Raiders of the Lost Ark became such a success it was only a matter of time before it became a franchise. The Temple of Doom was the second installment in the series. This time Jones (Harrison Ford) is out to find a stolen gem and missing children from an impoverished Indian village taken by an evil maharaja who resides at a palace. He was accompanied by Shorty (Jonathan Ke Quan) and Willie (Kate Capshaw). The screenplay was not half as good as the original.
The first thing that stands out is that the writing took a step backwards from Raiders of the Lost Ark. There Jones was partnered with Marion (Karen Allen) who was his equal in terms of toughness and willingness to fight. Here you get Willie who spends almost her entire time on screen complaining, screaming and whining. There were scenes created specifically for her to freak out like when they’re in the jungle and she runs into a bunch of animals. It gets really annoying.
When Jones and company show up at the palace there was also a lot of bad exoticization of Indian culture. They go to a feast where snakes, bugs, soup with eyeballs in it and monkey brain are served. India was still foreign enough for the writers to portray it as a very strange and odd place that a Westerner would be disgusted by. It’s very disrespectful.
Overall it seemed like The Temple of Doom was a takeoff of an old exploitation movie. Hence the dinner, the cult, etc. That makes it by far the worse out of the four Indiana Jones films. I’m still a sucker for the series so I still watch the movie when it’s on but it’s just a disappointment.
Save with with the Indiana Jones movie collection on Prime Video shop now.