Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom ★★★★

This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

This review may contain spoilers.


I guess these films have become something of a Christmas tradition now? This time last year I wrote (rather badly) about how unjust it was that Temple was perceived as racist when it used those tropes to highlight the inequality under feudal capitalism. But it can be both. There are still plenty of things I like about it, for one, Jones destroying the bridge and undermining his own position in the name of equality (even if visually this conflicts with the following scene which arguably shows a hierarchy? Its staging is needlessly confusing basically). I also like the fact that this is the only Jones film of the original trilogy that sees him actively reject the symbol of desire without it playing into his character. It works well enough for Crusade due to the significance it has in regards to his relationship with his father, but here Jones is very much static. There isn't really a lot of connection between the Sankara Stones as symbolic objects and how that factors into him as a character, and personally for an action hero type, I think it works better. I can't really explain what draws me to this film. Probably nostalgia to some degree, but it is full of oversights and strange decisions (weird comedy moments; needless blending of Indian, Hawaiian and Aztec cultures; Asian exoticism and a large element of white saviour—even with the conscious decision to downplay it—to name a few) that don't seem to bother me anywhere nearly as much as they normally would. I do stand by my defence of Willie, as I also do with the relationship between Jones and Short Round. I won't deny it's problematic, but that doesn't mean I don't love it.

Block or Report

lyra liked these reviews