Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom

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

“This is the night I slipped right through your fingers!”

Horrific, hilarious, enchanting, and unforgettable. 

Genuinely genius blocking and lighting? Yes.

Harrison Ford’s best performance as Indy? Yes. 

One of the greatest climaxes in film history? Yes. 

I have seen this film more than any other in my entire life. 

I have no clue why it took me this long to give it the full deserved 5/5. Cannot understand most of the complaints with this to be honest, it’s such a liberating film for its characters, Indy learns of true fortune and glory, Willie gets a sense of the real world, and Shorty uses his troubled past to make a difference for hundreds of other even more unfortunate children. I can understand the surface level complaint of the film’s depiction of Indian culture, through the borderline xenophobic depiction of Indian villainy, but I’m hard pressed to find a moment that genuinely picks at the culture that isn’t a jab at maniacal movie villains, and early Hollywood in general (like come on, I watched this movie when I was 4, as a middle class white kid with no exposure, and I didn’t grow up thinking half the world ate bugs, I was just scared shitless of Mola Ram!). In fact, the entire tone of this movie relates to a movement I’ve been noticing more and more in 1980s Hollywood, looking at the framing of classic filmmakers in a modern and more vulgar lens, and Temple of Doom is a perfect example of that. In fact, much of the few complainers of Raiders probably drew comparisons to cheesy old republic serials, and this is a retaliation to that (along with an outlet for divorcal anger from Lucas). I’m sorry but everything with Willie completely lands for me, it’s all so intentionally hilarious and satirical (the bedroom scene is Spielberg in spades, the playful competition of both lovers’ ego intertwining within the plot). My God, Temple of Doom is a masterclass in nearly every facet of filmmaking. 

My favorite movie for a fraction of my life, and still high in the ranks for a reason.

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