Since the alphabet is the building block of our language, the Powet Alphabet is the building block of what makes us geeks.

Surely Indiana Jones belongs in any list of the greatest characters ever put on film. Aside from the role as the (also list worthy) Han Solo, Indy is what defines Harrison Ford as a tough, charismatic actor.
He was introduced in the film “Raiders of The Lost Ark” and thats a great movie. But I’m going to focus on the movie where the character’s name actually appears above the title, “Indiana Jones and the Temple Of Doom”
I know this article series is supposed to focus on a lot of stuff that we as geeks either do or should respect. Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom is maybe the antithesis of that. We must know it so that we may learn its mistakes.

The Franchise is Fallible.
I purchased the first release of the “Indiana Jones” trilogy on DVD without hesitation, knowing full well the two adventures where Indy fought Nazis and hung out with Sallah were worth the price of admission. Too often we accept the less great entries in a saga as simply another step in the Saga. As sequels get more and more common and geek favored movies are set up as franchises, its important to remember that its OK to not like an entry. Sadly even after an amazing finale where Indy literally rode off into the sunset in “Last Crusade” the temptation to cash in was too great and we ended up with “Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” but it was “Temple” that ruined an otherwise decent saga.

The Leading Lady Must Lead
You know what the worst part about the Spider-Man movies are? Mary Jane screams in nearly every scene. I’m not asking her to fight Doc Ock herself, but she doesn’t need to sit there as the villain takes over. Kate Capshaw’s role as Willie Scott in “Temple of Doom” is the very model of how not to do a love interest or any woman in a movie. She screams, she cries, she COMPLAINS about going on an adventure! Bitch, you were signing in Shanghai for Chinese gangsters, you can’t stand walking India for a day? She makes the entire adventure almost not worth having as Indy would’ve been better off leaving her in China. Marion Ravenwood in “Raiders” wasn’t a damsel in constant distress, she was his goddamn partner.

George Lucas Has No Plan
“George said if I directed the first one then I would have to direct a trilogy. He had three stories in mind. It turned out George did not have three stories in mind and we had to make up subsequent stories.” – Stephen Spielberg
This was the movie that pretty much invented the “prequel.” Surely there were things like flashbacks in movies, but Lucas came up with an entire movie that took place the year before the movie we saw years ago. Its these crazy ideas trying to fill out uninteresting back stories that ruin movies. No matter how dangerous it got, Indy was going to be OK, because dammit we already know he’s alive in 1936! An adventure is not an adventure without an element of fear or danger, and you have nothing to fear because there is no danger. For all Lucas’ talk about wanting a “dark” second act, he seems to get his own idea wrong since this would be the FIRST act, and its not dark since the only ones who have to fear dying are the bad guys.

Short Round

I always mix this guy up with Data from Goonies.

“Doctah Jones! Booby twaps!”

Seriously, the only thing less endearing than the constantly screaming blonde is the little asian kid who drives the cab constantly mugging for comic relief.

PG-13 is the best and worst thing to happen to cinema
“Indiana Jones and the Temple Of Doom” achieved a PG rating, but it is said that so many parents complained they took their kid to a movie where a guy’s heart gets ripped out, that the Motion Picture Association of America had to make a rating between PG and R. These are for movies where you can have lots of violence but no fucking. Safe for teens, right?

While is cool that movies that might not deserve an R can have an edge to them (see the bulk of the comic book movies this past decade), you also see sequels to traditionally R rated movies like Aliens, Terminator, and Die Hard suddenly pussy out for the PG-13 in order to get bigger ticket sales at the box office.

All this said, this is maybe not the worst movie ever made, but it certainly make a lot of the same mistake terrible moves make. Luckily Harrison Ford could really do no wrong and though the movie was weak, he seems to elevate the material with a smirk under the brim of the fedora.

But you gotta admit, the callback to the gun gag is awfully dumb considering Indy wouldn’t reach for that gun for the first time for another 12 months.