The day after I reviewed 'Raiders of the Lost Ark", my sister requested that I do this one too, since it was another childhood favorite. At that point, my friend Lydia said that (and I quote): "'Temple of Doom' makes "'Raiders of the Lost Ark' look like fucking 'Casablanca'." Let's see if she's right!
1. Movie opens in Shanghai in 1935… Wait… So this is an Ark PREQUEL? Who knew?! Anyway, there’s a dance number. A white woman singing "Anything Goes" in Chinese, backed up by a pile of white women dressed up as Asian stereotypes. I wouldn't pay to see this show and I don't believe these Chinese people would either.
2. Harrison Ford forgets which movie he's in and acts like Han Solo for five minutes.
3. Indiana Jones is threatening to stab the club singer if a table full of Chinese men don’t give him a massive diamond. The entire scene is basically one long commercial for Lazy Susans.
4. This diamond closely resembles a crystal from classic UK game show, The Crystal Maze.
5. Indie has been poisoned, his buddy disguised as a waiter has been shot and a man has been stabbed by a large skewer of meat that’s ON FIRE. This all reminds me very much of St. Mary Street, Cardiff (my hometown), on a Saturday night.
6. Indiana Jones just fully closed fist punched a cigarette girl in the face. FOR NO REASON.
7. Now he’s hiding behind a giant gong because: CHINA.
8. Club singer and Indie throw themselves out a window, bounce through a bunch of awnings and conveniently land in a car driven by Data from The Goonies.
9. We’re only 10 minutes into this and the club singer has already complained about her “dress from Paris” getting damaged, as well as cracking a nail. She also spent a long time at the club on the floor looking for the crystal maze diamond. We get it - she’s shallow and materialistic. I am sure she will be punished righteously for this, for the rest of the movie.
10. DAN AYKROYD IS IN THIS FOR THREE SECONDS. WTH?
11. Indie to club singer: “I’m allowing you to tag along, so why don’t you give your mouth a rest, okay? DOLL.” Actually, Indiana, you just basically kidnapped her because she had the poison antidote and you’re now being verbally abusive for no reason. INDIANA JONES IS A DICK!!!
12. The plane the trio is traveling in is owned by the bad guy at the club, so the pilots have decided to leave the cockpit, dump the fuel from the plane and parachute out into snow-covered mountains, mid-blizzard, where they will surely get hypothermia and die. Excellent plan.
13. Data, Han Solo and the club singer (she STILL doesn’t have a name) throw themselves from a moving plane in an inflatable boat. They fall hundreds of feet and not one of them has a scratch on them afterwards. Then they fall off a cliff and land in rapids. Because of course they do.
14. An old Indian man with hair like Doc Brown takes the trio into his village. Club Singer’s hair has dried into a perfect demi-perm. Indian people gather around Indie and Club Singer and touch them on the face a bunch. Club Singer doesn’t want to eat the food they’re offered because: WHADDABITCH, amiright?
15. Old Indian man wants his sacred stone back. He asks the trio to go and retrieve it from an evil guy who’s moved in up the road. Since it’s been gone all their crops have failed and all their children got stolen. I feel like maybe the children being stolen should've come up in conversation before the drought stuff.
16. Indie describes the stone perfectly, having never seen it before because: archaeologist.
17. Club singer climbs on elephant backwards, legs akimbo and screams “I need to call my agent.” Then she puts perfume on the elephant she’s riding and doesn’t know the difference between birds and bats.
LAUGHING AT PRETTY WOMEN IS SO MUCH FUN.
18. Club singer - whose name is Willie (FINALLY!) - encounters an owl, a bat, a snake and some sort of dragon in the space of 30 seconds, so we can watch her running around screaming. LAUGHING AT PRETTY WOMEN IS SO MUCH FUN.
19. The trio arrives at a palace, meets a guy who recognizes Indie’s name from his “time at Oxford”, and 10 seconds later, Indiana Jones is wearing a tweed suit and the glasses he only usually wears in University buildings. Glad to know that he doesn’t have to be IN a University to put the glasses on - the mere mention of one will do. What purpose they serve remains to be seen.
20. Willie is disappointed to find that the maharaja is a child because she wanted to try and marry him for his money. WHADDABITCH.
21. The food arrives at the table. On the menu? A dead snake full of living eels, large black beetles, soup with whole eyeballs in, and chilled monkey brains served in literal heads. THIS IS NOT WHAT INDIAN PEOPLE EAT, YOU FUCKING RACISTS.
22. Willie and Indie have the following exchange:
W: "Maybe you could be my palace slave."
I: "You wear your jewels to bed, princess?"
W: "And nothing else. Does that shock you?"
I: "Nothing shocks me. I’m a scientist."
W: "So as a scientist you do a lot of research?"
W: "And what sort of research would you do on me?"
I: "Nocturnal activities."
W: "I’m sorry. I can be hard to handle."
I: "I’ve had worse."
W: "But you’ve never had better."
Then they start fighting for NO REASON AT ALL.
23. Willie’s hair looks like something out of a 1984 Sears catalogue, but it’s 1935.
24. A man in a turban tries to strangle Indie and gets hung by a ceiling fan instead. Strongest goddamn ceiling fan in history.
25. Indie finds a secret cave in Willie’s room by pushing the naked breasts of a statue, while Willie shouts "I'm right here!", jealous that he's not touching HER breasts. WHADDABITCH.
26. Indie and Data get trapped in a tomb with a sinking ceiling covered in spikes… I feel like there were a lot more of those around in the 1980s… like piranhas and quicksand.
27. The trio goes for a wander in the caves and stumbles across a man who stays fully conscious and functioning after having his heart removed by an evil guy who’s got the sacred stone from the village. This might be the dumbest movie in history.
28. Data, Willie and Indie all get caught doing stupid shit and end up in a cage above some kind of child mining operation. A small boy prays to die. I’m right there with you, kid.
29. Somebody’s made an Indiana Jones voodoo doll. I’ll take ten!
30. Indie’s tripping balls in what appears to be the crypt from Garlic & Shots, London.
31. I genuinely believe that a lot of this set got recycled in The Goonies.
32. Data is the only kid in the mine who’s figured out that mining tools can be used to break ankle chains. All those other kids are dumbasses and deserve nothing.
33. Willie’s locked in a cage hovering over a lake of fire. She gets hoisted up and down, like 12 times, as Indie and Data try to get her out. I think the Barry Island funfair used to have a ride like this…
34. Indie puts his shirt back on after a prolonged period without it. I don’t know where the hell he got it, but I am sad that he did. One of his sleeves gets ripped off so we can see his rippling muscles again. Better than nothing.
35. Data, Willie and Indie take a ride on Disneyworld’s famed Mine Train rollercoaster.
36. This movie is at least 30 minutes too long.
37. Data jumps up on and down on a rickety old bridge to prove it's safe and falls through. Willie saves him, but this could've been an excellent example of natural selection.
38. Indiana Jones just had literally 50 arrows fired at him and every single one of them missed by inches. Gosh, isn’t he lucky?
39. The makers of this film like to symbolize every time someone dies in the water with footage of an alligator rolling around with a piece of fabric.
40. Having returned the magic stone and mining children to the village, Willie shouts a lot about wanting to go home to Missouri and get away from Indie. As she starts to leave, he lassos her with his whip. Which would hurt quite a bit. But, wouldn’t you know it? She’s so touched by being forcibly dragged back to this sociopath, she gives him a snog because WOMEN ENJOY ABUSE.