Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom ★★★

This time around, Indiana Jones finds himself stuck in the Indian mountains, saddled with his kid accomplice 'Shorty' and a nightclub singer named Willie. In pursuance of a stolen shivalinga, Indy stumbles upon a secret cult plotting a terrible plan in the catacombs of an ancient palace.

Boy does this movie have problems! Casual racism galore, glaring even for 1980s standards. The nasty exoticisation of Indian culture (and cuisine): baby snakes, eyeball soup, and chilled monkey brains. The white saviour complex. Indy being his misogynic self. And everything that has to do with the godawful perpetual headache that is Willie's character. Temple of Doom clearly tries to imitate the comedy of Raiders of the Lost Ark, but it merely half-succeeds as many jokes (notably those at the expense of Willie) fall flat. Whereas Raiders of the Lost Ark was an almost family-friendly picture with shocking elements, Temple of Doom feels like a kids movie due to its overreactive and repetitive comedy parts.

But. What a hell of a theme park ride extravaganza adventure movie! The over-the-top set-pieces that only grow in spectacularity with each scene, they're quite something to behold, making Temple of Doom a flawed, but still magic piece of cinema.

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