Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
If adventure has a name... it must be Indiana Jones.
Director: Steven Spielberg
Starring: Harrison Ford, Kate Capshaw, Jonathan Ke Quan, Amrish Puri
The second in the Indiana Jones trilogy (to become a quadrilogy if rumours are to be believed), Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom has all the trademark Indiana Jones touches: exciting action, Indy's dry humour, a broad range of supporting characters and the archaeological and cultural detail that gives the films their unique hook. After a deal goes bad with a Chinese gangster, Indy (Harrison Ford) is on the run with Nightclub Singer Willhemina Scott (Kate Capshaw) and 12-year old Short Round (Jonathan Ke Quan), who is trying to get out of Shanghai. It turns out that their plane is piloted by employees of the gangster, who bail out over India leaving the group landing there. They find a village whose children have all disappeared and which is experiencing a harsh famine due to the theft of three sacred, magical stones. Indy takes on the task of recovering these stones and it is here that the adventure really begins, taking the trio through jungles, lavish banquets and finally to the eponymous Temple of Doom itself. The strength of the film is the sense of loneliness and despair that permeates initially but turns into hope as more of what has happened is uncovered; as well as, of course, the final impressive action scene, inspiring a million copycat mine cart chases across films, books and video games.
Ford is perfect in the role, it is impossible to imagine anyone else playing Indiana Jones with the same level of wit, brutality and intelligence. The character of Indiana Jones is immortal, an archaeologist more at home hacking through jungles with a machete than lecturing a class of adoring students. Capshaw (now Steven Spielberg's wife) plays the role of the whiney damsel with aplomb, carefully walking the line between bratty and helpless. Jonathan Ke Quan is extremely entertaining with a natural gift for comic timing, as he would show in his next film, The Goonies. His character provides light relief in what is easily the darkest of the Indiana Jones films.
Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom offers two hours of action, adventure, suspense and dark humour; it is a classic that not only must be seen but well bears multiple viewings.
In this tale, Indy ends up in an Indian village from which all the children have vanished. The village’s sacred Sankara Stone has disappeared too. Indy is the man for the job, and so alongwith Willie Scott (Capshaw) and Short Round (Ke Huy Quan) he sets off for Pankot Palace. Danger follows them, and soon our intrepid heroes are underground doing battle with a tyrannical High Priest and saving hundreds of children.
It is Indy 2 which has the most seamless and elegantly executed stunts of the trilogy. Typically, the suspense and excitement is fast and furious, perhaps too fast and furious, whilst the effects are again very original. The comedy is handled with more assurance in this story than in Raiders, and so the japes, scrapes and hijinks are set for true return to form five years on in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.
This prequel to Raiders of the Lost Ark is a fantastically dark, mysterious film which keeps you in suspense until the final scene. Essentially the story is set in India and follows a linear story line unlike its predecessor. Like Raiders though, Temple of Doom features the same hero and the same imaginative twist that can only really be achieved through a Spielberg film. We find Indiana Jones looking for a village's lost magic stone. In doing so he stumbles on to a secret massive Thuggee cult…
One of the key elements to the film was the manner in which the enemy was well defined and was well presented as ominous and completely convincing. In a good-vs.-evil genre, this film made it easy to distinguish between the two. This was helped enormously by the quality of acting, the great musical score and convincing, if not a little bit old now, special effects.
Overall, I would describe this film as brilliant entertainment for Indiana Jones fans, Spielberg fans or just any one who fancies a night at the cinema. You certainly don't need to have seen the other Indiana Jones films to appreciate the Temple of Doom.
Although just as successful as the first one, Indiana Jones and The Temple of Doom left a lot of people unhappy - it was just too cruel a film. Yes, the film has its moments, but they occur in such `over the top' environments that kids especially were probably able to realize how much to take with a pinch of salt.
In this tale, Indy ends up in an Indian village from which all the children have vanished. The village's sacred Sankara stone has taken a walk too. Indy is the man for the job, and so he, Willie Scott (Capshaw) and Short Round (Ke Huy Quan) set off for Pankot Palace. Danger follows them, and soon our intrepid heroes are underground doing battle with a tyrannical High Priest and saving hundreds of children, from a life of exploitation in an attempt to find the last of the Sankara stones.
It is this film however which has the most seamless and elegantly executed stunts of the trilogy. Typically, the suspense and excitement is fast and furious, perhaps too fast and furious, whilst the effects are again very original. The comedy is handled with more assurance in this story than in Raiders, and so the japes, scrapes and hijinks are set for a true return to form five years on in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.
Screenings of this film:
|1993/1994 Autumn Term – (70mm)|
|2001/2002 Spring Term – (70mm)|
|2006/2007 Spring Term – (70mm)|