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1935, China, Indiana Jones sits in a dance club (called Club Obi-Wan) discussing the trade of an artifact, all while lounge singer, Willie Scott, sings “Anything Goes.”  After being ambushed by Lao Che and his henchmen, Jones and Willie escape danger by jumping into a cab driven by a ten year old Chinese boy nicknamed Short Round.  They arrive at an airplane that is actually owned by Lao Che, and begin to ride it away from danger.  Somewhere over the Himalayas the pilot and co-pilot jump out and leave Indy and crew to their inevitable deaths.  They miraculously make it out alive and end up floating down a river to a small Indian village.  The children of this village have been mysteriously disappearing and the villagers think it is because of their missing sacred stone.  Indy, Willie, and Short Round head up the mountains towards a palace where they discover an underground plot to bring back a cult called the Thuggee.  These cultists have kidnapped the children of the village and are using them to mine the mountain for the missing Ankara Stones that the cult needs to fully come back to power.  It is up to Indy to recover the children and the lost stones in this action filled chapter of the Jones saga.

Something most people don’t realize is that this may be a sequel in the sense that this was the second Indy movie, but it actually is a prequel to Raiders of the Lost Ark seeing as it took place before Raiders.  Temple of Doom is full of craziness to say the least.  It starts off with an action packed entrance sequence complete with shooting, singing, dancing, and a giant rolling gong.  The movie continues with the usual Indy mystery and comedy but not before a quick cameo by Dan Aykroyd.    Spielberg and Lucas did it again with this one with all the normal action and drama and comedy.  Yet again it is obvious that this is a Lucas written story because of its fantastical ideas and concepts.  Spielberg didn’t step aside on this one though because he wanted to wow the crowd with the visually fascinating action scenes.  The absolute and most intense scene of the movie would have to be the mine car chase scene.  The shots and angles give this scene the illusion of being on a rollercoaster in the middle of a giant mine.  Ups, downs, jumps, and turns in this scene mirror the enthralling storyline of the movie as well.

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Temple of Doom takes the viewers to a plethora of locations throughout the film.  The movie starts in Shanghai, China in the depths of the city of 1935 out to the snow peaks of the Himalayas, then down to a small Indian village and up through the Indian jungles to a palace where there are royal rooms and elegant dining halls.  Then after seeing the extravagant palace guest bedrooms the movie leads into the walls and down into cavernous paths, a temple full of brainwashed followers, into a mineshaft complete with mine cars and finally out onto a precarious rope bridge.  These locations give the movie an added spice that helps bring the action to full-fledged life and keep the viewer’s interest subliminally.  Out of the Indiana Jones films Temple of Doom has the most eye candy.  Not only in the sense of the craziest action but in the sense that everything is something else or leads directly into another sequence.  The film is non-stop and never really has a pause for a breath.  There are slow moments at times but it is not for long and the comedy or romance is still present then as well.

Temple of Doom definitely has a full plate of other visually interesting images especially during the feast scene.  This scene in particular has eyeball soup, monkey brains, bug stomachs, and live snakes as the delicatessens of this Indian palace.  However, the gross out factor sky rockets later when Willie has to reach her hand into a crawling mound of bugs to save Indy from spiked walls closing in on him, and later the cult leader pulls the heart out of a man’s chest.  Lucas truly has a vivid imagination to come up with these amazingly brilliant and gross images.  Corpses, skulls, bugs, crocodiles, bats, elephants, skeletons, snakes and all sorts of other things just prove that in this movie anything goes.  Temple of Doom really tops the list as one of the better action movies because it has mystery around every corner, a funny sidekick character, a pretty woman, and an amazing mine car chase.  Don’t even think that this is all this movie has to offer so stop reading this review and go watch it.  After all seeing this movie is another good way to keep up with the Joneses.

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