With Harrison Ford, Kate Capshaw, Jonathan Ke Quan, Amrish Puri, Roshan Seth

Directed by Steven Spielberg
Reviewed by JB

     Begins with a lengthy mini-movie as outlandish and improbable as anything from a James Bond film and is a roller coaster (sometimes literally) of action for the final twenty minutes, but in between, INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOM lacks the sense of fun, freshness and excitement that made RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK great escapist fair. One might quibble about the need for the addition of a cute kid, a move usually reserved to bring artificial life back into a franchise that is dying, but I won't accept any arguments about Kate Capshaw, who almost single-handedly makes it impossible to enjoy TEMPLE OF DOOM for more than five minutes at a time.  Spielberg's idea was for Jones to have a different love interest in every film, but Capshaw's whining, hysterical and over-bearing character will have you pining for the more earthy charms of Karen Allen from the previous film.  In addition, with Indy merely stumbling into a new quest, and the film's villains not fully revealed until mid-story, TEMPLE OF DOOM lacks the focus of RAIDERS.  TEMPLE OF DOOM also ups the "ick factor" with long, tedious and sickening sequences featuring thousands of bugs and a royal banquet of live snakes and monkey brains.  Worth watching for a handful of superior action sequences and to see Harrison Ford growing into the part, but the weakest of the four films. 2½ - JB

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