Go Back  DVD Talk Forum > Entertainment Discussions > Movie Talk
Reload this Page >

Okay, seriously...why don't people like Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom?

Movie Talk A Discussion area for everything movie related including films In The Theaters

Okay, seriously...why don't people like Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom?

Old 05-30-08, 01:11 AM
  #1  
DVD Talk Limited Edition
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: So Cal
Posts: 7,072
Okay, seriously...why don't people like Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom?

This was my favorite out of the trilogy and I'm shocked to hear that people rank it as the worst out of all four movies. What is it about the movie that people don't like? I'll tell you what I did like:

- It has hands down, the best action sequences of the series

- The best jokes

- If people thought Willie was whiney, they should watch Raiders again and watch Marion go "INDDDYYYYYYYY!!!!!" over and over again, even more so than in this movie. At least in ToD, it's meant to be comical.

- This movie has none of those excessive scenes contrasting his "normal" persona with his Indiana Jones persona.

- Short Round is probably the worst sidekick ever, and I found his fight sequences to be totally unbelievable, but the kid was a good actor, and he contributed to some great character moments.

So... thoughts? what is it about this movie that people would rank it so low, and not even put it on the IMDB top 250?
Superboy is offline  
Old 05-30-08, 01:29 AM
  #2  
DVD Talk Ultimate Edition
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Very far away..
Posts: 4,416
For what it's worth I completely agree.
Best movie of the franchise.
Gunde is offline  
Old 05-30-08, 01:48 AM
  #3  
DVD Talk Godfather
 
fumanstan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Irvine, CA
Posts: 55,343
Because it's racist!
fumanstan is offline  
Old 05-30-08, 01:52 AM
  #4  
DVD Talk Special Edition
 
Wolf359's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Dallas TX
Posts: 1,867
Can't really contribute because I agree with you. I love Temple, everytime I watch it I feel 14 years old again. Awesome music and set pieces. That whole bug tunnel scene is one of my all time favorite scenes from any movie ever.

Most people are going to harp on Willie and Short Round. Personally, I LOL everytime Willie utters the line "A Boat?! But we're not sinking, we're crashing!!"
Wolf359 is offline  
Old 05-30-08, 02:28 AM
  #5  
DVD Talk Limited Edition
 
Quack's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Flo Rida
Posts: 6,998
I also will join the club saying I enjoy this the most out of the 3.....and probably soon to be 4 when I view this probably this weekend at the theater......Hey lady....you call him DOCTA JONES.
Quack is offline  
Old 05-30-08, 02:43 AM
  #6  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Mondo Kane's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 10,887
Another lover of TOD here. Best-paced adventure of the trilogy.
Mondo Kane is online now  
Old 05-30-08, 02:55 AM
  #7  
DVD Talk Limited Edition
 
Paul_SD's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: In the studio, mixing my metaphors
Posts: 5,908
I don't care for any of the sequels and find fans making huge quality distinctions between any of them, laughable. Apart from Raiders which is about as close to perfect as popcorn movies will ever get, all the others have their individual good points, that are outweighed by bad ones.

For Doom I would list these as strikes against it

1) Poor characterization of the main character (using the characterization in Raiders as the reference standard). The opening sequence tries to play up his 'scoundrel' appeal, by presenting him as a slick tomb raider for profit. Sorry, that ain't the genuine article to me. In addition the opening displays some of Fords laziest tendencies as an actor, which is typified by a lot of mugging.

2) Short Round. Indiana Jones travels around using a third world moppet orphan as a man servant? Who is this character supposed to be- a mercenary rascal ...or Gary Glitter? Considering how often this character is imperiled with threats of grievous bodily injury, the fact he totes a child along constantly is tantamount to exploitation. And even if you can swallow that as a character trait of the great Indiana Jones (and keep it down) can you imagine the opening of Raiders with Indy and a little peruvian kid trasping thru the idol sanctuary trading cute reaction shots...ugh. The Indy I know only hangs with adults...that is when he isn't drinking alone.

3) cliffhangers that jump the shark . The inane life raft and the cartoon physics that allow three people to survive completely unscathed. The series first descends into camp at that point. The film tells you right there "don't take this seriously, we aren't".

4) The blantant pandering to children in the audience. No doubt to leaven the overall dark nature and deliver a product that is still 'kid friendly' Spielberg and Lucas the hack use one of the oldest canards in the book- the child surrogate. In the proud tradition of kid sidekicks like Robin, and future kid heroes like little 'Annie' Skywalker.

Yippie!


Last edited by Paul_SD; 05-30-08 at 05:00 AM.
Paul_SD is offline  
Old 05-30-08, 05:16 AM
  #8  
DVD Talk Limited Edition
 
Paul_SD's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: In the studio, mixing my metaphors
Posts: 5,908
...but the pandering doesn't end there. Not content to merely thwart a villan and prevent him from gaining mystical powers, Indiana becomes a saviour...of more children. Good thing too 'cause he's bound to get Short Round killed at some point and will need another adoring moppet to tote around and exploit. Now he'll have a whole village of eager future candidates.

5) cheap humour. Raiders, probably thanks to a spot on Larry Kasden, was blessed with an abundence of sly wit and sparkling repartee. Dooms contribution is witless and generic gross-out humour, that like most else in the film, equates quantity with quality.

I could go on (hell, I didn't even need to mention Willie yet) but I'm sure you get the idea.

On the positive side, the film goes out in great style with the rope bridge cliffhanger. And I love the cavalry coming to the (belated) rescue. And Mola Ram is wonderfully played and makes for a striking villan- even if he is the epitome of one dimensional.

Paul_SD is offline  
Old 05-30-08, 06:12 AM
  #9  
Banned
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: the darkest corners of your mind
Posts: 28
I am in complete agreement with the two posts above.
boo-ga is offline  
Old 05-30-08, 06:44 AM
  #10  
DVD Talk Special Edition
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Central Jersey
Posts: 1,192
I've always liked it but it used to be my least favorite of the trilogy. When I rewatched them recently I enjoyed it so much more Crusade and everyone else watching with me seemed to agree. Crusade is just too lighthearted and just feels like it has too much slapstick. Sure Willy is annoying but it just makes Indy more angry which is a good thing.
DarthMarino is offline  
Old 05-30-08, 07:05 AM
  #11  
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: New York
Posts: 64
while not my favorite indy flick, i think it is a hell of a lot better than that that crystal one. the opening scene in TOD is brilliant.
joeee is offline  
Old 05-30-08, 07:09 AM
  #12  
DVD Talk Godfather
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: City of the lakers.. riots.. and drug dealing cops.. los(t) Angel(e)s. ca.
Posts: 54,199
Cause Anything DOESN'T go!

I enjoyed it, but I always saw it as the weaker of the original three.
Jackskeleton is offline  
Old 05-30-08, 07:17 AM
  #13  
DVD Talk Platinum Edition
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 3,089
Raiders is still the best of the 4 movies, as the rest are still inferior sequels to me that don't hold up years later. But I will say that Temple of Doom is alot better then Last Crusade, as Last Crusade has pacing problems, although Connery is a great addition to the cast. I actually like Temple's dark tone throughout the movie, as Lucas said he was going through his divorce from Marcia when they were filming it, and he just wasn't in a great mood. I wish Lucas was going through a divorce during the Prequels
coli is offline  
Old 05-30-08, 07:34 AM
  #14  
DVD Talk Limited Edition
 
toddly6666's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 6,290
I agree that Temple of Doom is the most entertaining, rewatchable and best Indiana Jones film.

1. The movie is full of memorable dialogue, even from Capshaw.
2. The movie is the most scarey and creepy of all the Indiana Jones films.
3. Short Round is not annoying - he is like a kid sidekick as in the 1930s-1950s adventure comics (Dickie Dare, Steve Canyon, Wash Tubbs, etc..) which Indiana Jones is all about.
4. The dinner scene
5. Creepy cultish villains - from the prince, prime minister, big ass dude, to Mola Ram.
6. Best Indiana Jones opening in China
7. the Roller coaster
8. Creepy plot of children kidnapped and used as slaves
9. Indiana Jones turns evil under spell
10. the heart
11. The shakey bridge
12. A real nerve-wracking, intense, sense of danger in all the action scenes (China, airplane, lost in India, bug tunnels, traps, villains, dinner, cliff scene, roller coaster, etc) unlike the staged ones in Raiders, Crusade, and Crystal.

There have been endless amounts of movies/tv shows that have been influenced from this movie.

Furthermore, you can't blame Speilberg for having Capshaw in it. She was his wife and he gave her an opportunity to make her famous (which didn't quite work) - you would have done the same!

Last edited by toddly6666; 05-30-08 at 07:42 AM.
toddly6666 is offline  
Old 05-30-08, 07:47 AM
  #15  
DVD Talk Hall of Fame
 
riotinmyskull's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: portsmouth, va
Posts: 9,178
it's funny how everyone thinks that capshaw was cast because she was speilberg's wife when actually they first met while making temple of doom.
riotinmyskull is offline  
Old 05-30-08, 08:03 AM
  #16  
DVD Talk Platinum Edition
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 3,089
Originally Posted by toddly6666

Furthermore, you can't blame Speilberg for having Capshaw in it. She was his wife and he gave her an opportunity to make her famous (which didn't quite work) - you would have done the same!
He was actually married to Amy Irving at the time, or was dating her, and didn't marry Capshaw until years later. Spielberg said once about the movie Temple of Doom, "It is probably my least favorite of the Indy movies, but I met my wife, so something good came of it!"
coli is offline  
Old 05-30-08, 08:06 AM
  #17  
DVD Talk Limited Edition
 
toddly6666's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 6,290
well the main thing is that he must of really fallen in love with her to cast her...
toddly6666 is offline  
Old 05-30-08, 08:34 AM
  #18  
DVD Talk Hall of Fame
 
B5Erik's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Southern California
Posts: 8,613
I think Temple of Doom is a really good movie. Not as good as the other two 80's entries in the series, but a good movie.

You've got to be a cynic or a nit-picker to hate Temple of Doom. It's a roller coaster ride. Sure, there are some lapses in logic and physics, but so what? It's a movie based on adventure serials of the 30's and 40's, and there were plenty of lapses in logic and defying of physics in those.

Raiders set the bar so high that it was inevitable that the next movie would be a letdown. Taken on it's own merit, though, Temple of Doom is a damned entertaining movie.
B5Erik is offline  
Old 05-30-08, 08:39 AM
  #19  
Moderator
 
Groucho's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
Posts: 70,538
Originally Posted by Paul_SD
The inane life raft and the cartoon physics that allow three people to survive completely unscathed.
Tip: don't watch last night's season finale to Lost. It'll give you a conniption fit!

As for Temple of Doom, I have two central problems with it:

1. There are no scenes where Indy follows a series of ancient clues to find the artifact. I love that stuff in the other movies. Instead, we get a lagging middle section where Indy goes camping, eats a "gourmet" meal, and engages in screwball dialogue with Willie.

2. The lack of a legendary artifact. Compared to the Ark of the Covenant or the Holy Grail, a few rocks just doesn't cut it.

That said, the action sequences are crackerjack, and overall it's a very entertaining film.
Groucho is online now  
Old 05-30-08, 09:16 AM
  #20  
Senior Member
 
notkevinbacon's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Posts: 778
Temple is my favorite Indy flick and I was pretty surprised to see it so unloved here. I love the whole thing for everything that has been mentioned - the bugs, Mola Ram, the traps!, the mine carts, the opening set piece, the locations and the tone. I could go on and on.

I hate it when kids beat up adults in movies, but for whatever reason, Short Round is ok in my book. I mean, it's still ridiculous watching men double in half when he kicks them, but it's kinda amusing too. The comment made in the thread about kid sidekicks is perfect and how I see the character of Short Round fitting right in.

The last half of the movie is like the opening of Raiders but just extended for 40 minutes or so. It doesn't let up. I love it.

Temple was the first Jone's movie I saw, so it's always felt like Indiana Jones to me. I remember my dad used to wake me up when this movie was on TV in the middle of the night and we'd watch it. It could be 3am on a school night (and I was in elementary school), but it didn't matter... we were going to watch it. I can't tell you how many times we referred to dinner as "Chilled Monkey Brains."

To be honest, I'd peg Raiders as the better movie... by for my personal tastes it's Temple all the way.

I wonder if it's an age thing?
notkevinbacon is offline  
Old 05-30-08, 09:28 AM
  #21  
DVD Talk Platinum Edition
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 3,129
When watching the series for the first time a few years ago, Temple of Doom unquestionably came away as my favorite of the three and the only one I'd have an interest in seeing again. I didn't really care for Raiders (after all the praise, I thought the whole thing was pretty rote) and Crusade must not have made much of an impact at the time, because I can barely even remember it.
Cosmic Bus is offline  
Old 05-30-08, 09:33 AM
  #22  
DVD Talk Platinum Edition
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: H-Town, TX
Posts: 3,662
I don't get the Temple of Doom hatred either. This movie was a huge hit when it was released(the grosses were lower than Raiders, but it was still a blockbuster). It was well reviewed by most critics(Ebert gave it 4 stars and loved it). It was popular enough to influence two films released the following year, The Goonies and Young Sherlock Holmes. And obviously it was well-received by audiences since they flocked to the third one 5 years later.

Yet sometime earlier this decade, it seemed like the tide turned and people started ragging on it. Overnight, Temple of Doom was deemed a bad movie and the bastard stepchild of the series(at least til Crystal Skull was released which IS a piece of crap movie). I don't know if it's the interviews where Spielberg himself said it's his least favorite of the Indy series. Maybe it's because of The Phantom Menace. Short Round is equated by fans with Jake Lloyd and Willie with Jar Jar. Either way, the sudden dislike for this film is puzzling.

Personally, I think Temple of Doom is a brilliant film. Not on the level Raiders, but that's like saying Godfather II ain't as great as Godfather I. Here's what I love about the movie:

1) The musical number. How many action/adventure event movies open with a 1930's style song and dance sequence? Very few, but Spielberg had guts using one here and pulled it off masterfully. I love also the subtle touches like Willie being a mediocre singer and stumbling on the stairs.

2) The Indy/Lao Che faceoff. A guy killed by flaming shishkabob, sight gags like the diamond mixed with the ice, a giant gong used as a shield, Indy decking the cigarette girl, and of course the gag with Lao Che's name on the plane.

3) The escape from the crashing plane. Sure, it's physically impossible for Indy and the gang to survive all of this, but is that anymore absurd than Indy hanging onto the outside of a submarine as it travels to a remote island? I just think it's fun. Plus it's got some great lines: "Do you know how to fly?" "No. Do you?" "A boat?! We're not sinking, we're crashing!" "That wasn't so bad, was it?" "I hate the water. And I hate being wet. And I hate you!"

4) The dark tone. They don't have the balls to make em like this anymore. The devastated village, the kids(including Short Round) in chains used as slave labor and being whipped, Indy being whipped and drugged, human sacrifice. And this is a PG movie for chrissakes! I think Spielberg's issues with Temple of Doom stem from the fact that he's a father now and feels guilty that parents took their kids to this back in 1984. Well he needs to get over himself. I much prefer the downbeat tone of Doom's middle act over the cheesiness that infected much of Last Crusade and especially Crystal Skull.

5) The humor. Just because a movie's dark, doesn't mean it can't also be funny. Indy and Shorty playing cards. The dinner sequence. Indy and Willie's foreplay. The bug/spikes sequence. "Willie, we are going to DIE!!!" Indy reaching for his hat as the trapdoor is closing. "Strong wood." Indy casually reaching for the gun.....only to find it's missing.

6) A quality child sidekick. Appreciate Short Round for how rare he is. A little kid tagging along in an action movie and never annoying the piss out of the audience. He's cute, but not too cute. Funny, but not over-the-top. And he never feels like he's there to pander to a younger demographic. In fact, it's downright scary what he goes through in this movie.

7) The final 30 minutes. A cinematic rollercoaster. Literally when you factor in the minecar chase. Seriously, we get the rescuing of the kids, the pummeling of the Thuggees, the minecar chase, the swordfight, and the bridge sequence all in the span of less than a half hour. Has any movie ever piled on so much quality action in such a manner? And oh by the way, this is where the earlier dark tone pays off as we enjoy watching Indy kick ass all the more because of what he suffered through earlier.

8) Mola Ram. The best villain of the series. Raider's had the best collection of heavies with Belloq, Toht, and Dietrich, but individually none of them can compare to Mola Ram. He's the Palpatine of the Indy series. Just pure evil. Nothing remotely redeeming about the guy. And his interaction with Indy, while brief, is terrific. You can tell these two really don't like each other. "Mola Ram! Prepare to meet Kali.....in hell!"

9) John Williams' score. The best music in the Indy series and one of his best overall efforts period. The slave children's theme, Shorty's theme, the minecar chase music. And it all flows seamlessly.

Seriously, if you can't get with this movie, you have issues. I'm not saying you have to love it, or place it on the level of Raiders, but how can someone who professes to enjoy this kind of cinema hate or even dislike Temple of Doom? Quit complaining about it not being as great as its predecessor(what movie is?) or that it's missing Marcus Brody and Sallah(it's not like Last Crusade respected them much). And please stop with the fact that it's not PC. It's that mentality that caused Spielberg to replace guns with walkie talkies.

Temple of Doom is a classic. End of story.
Doughboy is offline  
Old 05-30-08, 09:54 AM
  #23  
DVD Talk Limited Edition
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: So Cal
Posts: 7,072
Originally Posted by B5Erik
I think Temple of Doom is a really good movie. Not as good as the other two 80's entries in the series, but a good movie.

You've got to be a cynic or a nit-picker to hate Temple of Doom. It's a roller coaster ride. Sure, there are some lapses in logic and physics, but so what? It's a movie based on adventure serials of the 30's and 40's, and there were plenty of lapses in logic and defying of physics in those.

Raiders set the bar so high that it was inevitable that the next movie would be a letdown. Taken on it's own merit, though, Temple of Doom is a damned entertaining movie.
I felt like most of what went on was pure whimsy, which is what made Temple of Doom's absurd action scenes more believable. Also, there are parts of the movie where it's pretty clear that Indy doesn't expect to live for very much longer. I felt it played up the human aspects of his character.
Superboy is offline  
Old 05-30-08, 09:56 AM
  #24  
DVD Talk Limited Edition
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: So Cal
Posts: 7,072
Originally Posted by Groucho
Tip: don't watch last night's season finale to Lost. It'll give you a conniption fit!

As for Temple of Doom, I have two central problems with it:

1. There are no scenes where Indy follows a series of ancient clues to find the artifact. I love that stuff in the other movies. Instead, we get a lagging middle section where Indy goes camping, eats a "gourmet" meal, and engages in screwball dialogue with Willie.
Ah, that's true... he sort of just stumbles upon the whole adventure by accident, but is still motivated by, as Indy puts it, fortune and glory.

2. The lack of a legendary artifact. Compared to the Ark of the Covenant or the Holy Grail, a few rocks just doesn't cut it.

That said, the action sequences are crackerjack, and overall it's a very entertaining film.
True, but he was the liberator of a small village.

Last edited by Superboy; 05-30-08 at 10:03 AM.
Superboy is offline  
Old 05-30-08, 10:00 AM
  #25  
DVD Talk Legend
 
bunkaroo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Chicago West Suburbs
Posts: 15,452
ToD was my least favorite of the Indy trilogy, but all that means is I loved RotLA and LC that much more.

ToD is better than 95% of action/adventure movies I've seen. I think it suffers from being "worst of the best".

Still miles ahead of Crystal Skull.
bunkaroo is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Archive Advertising Cookie Policy Privacy Statement Terms of Service

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.