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Overall Rating
3.69

Awesome34.02%
Worth A Look: 26.8%
Average: 21.65%
Pretty Bad: 9.28%
Total Crap: 8.25%

3 reviews, 79 user ratings


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Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
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by Slyder

"Misses the mark for obvious reasons"
3 stars

Making a sequel for some reason is one of the hardest things in filmmaking, and only the true masters of filmmaking are capable of duplicating the success of the original movie and even to a point, better it. Just ask Francis Ford Coppola, Sam Raimi and Peter Jackson amongst others. Steven Spielberg, being the master that he is, should’ve had no problem, but in the end did, unfortunately, since Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom is probably the worst of the three films. After such a perfect beginning back in Raiders of the Lost Ark, this “Gunga Din tip-of-the-hat” movie just misses the mark, and for obvious reasons.

The movie is essentially a prequel, since it happens a year before the raiding of the lost ark. After the mandatory kick-ass opening (which itself was a bit toned-down) involving Chinese Mobsters in Shanghai, Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford) saddles up his new-found-and-soon-to-be-love Willie Scott (Kate Capshaw who would later be known as Mrs. Spielberg) and his young side-kick Short Round (Jonathan Ke Huy Quan) into India after their airplane crashes. They soon encounter a destroyed village and the head honcho of the village persuades Indy to rescue the “Ankara stone” and the village’s children from the hands of the evil Kali-worshipper Molo Ram (Amrish Puri) whom are imprisoned and enslaved in the mysterious Pankot Palace.

Ok, so I guess Lucas tried to go to darker territories just like he masterfully did so in Empire Strikes Back, but Lawrence Kasdan was unavailable for the screenplay so he had to hire the husband-wife team of Willard Huyck and Gloria Katz, and the resulting screenplay is a dreadful mishmash of dramatic action pieces with some really unnecessarily dark moments (Huyck and Katz would later make the shitty Best Defense and the even shittier Howard the Duck). First of all, isn’t it strangely ironic that the majority of the action pieces shown here are screenwriting leftovers from the original Raiders of the Lost Ark? The whole focus from saving the world is reduced to saving children and a trio of magic rocks, which would’ve been okay in any other movie but here it just simply doesn’t fit. The whole bloody sacrifice scenes are too bloody and too scary to be any enjoyable simply because they don’t fit on the context. (It did of course create the new PG-13 rating though)

The whole formula that Raiders of the Lost Ark created or should I say regurgitated was one of 100% pure escapist entertainment. But adding this darker side and obvious moral dilemmas is a crucial error since not only the pace deadens but the whole bloody and moral messes it gets into just simply hampers the fun of the movie. Not to mention that the leftovers, which is the whole mine cart chase scene, and the rolling Chinese gong scene seem to be lacking not only the excitement but also a certain amount of credibility, especially the mine cart chase which honestly is absolutely preposterous. The laughs are few and far in between, and even some jokes come off as lame. Spielberg of course, tries to do the best of it with the material but even he is powerless to overcome the rough patches on the screenplay, and what the hell was it with the bugs?

Harrison Ford is of course like a glove fitting well in his reprisal of Indy and also does the best he can in trying to get this film going. Mrs. Spielberg does decently well though at times she was just really getting on my nerves. Not to mention that she doesn’t have shit against Karen Allen’s Marion Ravenwood. Now, I may get some flak for this but in all honesty Ke Huy Quan was utter shit as Short Round. I don’t even know why Lucas would come up with a hideously annoying character like that, and young Quan can’t act for shit either. Sure, he’s just a kid but he’s such an arrogant little brat that it was just hard to really like him. To quote fellow colleague Chris Parry, “I was hoping he’d get wasted,” at least a bit more than just that bitchslap.

In the end, this film is an almost complete disappointment. It’s far from a bad film since it still contains a certain amount of elements to keep it going, but coming from two geniuses like George Lucas and Steven Spielberg, you would’ve expected a little bit more out of it. Sure, I watched it like hell when I was a kid, but nowadays I can’t view without feeling a bit of annoyance and disappointment. Hell, the series wouldn’t recover until Indy saddled up 4 years later for the Last Crusade. 3-5

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=2295&reviewer=235
originally posted: 10/13/04 06:02:48
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User Comments

9/13/17 morris campbell good but 2 gory 4 stars
9/04/16 carl J Harrison Ford's fine but Willie and Short Round should have fallen out of the dingy. 2 stars
3/30/16 Aj wales My second best. Fun and never boring. 5 stars
12/06/15 johnnyfaye This isn't a great film, maybe even bad, but the ending is an unbelievable thrill ride. 2 stars
12/01/15 Lisa H The tone is all over the place and Kate Capshaw is pain in the ass. 1 stars
7/18/15 Cal L An incoherent mess with Indy being stuck with two of the most annoying characters ever. 1 stars
4/25/15 OCD Geek To be fair, Huyck & Katz also wrote the original American Graffiti and original Star Wars. 4 stars
12/14/12 roscoe my favorite in the series. 5 stars
12/11/12 Jem Not as good as Raiders of the lost ark. Nowhere near. 1 stars
3/01/12 jcar a good sequel with lot of greats stunts and effects, ford is awesome , the heroine stinks. 4 stars
1/04/12 Flipsider HORRIBLE screenplay drags this movie down. Capshaw SUCKS. 2 stars
2/25/11 Jean One helluva Rollercosterride. Dark, funny and fast. Best of the Quadrilogy. 5 stars
6/11/10 Flathead King This is one disgusting and sick movie. 1 stars
1/30/09 PAUL SHORTT AN OBVIOUS STEP DOWN FROM ITS PREDECESSOR, TOO MUCH BRUTALITY AND HORROR 3 stars
1/13/09 Anonymous. good and enjoyable. 4 stars
6/10/08 Johnnyfaye An okay movie saved by an amazing puls pounding ending 3 stars
4/30/08 David Cohen Indiana Jones and the annoying, worthless co-stars 2 stars
3/30/08 Pamela White Harrison at his best 5 stars
1/18/08 Dannyboy Classic adventure, but inconsistent story makes it the weakest of the 3.. gotta love shorty 4 stars
1/07/08 Aaron Commareri Not as great as the first one, but still worth a look. 4 stars
11/12/07 mark madsen I love Indiana Jones movies 5 stars
11/11/07 reddye5 The darkest one. Very different from the first. It moves quickly. I liked it a lot. 4 stars
6/15/07 Vincent Ebriega Underappreciated as a sequel. This is definitely as good as its predecessor. 5/5. 5 stars
6/01/07 R.W. Welch Has almost none of the pizzaz of episode one. 3 stars
12/29/06 David Pollastrini not as good as the first 3 stars
2/11/06 Anthony Indiana Jones Almost in hell ?????? 3 stars
8/28/05 Quigley the awesome mine cart chase can't redeem this one. it's too dark and sometimes disturbing. 3 stars
8/26/05 EZ Letdown, gross, and Capshaw sucked 2 stars
5/27/05 tony alright film. sometimes scary and horrific scenes. 3 stars
3/31/05 Katherine Frazier great movie 5 stars
3/25/05 indrid cold Great action/adventure. It only looks bad in comparison to Raiders. 5 stars
1/19/05 Aaron Smith I loved Kate Capshaw, but Short Round annoying. 4 stars
1/04/05 t-1000 the mine cart chase is cheesy! the bridge scene saves this film, though 3 stars
12/27/04 mjoc Huge disapointment. Kate Capshaw is awful! 2 stars
10/16/04 Denise I love indy 5 stars
9/10/04 keithers.. watching the making of...steven let lucas...do what he wanted with this one..and it shows 3 stars
8/19/04 courtney love the rail cart scene have to see movie 5 stars
6/11/04 Maribel More like comedy kinda scary than action-adventure. Watch the other two instead. 3 stars
5/05/04 dead next door better than crucade,but that aint saying much cos it was totally crap. 3 stars
3/27/04 Littlepurch. Worst of the 3 but the rail cart scene MUST become a classic! 4 stars
1/18/04 Eric Awesome and thrilling action make this a great thrill ride. 5 stars
1/15/04 Samuel the best of the series. 4 stars
12/14/03 Joe Weakest story of the series, but also has the best and most thrilling action. Ford rocks. 5 stars
12/07/03 john my favorite in this wonderful series - the action is sensational 5 stars
11/09/03 Eddie Fan This was better then the first and third movie! Excellent movie! The best. 5 stars
11/02/03 John Bale Lacking pace of the first Indiana flick and a heavy dose of horror, but still remarkable 4 stars
11/02/03 Skilly Skally yeah, cool because of HF and SS but otherwise inferior to Raiders and Crusade 4 stars
10/26/03 Erik Van Sant Yeah...Parts of this really stink. But I loved it when I was a kid. George Lucas blows ass. 4 stars
9/06/03 Dimitri Aubert Good start, but overall disapointing movie. 3 stars
8/09/03 Will Green Yeah, it's the best of the trilogy. IT'S ALSO MY CHILDHOOD, FUCKERS 5 stars
3/21/03 defranco73 The third best of the trilogy, behind Raiders and Last Crusade. 5 stars
3/04/03 Jack Sommersby The best of the series. 4 stars
2/07/03 Eric 3rd best adventure film ever, behind only Last Crusade and Raiders. 5 stars
1/29/03 T-man The mine cart chase was fucking retarded 2 stars
7/12/02 KMG Boring 3 stars
7/04/02 gary vidmar I really enjoyed this film, despite you critics. 5 stars
6/25/02 Charles Tatum Kate Capshaw- The Most Annoying Character Ever 2 stars
5/13/02 Dark Baron Entertainment at its best. Can't wait for the DVD. 5 stars
4/03/02 Stephanie Throckmorton Almost infinite improvement over predecessor; action and romantic setting exquisite! 5 stars
3/17/02 Zargo entertaining 4 stars
1/18/02 David A. Tried to outdo "Raiders" with more gore and special effects but forgot the story. 1 stars
9/29/01 Phoenix Awsome. Never lets us breath for a second. 5 stars
8/21/01 Monster W. Kung A very worthy sequel, although different from the first. 4 stars
8/07/01 Mr. Hat (formerly Joe Zappa) George Lucas & Steven Spielberg make a great team for such a greatgory family action flick. 5 stars
8/06/01 E-Funk Ugh...um, I have to like it because of Indy, but not the best of the three. 4 stars
5/02/01 sharkey Good, but not great. Too slow for an Indy film. 4 stars
4/02/01 Jesse L Suffers by comparison with the other two 3 stars
2/16/01 lisa i never walk out of a movie but........ 1 stars
2/11/01 KyLe*BrOfLoVsKi It kicks enough ass on its own, but compared to the other two it's no great shakes. 4 stars
12/09/00 fifu it is entertain for action but nothing else 3 stars
11/28/00 Cristopher Revilla this movie wasn't that great, and those gory scenes should've made it R-rated, not PG. 4 stars
11/24/00 The Evil Penguin Although this is one of my favorite films, I think this is the worst of the Series 5 stars
9/07/00 movie knower this movie is like the old stupid adventure movies from the 50's.total crap. 1 stars
5/31/00 danilo A BREATH OF FRESH AIR - MUCH BETTER THAN CRUSADE 5 stars
5/05/00 matt Not as good as the other 2 but stil a great movie 5 stars
2/27/00 Jana This one is second only to Raiders. 5 stars
1/24/00 Casey Jarzabek OVERRATED 1 stars
1/20/00 Jedi15 Don't listen to that idiot Mic. This movie is great! Better than the third! 5 stars
11/29/99 Mic I didn't like Raiders as much as most but this has to be the worst in the series. 2 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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  02-Jul-1984 (PG)

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