Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom

Indiana Jones and the temple of doom (⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐)

Director: Steven Spielberg. Cast: Harrison FordKate CapshawKe Huy Quan, Amrish Puri, Roshan Seth.

What!? 5 stars?! I can hear some of you moaning already.Is this film as good as the first one? Well, of course not. But then again, hardly anything is. However, is this one of the most entertaining, fun, dazzling, un-relentlessly inventive and non-stop action film in cinema history? My answer to this second question is also a resounding YES. I never get tired of watching this film, and tonight introducing son to it, with the lights tuned down and the volume at full-blast, was like re-living it for the first time (despite my wife who kept covering his eyes). And it’s to me being biased for Spielberg (well… a little bit). I just can’t think of many action films that are this exciting, scary and fun all at the same time. Let me just remind you: the completely unexpected musical number, the exchange at the round table, the hilarious fight scene among falling white ballots, running behind the big silver gong, falling off the window, the introduction to Short Round driving a car (and that’s all in the first few minutes at the “Obi Wan Club” in Shanghai), the scene with the beetles and the crashing-room with those spikes, the roller coaster chase in the tunnels, the final moment on the bridge, the relentless scene where Indy tries to save Willie from being dipped in lava… (possibly one of the most tense in the entire series), but also some really funny moments too, the banter between Willie and Indy, the Elephants, night-time in the jungle. I know, the film can be very silly at times (falling off the plane on a dingy??!), but it’s not supposed to be taken too seriously, it never was. It’s just a fun ride. It’s definitely darker too. Probably too dark in places. Some people took really against this: Spielberg and Lucas themselves always regretted going a bit too far, but as far as I’m concerned, that never bothered me, and it still doesn’t. I’ve always been a great fan of scary films and as kid (I know… bit of a disturbed child)and I’ve always loved every second of this, especially the darker scenes. We’ve become much too prudent, and politically correct these days and nobody would ever dare showing a chained-up child being used as slave in a family film. And as for the racist undertone, oh well, I’ve grown up all my life watching Italians being depicted as mafiosi: no big deal. I mean, c’mon, it’s a film, after all, for crying out loud! And also, it was the 80s. Everything was allowed.

Beyond all this, this is another masterwork in direction, pace and staging. It’s just a real pleasure to see how Spielberg moves his camera and how it orchestrates it all. More than anyone he knows how to makes us jump, cover our eyes, how to makes us root for his hero. And while all this happens, John Williams comes up once again with some of his best music.

This is what action film should be like, forget about 99% of anything that we get today!

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