie that really... definitely... must happen some day. Chaw put John Cho in the role of Shorty, but I say if Ke is back to acting again... why not make a movie with the O.G.?

John Williams even wrote one of my favorite themes for Short Round, which you can hear here. So evocative and nostalgia-inducing. Makes me feel like the whole world is before me again. I feel as energized as Shorty when listening to it.

Yep, I love this one. I think Raiders of the Lost Ark is a better film. A perfect film, even.

Temple of Doom ain't perfect, but fortune and glory never is.

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