EliVronsky’s review published on Letterboxd:
Assistant camera operator: David Fincher…Yes, that David Fincher
Temple of Doom is the most hated of the original trilogy. For sure, there is no one in the planet who likes Kingdom of the Crystal Skull more than Temple, but people like to think of the latter as a racist, unfunny, dated, violent, ugly, immature and noisy film.
Well, guess who has two thumbs and loves Temple the most? This guy! I´ve been waiting my whole life to communicate my love for this movie and it´s not just the fact that my nostalgia goggles that are so thick that stops me to see the flaws of it. As an adult, I can justify my love for the technical aspects that while not as revolutionary to the industry as Raiders of The Lost Ark,
The film starts with an awesome musical montage that introduces the flamboyant Willie Scott (Kate Capshaw), working in the Obi Wan Club (Nice easter egg). Very few Spielberg fans knows that his biggest flop, the war comedy “1941”, was meant to be a musical because that´s what Spielberg has dreamed to make for years. We will what he does with “West Side Story” (And Ansel Elgort´s accusations)
Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford) is introduced in a white tuxedo almost as a 007, which kinda makes sense for writer and producer George Lucas since Star wars was 007 meets A Space Odyssey and Kurosawa, While Indiana Jones was a mix of 007, Zorro, World war II films and TV serials about archeology. There is something pretty awesome and fast paced when people like Spielberg and Lucas can put, in the first 10 minutes, a Jewel, an antidote, Knives, Balloons, A giant Gong, A Chinese gangster with a Tommy Gun and a Chinese kid who drives a car. After that sequence, we have a plane crash, Bats, snakes, Monkey brains, a room with spikes in the roof and in the floor, a guy whose heart is ripped and is send to a pit with lava,etc.
Let´s just talk about what I love about this film: Douglas Slocombe´s cinematography and the art decoration. Jesus, if you don’t want to see the film, well at least search pictures of it because Damn. The use of red in this movie is insane! It´s almost as if Dario Argento had directed this movie. And the best is the entire second act takes place in that red location. It´s so disgusting and nasty to look at, filled with psychos who want to resurrect a goddess or some shit through human sacrifices and child slaves. I fucking love it ! If you know me well, you´ll know I like movies the same way I like people: FUCKING NUTS ! This film invented PG-13 when it wasn´t used for fucking Dwayne Johnson films. This film is BLOODY BRUTAL !!!
Oh we cannot forget about the musical score, which in my opinion is the best in the entire saga. We know the iconic Indiana Jones theme, but I think John Williams doesn´t get enough credit for his track “Slave Children´s Crusade”. Ever since The Lego Indiana Jones games on ps2, that shit has stucked in my head for more than a decade. Just when you thought John Williams was nothing but French horn guy, well, wash your damn mouth and listen to the track “Temple of Doom”. Fucking dark.
The element that is criticized is quite evident: Willie, as nothing but a Damsel in distress who failed the Sexy Lamp test (“If you can remove a female character from your plot and replace her with a sexy lamp and your story still works, you’re a hack.”) But to Kate Capshaw´s credit, everyone would be screaming when your plane is going to crush or when a group of heart ripping cultist are near you.
The secondary criticism goes to Jonathan Ke Quan as Short Round, which is something I disagree. I think if there is a kid that would hang out with Indy Jones, it would be a lousy, little prick of a child. Both Ford and Ke Quan have chemistry and it´s clear in two scenes: When they are playing poker in the jungle and when Indy is brainwashed. I found him cute when he says to the Baby elephant “I´ll take you to America. We´ll make a circus and you´ll be my best friend” or something like that. But you know, the main reason why I love Short Round is because he represents the young audience. I was Ke Quan´s age when I saw this film, as so many others. How cool it is to see a kid with the biggest hero in cinema history?
In conclusion, I fucking love temple of Doom. It´s the best of the series, in my opinion. I loved shirtless and packed Harrison Ford, I love the score,I loved the villain, I loved the kid, I love the mine cart,I loved the fucking bridge scene...and even Kate Capshaw as sexy dumb blond has something…ok that sound chauvinistic, but she had two or three awesome moments. And on top of that, It´s Indiana Jones.
Fortune and glory my friends…
Fortune and glory…