Wednesday, May 21, 2008
TEMPLE OF DOOM
Temple of Doom has always had its share of criticism, and for the most part I’ve always disagreed. No, it’s definitely not up there with Raiders, but it does stand alone as a roller coaster of a movie that grabs you and doesn’t let go until the credits roll.
When I first saw Temple back on opening day in 1984 I loved it and still do. The whole experience going to see it was exciting. I remember my mom dropped me and a friend off at the Lake Twin and after a few games of Tempest in the lobby we took our seats with high anticipation for the return of Indiana Jones.
(I snapped this sad photo of the Lake Cinema/Lake Twin sometime in the 90's)
Temple of Doom really captured some of those schmaltzy movies from the 30's and 40's and mixed it with good old scary horror from the 1930's pulps. I remember back then thinking it was funny how adults were complaining that the movie was too violent for their kids. ( “What do you not understand about PG, better known as PARENTAL GUIDANCE?”) The worst thing to come out of Temple of Doom was the dreaded PG-13 rating.
Probably the most complaint I hear now, is that Kate Capshaw’s Willie character along with Jonathan Ke Quan’s Short Round character are too annoying and silly. I say no way! Willie represents the audience in this movie. Like Willie, we’re thrown into this crazy adventure not knowing where we’ll end up. True, most of her scenes are over the top, but it works as a nice contrast from all the darkness in the film. Besides, Willie is a Missouri girl and that’s another reason I like her. Now to defend Short Round. It’s kind of the same reason Robin exists with Batman, so kids will have someone to relate too. And if it wasn’t for Short Round in this movie we wouldn’t have had Jonathan Ke Quan playing Data in Goonies!
Of course, when Last Crusade came out I was like most people and agreed that this film was better than Temple of Doom. In recent years watching both of these films again, I now think Temple is the better film and holds up much better than Crusade does.