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Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984)

If adventure has a name... it must be Indiana Jones.

Directed by:

Steven Spielberg

Rating: 8/10

Running Time: 115 minutes

UK Certificate: PG

On DVD

Country: United States

‘The Temple of Doom’ is generally regarded as the weakest in the Indiana Jones series. Though still boasting the considerable collective talents of the Ford-Spielberg-Lucas threesome, it lacks the mythology, substance, plot and – erm – Nazis of either ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’ or ‘The Last Crusade’. But, a full 20 years later, it remains just as much fun to settle down to as it ever was. You’d expect nothing less from an Indy flick (which is probably why making a fourth episode is proving such a difficult task today).

Kicking off in Shanghai, 1935 (thereby turning this into something of a prequel), our intrepid archaeologist Dr Jones (Harrison Ford) wastes little time in upsetting some bad guys, getting involved in an almighty bust-up, and of course picking up (well, basically kidnapping) a woman (Kate Capshaw, later to become Mrs Spielberg).

Ending up in India, the three of them (by now they’re joined by Jonathan Ke Quan as a tiny Chinese urchin inexplicably named Short Round) feel obliged to come to the aid of a village-load of wrinkly old peasants. You see, the decrepit gaggle of codgers have had their kiddy-winks AND their favourite ornament nicked by a temple-dwelling cult. So – you’ve guessed it – it’s up to Indy and friends to steal them back.

This is a darker film than the others in the trilogy, and a vaguely-interesting piece of trivia is that it’s largely credited with bringing about the introduction of the PG-13 rating in the US (it’s still just rated PG here in Blighty though – obviously our kids are harder). But despite the creepier-than-usual goings-on, it’s still its rip-roaring action sequences that it’s most memorable for – notably a mine cart ride straight out of Alton Towers and the collapsing bridge over distinctly-troubled water.

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It's Got: Chilled monkey brains, just like mama used to make.

It Needs: Someone to pass the salt?

DVD Extras ‘The Adventures of Indiana Jones’ box-set contains a fourth disc where you can find all of the bonus goodies: ‘The Light and Magic of Indiana Jones’ features the special effects used in the trilogy; ‘The Sound of Indiana Jones’ describes the films as “an adventure in sound” (well, not too sure about that one, but we’ll let them off); ‘The Stunts of Indiana Jones’ looks, not entirely surprisingly, at the stunts used; ‘The Music of Indiana Jones’ is about – and you’re probably getting the general idea by now – the music of Indiana Jones! There are also some trailers tucked away in there, plus a good range of DVD-ROM content. Simon and Garfunkel eat your hearts out. DVD Extras Rating: 8/10

Summary

You’d never catch Tony Robinson and co. behaving like this on ‘Time Team’.

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