When I was a kid Indiana Jones and The Temple of Doom was one of the more gory movies I had ever seen. Men having their hearts torn out while they were still living, alligators (which were being portrayed as crocodiles) ripping flesh from bone in a death roll, and voodoo practicing children stabbing dolls. For a child, all of these are a little overwhelming.
As an adult I watch The Temple of Doom and chuckle. The “over the top” quality of this installment of the Indiana Jones franchise is much higher than that of the other two movies. I mean come on – the cart scene on the tracks? You just have to laugh.
The setting for this film, when compared to the other two existing films, is also light years different. In both The Raiders of the Lost Ark and The Last Crusade – Indiana Jones begins on an adventure, goes back to his job as a professor, and then joins the race against the clock to find something before the Nazis do. This format works best for Indiana Jones and I think that The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull will end up being a mashup of both of these formats. In all of The Temple of Doom, Indiana Jones is out of the country, with brand new people we’ve never seen. The time element is also non-existent.
Ok, the good the bad and the ugly. The good: The Temple of Doom is, again, a fun ride and has some of the best scenes in any of the Indiana Jones films. The scene from the Obi Wan bar is classic as is the journey to India. The bad: The Temple of Doom, in my opinion, pales in comparison to Raiders or Crusade. The ugly: None of the characters that we liked in the first two movies even make a cameo, oh and Kate Capshaw.