Hold on to your Potatoes!
Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom is the second in the Indiana Jones series. Dr. Jones begins the film in a nightclub with Lao Che and it’s there that we meet Willie Scott, the club’s whiney lounge singer. After an altarcation Lao Che, he has to make a run for it with Willie and his kid sidekick, Short Round in tow.
They end up in India where Dr. Jones is asked to find a village’s lost children and return their sacred stone. Dr Jones, Short Round and Willie travel to a hilltop palace, not far from the village where there are whispers of evil deeds. When they arrive, they are treated to an interesting, if gross dinner by the young price of the land. He and his advisors insist that there is nothing going on with the palace and the ancient cult that used to use blood sacrifices at the palace no longer exists. It does. They get caught up in the deadly cult and fatal worship. Indy saves the kids (who are enslaved - digging for other lost magical stones like the one stolen from the village) and the prince who was brainwashed by the evil cult leaders. In the end everyone is saved, Indy gets the girl and the glory and treasure.
This movie is fun, but is about as deep as a puddle. It’s a lot like pop-rocks - at first it’s fun, but it gets damn annoying after a while. The music feels repetitive and the cuteness of the kid sidekick gets old fast. It hamstrings Indy’s character, which is already vulnerable because he has to protect the shrilling banshee of a leading lady. I know it is an adventure movie, but it travels too far into the realm of absurdity. The scene on the mine cars is fun, but too long, and the special effects are painfully dated. The film seems to be mocking adventure movies without meaning to. The first Indiana Jones movie felt inspired. The Temple of Doom felt too much like a Disney ride gone wrong - you know it’s going to end, and the end will be innocuous, but you can’t wait till the damn thing stops.