Another Blatant, Throw-down Provocation; or: I Heart "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom"

A statement with which you will all agree: "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom is to the Indiana Jones movies as Return of the Jedi is to the Star Wars movies." A statement with which you will not only disagree but will use as a reason to burn me in effigy: "Since Return of the Jedi is hands down the BEST STAR WARS MOVIE EVER, then Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom is the BEST INDIANA JONES MOVIE EVER." Let the flame wars begin! (You started it, dear readers, with your h8 comments! Don't h8! Don't h8!)

I drew the ire of a nation by defending those goddamn adorable Ewoks and took my lumps like a man, so I'm not afraid to stand up for Short Round (Temple of Doom's one-boy version of the Ewoks!) and the entire sequel. I was 11 when I first saw Temple of Doom, and I hadn't had an experience that great since...well...Return of the Jedi, which was released one year earlier. At 11, there was much to love. The thrilling action sequences (the Shanghai club fight! the mine cart chase! the bridge cut in half!), the scary cult (Mola Ram's big, evil eyes! the sacrifice victim's heart removal!), the dark tone (this was the film that prompted the MPAA to create the PG-13 rating!), and, of course, Jonathan Ke Quan as the adorable sidekick ("You call him Dr. Jones, doll!").

I am now in my 30s, and I suppose I could approach Temple of Doom with a critical eye—one that possesses years of experience as a moviegoer and artist and socially conscious individual. But you know what? I DON'T WANT TO. With this movie and with Jedi, I regress. I see them through the eyes of an 11-year-old boy. Try it some time, you old coots!

If I step back, sure, I can recognize that Raiders of the Lost Ark is the finest entry in the series. But that's what you would say if you were 70. Now I'm not one of bash the seniors, but the day my favorite movies start overlapping with my parents?—shoot me, please.


  1. it sucked.

    get over it.

  2. Yeah, my dad thinks the best movies are the ones made from video games. He'll probably think that when he's seventy too.

    Hey, it's okay. Eleven year old Prince had bad taste too, and you own it. It's cool.

    Quin's still right. Temple sucked. My eleven year old self and I are in solidarity on this one.

  3. Temple was one of my worst filmgoing experiences ever. I saw it in a theater that had recently been split from one screen in to three and, in the process of "refurbishing," had been built for people under six feet tall, which meant I had three inches with nowhere to go except out into the aisle for two-plus uncomfortable hours.

    Oh. And the movie hoovered burro nuts.

  4. Did I not say Doom was underrated? Taken on it's own, not a bad movie. I'll admit to liking it. But taken in context with Raiders, it's a steaming pile.

  5. No! No! You must love it! You must! Will no one join this bandwagon?! I am a man without a country!

  6. Um...I thought it was awesome. Ridiculously, over the top awesome.

  7. Unfortunately Prince, I think Diana is referring to Skull not Doom.

  8. Sterling5/29/2008

    Yeah, you hit the nail on the head.

    With your last comment. Raiders of the Lost Ark was the best, and Temple of Doom sucked ass. And not in a good way, either. Come on, Prince, you have to have better taste than that.

  9. I will fight you all! Let's take this outside, so you can get a taste of my fists of fury!