Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…Β½

If I ever have a daughter one day I'm strongly considering naming her Marian, so that when the day comes where I introduce this film to her and we get up to the human sacrafice scene I can say the line "Don't look Marian KEEP YOUR EYES SHUT!". That'd be such a dad thing to do.

But anyway, last week I got to see Raiders of the Lost Ark in the cinema, and now this week I got to see Temple of Doom in the cinema πŸ˜ƒ. My journey to have seen every Indiana Jones film in the cinema is almost complete. And oh what fun Temple of Doom is, even though it's such a dark adventure film. Steven Spielberg and George Lucas simply did not give a shit at all in regards to how dark this story is in what was supposed to be a family film. Somehow that is a quality I miss so very much with films being made today. Temple of Doom is not a safe film at all. Not in any way does it try to be like its predecessor, and I praise it for that. And as much as I also love The Last Crusade, if I have one criticism for that film, it's that it feels like a response to the negative reception this film recieved at the time.

My experience seeing Temple of Doom compared to when I saw it the first time has changed drastically. I was fairly sensitive as a kid, so at first I was really caught off guard with how dark this film is. I had already seen Raiders and Crystal Skull at that point, but the film managed deeply unsettle me nevertheless, at the scene where Indy in anger throws a fiery kebab like a spear into a bad guy, of all scenes. This was right at the start of the film and my dad was like "maybe Jack isn't old enough for this movie yet", and I was like "No! I can do this!" Besides my dad tellilng me not to look at the ripped out heart scene, I recall having a ton of fun with the film after that. I felt like I got away with something. Man, those were the days!

Watching this film yet again, this time with an audience, it was also so much fun hearing the reactions to the people who were seeing it for the first time. There was one moment in particular where just one guy screamed out "AAAAAAAAAHHHH!!! JEZUZ!". He got the whole audience laughing. It was the scene where Willie is hanging her wet clothes in the jungle and gets jump scared by a giant bat.

And by the way, I still don't get the hate for Willie. I'm surprised so many people find her so annoying. Let me tell you this, when you have a "family" film as fucked up as this (excuse my language), a lot of kids will find humour, and even comfort in having an adult character who overreacts to everything. I know from experience! And I still find enjoyement in seeing someone like her completely getting out of their comfort zone in one of Indiana Jones's adventures. And then you have Short Round (best sidekick ever btw) who is a kid, and of course Indiana Jones hilmself, a character who knows what he is doing. It's the perfect trio for a film like this.

I also love how Temple of Doom at times just feels like it taking pleasure in putting you through such unease. The whole spike trap sequence, for example, is super stressful, but at the same time it is played as a joke. It's brilliant. You have Indy and Short Round trapped in a room where a spiked roof is slowly closing in on them, and their only hope is for Willie to turn it off from the outside, in room filled with creepy-crawlies. It works so well because we know what Willie is like at this point, and she makes such a fuss over the bugs while Indy and Short Round are literally about to be impaled to death. And then when she finally saves them, Willie accidently activates the trap again! It's as if Spielberg was like "Haha, you thought that was stressful, well here we go again!". But this time they were able to get out of the trap before the doors close, and the we get the iconic moment of Indy reaching out for his hat just before the doors closes.

There are moments like this all throughout the film. There is the exposition scene at the dinner table that in most movies would be pretty boring, except here it's super entertaining because all the food being served is stuff like live baby eels stuffed inside a boa constrictor, and eye ball soup, and monkey brains. There is the scene where Indy almost gets murdered in his palace room and barges in Wilies room in search for answers, but she just thinks he wants to have sex due to their interaction they had prior to the incident. There is the scene where Indy's shoe catches on fire after the roler coaster of a sequence: the minecart chase, and cries for water to put it out, and then behold! The tunnel fills up with water and now they have something new to run away from. And then there's the whole Shanghai sequence at the start of the film where Indy is fighting for his life to find an antidote, a sequence with a huge sense of urgancy, but still ends up being the most fun sequence in the entire film with all the crazy obstacles it has to offer. The list goes on and on. Almost every scene is double sided and the whole film is exciting from begnining to end because of it.

So anyway, I think review has gone on for long enough. I don't think Temple of Doom is as good as Raiders or The Last Crusade, but honestly I have just as much fun with it when I'm in the right mood. To finnish I will list off some of my favourite quotes from the film. They don't seem special on paper, but the way the actors diliver them is amazing.

"Mola Ram, prepare to meet Hell!"

"We...Are going....TO DIE!!!"

"Okie dokie Dr. Jones, hold on to your potatoes!"

"Hey, Dr. Jones, no time for love! We got company!"

"You call him Dr. Jones, DOLL!"

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