Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom ★★★½

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

This review may contain spoilers.

70% - Pretty Good

While the heavy departure from Raiders threw me off a bit, I still had a lot of fun with Temple of Doom. Harrison Ford brings that same charismatic presence and I was on board as soon as he stepped foot on screen. The opening sequences up until the plane crash were a lot of fun, but once they got to India, the search for the sacred stone wasn’t quite as intriguing as that of the Lost Ark. Willie’s character was pretty annoying but I enjoyed the humor that came from her encounters with the wildlife on the way to the palace, continuing with the exotic banquet and her flirty exchanges with Indy as they headed to bed. I also really loved the initial discovery of the temple with the very tense collapsing spiked room sequence.

However, once they descend and discover the secret rituals of the temple, the film got a notch too chaotic for me. It became very dark with the characters being placed in very perilous situations, yet I was never worried because the positive outcome was quite predictable. At this point, the action was pretty much non-stop and while a lot of it was thrilling, it became a bit mind-numbing after a while. However, the film did finish strong once they escaped the temple and we got the immensely entertaining bridge scene.

On the whole, I think this film lacks the epicness and pure fun of its predecessor. While Indy’s relationship with Short Round was admittedly heartwarming, the supporting characters don’t make a lasting impression like Marion does and the villains lack in comparison to Belloq and Major Toht. I didn’t enjoy the darker moments of the film very much but there are still many great action sequences in a film that is undeniably well made. I have a feeling this one will improve on second watch once I can go in knowing exactly what to expect.

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