Everyone accepts that there are certain lies we have to pretend are true in order to get along in the world; giant, smelly falsities that are presented as public knowledge which one must humor in order to escape lynching and being burned at the stake. I can bite my tongue when folks say JULIA ROBERTS is beautiful or that RON HOWARD is a good director just to keep the social wheels greased and my head off the chopping block. I’ll even let unfair criticisms of TOBE HOOPER slide when I’m in the right mood. Unfortunately, I can not hide my ostrich head in the sand any longer concerning the reputation of INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOM. Are people (including Director STEVEN SPIELBERG) really currently in the process of rewriting history and claiming that it is the weakest of the Indy films? Really? How much crack to you have to smoke to come to that conclusion? I admit DOOM may not be as good as the original RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK but let’s be fair, that had KAREN ALLEN, an evil monkey and melting Nazis. That’s a formula that’s not going to be bettered in our lifetimes, but to allege that DOOM is a lesser film to that bores-ville third installment is flimflammery and chicanery of the highest order and I won’t stand for it any longer! DOOM is not the ginger-headed step child of the Indy franchise!
I won’t go into why LAST CRUSADE is a bit of a dud because the idea of watching it again, in order to give it its fair shake, makes me snoozy. Suffice to say that the sewer of rats and that vapid blonde chick (ALISON “thanks for the free joke in your name” DOODY) really don’t cut the mustard. Furthermore, downplaying the supernatural element and up-playing the heroic “BOND“-isms is all kinds of wrong. DOOM on the other hand at least carries the dark occult-ish baton from the original’s final act and runs with it. Is it too dark? I guess if you are a CARE BEAR it might upset you. If you’re over the age of just born though, you might find the darkness shown as a way to… I don’t know present “DANGER” of some sort? SPIELBERG sites his then recent divorce for the tone of the film, well, you know what Steve, go with that feeling! You’re really good at that dark stuff… DUEL, JAWS = masterpieces, that fluffy HOOK stuff, not so much. If you’re going to distance yourself from one of your films, I’d go with THE TWILIGHT ZONE. Your corny contribution to that film was easily the weakest link. That might not seem like a big deal until you realize that you lost to a segment whose main star was actually decapitated by a helicopter propeller. If that doesn’t give you a moment of pause to rethink the schmaltz level, I don’t think anything will.
TEMPLE OF DOOM is partially responsible (go GREMLINS it’s your birthday!) for the dumb PG-13 rating that alerts parents to the fact that a movie’s violence will be almost comparable to that seen on television everyday. Its heart-ripping-out scene is supposedly gory but c’mon, what do you think we’re paying money to see here KATE CAPSHAW? [Aunt John sez: “Umm, I did!“] This is an action adventure that is supposed to be based on pre-P.C. serials and its goal should be to kick it up a notch wherever and whenever it can. It shouldn’t have to concern itself with tip-toeing for the sake of Aunt Tilly (her again!). The slave children, the drinking of blood and the possession of Indy himself are brought up as examples of this film’s imaginary harsh tone. Meanwhile, there’s wall to wall slapstick humor, a ridiculous romantic IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT subplot and a relentless barrage of precocious quips from SHORTROUND bouncing off the cave walls as well. We’re not exactly talking DER TODESKING here; I think you can handle it. I guess it’s the kindertraumatic angle that ruffles the most feathers. It does seem a little extreme when one of the slave children begs Indy to kill him so that he might be spared further anguish, but stop anybody at their place of work and ask them how they’re doing and see if you don’t get a similar response.
Every element maligned in INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOM is exactly what makes it great. Are we really so lame as to think singing chipmunks and dancing penguins are preferable entertainment for children than torture by whip, human sacrifice and voodoo mind control? What a sad state of affairs! Besides, just how family-friendly is Indy supposed to be? Wasn’t much of the thrill of the first film derived from rotting corpses, hellish specters and yes, death by airplane propeller? With a new fourth installment in the can and ready to hit the multiplexes, it’s far too late for those involved to hear my warning and respond by setting the compass back towards DOOM territory. I don’t really care about that anyway, I’m going to assume the flick has been neutered beyond worth and hope for the best. The only thing that is important to me is that the truth is out there. If I disappear in the following weeks you’ll know why. I can not live with myself if I don’t speak out publicly, for all I know TEEN WITCH could be under fire next. So hear my words interwebs and may the guillotine fall where it may…THE TEMPLE OF DOOM does NOT suck more than THE LAST CRUSADE! Were you buying popcorn during the mine cart chase?
What can make earnest Indy swing his allegiance from his faux nuclear family (SHORT/WILLY) to a heathenistic cult of chanting shirtless sweaty men?… HUMAN BLOOD!
“Evil” Indy 500: from intellectually fetching to Uber-Dilf in 10 seconds!
The usually Mt. Rushmore-faced HARRISON FORD goes bananas in this movie. Y’all should get behind that shit!