Roger Ebert’s reviews for Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom and The Last Crusade are well worth a look.


http://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/indiana-jones-and-the-temple-of-doom-1984

http://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/indiana-jones-and-the-last-crusade-1989

Do you agree with Roger Ebert?

I myself have always preferred Doom over Crusade. A lot of people put Crusade above Doom but I feel that’s mostly because they want the same thing out of an Indiana Jones film. Crusade is a little too much “Raiders 2.0” for me. I like how Doom changed things up. If I conjure an image of Crusade in my head it just looks like a worse version of Raiders.

For me, the fact that Temple is the closest to a Doc Savage/The Shadow/The Phantom type pulp story in tone and content is what sells it to me the most.

-Lead character who kills bad guys brutally

-Gore and horrific mutilation

-Evil scary jungle cults

-Lots of exotic animals and dangerous creatures

-Exotic locations

-The cheesiest and most cliche set pieces(rope bridge, mine cart,
crocodiles, China and seedy nightclub restaurant, river rapids)

-Deep red lighting

-Torture involving drinking blood, zombification, and black magic

-Beautiful blonde damsel in distress nightclub singer bullcrap

It’s all the hallmarks and ingredients of the seediest, most lurid and violent of pulp adventure stories. It basically is a Doc Savage movie in a lot of ways.



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31 Comments

  • Temple of Doom has a severe lack of Marcus Brody.

  • Crusades is better cause the father-son relationship at the heart of it makes it the most human of all the 3 movies.

    Doom also has the shrieking banshee who shall not be named but it also has the best opening scene in the series(yes,even better than Raiders!)

  • I personally still like Crusade more than Doom.

    Doom is significantly darker than the other movies in the trilogy (yea, I’m ignoring the other one), and to me that wasn’t what I liked about the Indiana Jones movies.

    However, I’m probably biased, because I saw all the movies when I was pretty young, and Doom scared the shit outta me (especially the sacrifice scene, and the bugs – but obviously I’ve seen it again since then). So maybe because of that I can’t really like it as much as I do the others. Still a fantastic film, and reading Ebert’s review definitely makes me want to watch it again.

  • I like crusade more than doom. Doom has two of the most annoying characters in any movie I’ve ever seen with Short Round and Willie. But I think we can all agree the heart rip out scene and monkey brains scenes are pretty much iconic. KALI MA!!!

  • I watched all 3 Indy flicks growing up, and since Temple of Doom was widely considered to be “the bad one”, I never watched it as much as the other two. When the trilogy hit DVD, I sat down and watched it for the first time in years and it hit me what a masterpiece it was. The story held true to what Spielberg wanted to do from the start; take Indiana Jones and throw him into a completely different adventure. It’s a ballsy sequel, with beautiful cinematography, action set-pieces, and arguably the greatest score of the series. A lot of people cite Willie has being annoying, but given my penchant for Bond films (like Spielberg), I thought it was a fun send-up of your typical Bond girl.

    Over the past 10 years or so, it looks like Doom is finally getting the love it deserves (or at least, people are opening up about it), which I’m glad to see!

  • The Temple of Doom is my least favorite Indiana Jones movie.

  • Crusade was the first one I saw in cinemas and I always liked it. I liked all the films and I’d always watching them growing up. When the DVD boxset first came out it had been a while. I did a watch through. Loved Raiders more than I knew I did. Loved Doom, but Crusade was good, excellent but it just lacked something. I did not like it as much despite so many fond memories and it probably being the film I knew the best.
    A similar thing happened with Back To The Future. I had seen them so many times randomly over the years. DVD box set and while I always liked the third. Watching the films in order over a short period of time. Third one was just off and no where near as good as the others but still good.

  • I loved Doom for showing us an Indiana that was more mercenary than archaeologist. In Raiders he was all about finding things to put them in museums (which can be seen as noble) but in Doom he was all about “fortune and glory”. Given it goes Doom, Raiders, Crusade we get to see a real arc in Indy from Doom (learning to respect the history of what he finds) to Raiders (learning to care for more than just looking for “things” and to have faith) to Crusade (learning to hang out with his Dad more…no wait…).

  • I prefer Doom over Crusade for two main reasons:

    – It does something different than Raiders, and if Doom had been more successful I think the third movie would have been very different from the first two. Instead Crusade, like you said, tried to be Raiders 2.0.
    – Crusade turned Marcus Brody into a bumbling buffoon, something he wasn’t in Raiders at all.

    Having said that, the Connery/Ford pairing in Crusade is wonderful, and the last act of the movie is fantastic. But the rest of the movie? Not so much IMO.

    (For the record, I love Short Round and don’t completely hate Willie. I get the reason Willie acts the way she does in the film, though I thought it could have been executed better.)

  • Temple of Doom is, by far, the most entertaining and thrilling movie in the whole franchise.

    Raiders of the Lost Ark is a bit more imaginative and more “epic” in it’s storytelling scope, so it definitely gets points for that. The Last Crusade is a decent return to Indy’s Nazi-fighting roots, with the awesome inclusion of Sean Connery. But Temple of Doom just has way more excitement and fun.

    Just think of all the memorable moments in the movie. It starts with a shoot-out and a car chase that breathlessly transitions right into an airplane — and then right out of an airplane. Then, after some brief respite, we’re journeying through a giant bat-infested jungle and arrive at a mysterious palace with one of the most iconic dinner scenes of all time. And we’re just getting started! How about the creepy underground passage infested with disgusting insects? A booby-trapped chamber? An army of evil zombies? A trap door leading to fiery death? Voodoo magic? Fist fights, sword fights, whip fights, gun fights, bad guys getting smooshed and flooded…

    By the time the movie culminates in a *literal* roller coaster ride, you realize that you’ve spent the last 40 minutes clutching your arm rests — and we haven’t even gotten to the iconic stand-off on the bridge with the man-eating alligators waiting beneath.

    This movie is Spielberg blockbuster filmmaking firing on all cylinders. A [rousing score](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8h7MQ9UEKpU) from John Williams — the best of the entire franchise — is just icing on the cake. This movie is tremendous pop entertainment.

    I have never and will never understand the people who criticize this film.

    My personal order of the Indiana Jones movies is: Doom, then Raiders, then Crusade. But all three are obviously very good.

  • The Temple of Doom is my favorite in the whole series. I’m always the odd one out because I didn’t care for Raiders of The Lost Ark.

  • Crusade is leagues above Doom

  • Doom is a cheerless movie. It’s too dark for its own good. That was Lawrence Kasdan’s reason for not getting involved.

    The movie has too many problems to list. Chapshaw is unbearable. Many of the action sequences are just as outrageous as the stuff in Crystal Skull. The gross out humor is childish. The green screen is very obvious. The finale was filmed in three different locations and it shows. Ford’s double stands in for him in a number of sequences (e.g., the conveyor belt fight).

    Basically everyone involved with it has distanced themselves from it or made it clear it wasn’t their best work. For me it’s become a movie I watch for ironic kicks. It’s not Crystal Skull bad, but it’s so sloppy.

    While the Last Crusade has a pretty bizarre ending, the audience went with it because the rest of the movie was so charming.

  • I always found Temple of Doom boring. I can watch Raiders or Crusade at any point in the movie no matter what time of day it is. Doom never grabbed me.

  • Depending on the day I’ll say any of the three are my favorite. Crusade is probably my favorite most days though.

    Doom had the most fun action scenes I think, Raiders is the most “adventure”, and Crusade has the best characterization.

  • Doom was always my favorite. Mainly for the points that you listed. The horror elements really sold it for me

  • Temple is good; Crusade is perfect.

  • It’s weird because while Doom is seen as the worst of the first three, I think it’s the most quoted/referenced. And not in a pejorative way.

    I think it just has more of those moments. And that’s probably the real issue with Crystal Skull. Every other movie has those moments. Crystal Skull didn’t really get any good ones.

    There’s nothing in it that you can point at and say, “That was awesome”.

    I mean, Temple of Doom had “kali ma”, “We… are going… to _die_”, “No time for love Dr. Jones”.

    Last Crusade had “No ticket”, “He choose… poorly”, etc.

    Raiders of the Lost Ark had “It’s not the years, it’s the mileage”, “Top… men”

    I can’t pull up anything from Crystal Skull off the top of my head.

  • Raiders is the “best made” movie – much more serious than the other three, but Temple of Doom is the most fun. It’s just pure Saturday afternoon adventure from beginning to end.

  • I personally like Doom better than Crusade and agree with you. Crusade was a crappier Raiders. Raiders was a perfect movie and I feel Crusade ruined Marcus. Marcus was Indy’s mentor and they reduced him to a bumbling idiot for laughs. All the characters felt off in Crusade. Doom was different, as it was a homage to the old serials, so when viewed in that context i was pitch perfect. edit: words

  • Raiders 2.0 is fine as fuck with me.

    Raiders: 10
    Crusade: 9
    Temple: 8

  • I prefer DOOM also. CRUSADE is awesome, but feels more like a retread of the original.

  • Crystal Skull FTW!!!

  • I prefer Doom as well. Crusade just seems a bit tired.. like Spielberg didn’t have all his heart in it.

  • I like Doom and Crusade equally to be frank, I think both have their ups and downs but both are quality films. Of course, Raiders is and always will be king,

  • > It’s all the hallmarks and ingredients of the seediest, most lurid and violent of pulp adventure stories.

    I agree, it’s the pulpiest and most true to its origins.

    I think I like it the best.

  • I understand why people liked Doom, but for me it was the weakest of the trilogy (Crystal Skull never happened, lalalalala).

    The useless blonde girl annoyed me after the plucky and self-reliant Marion. Indiana sees the magic of the stones for himself plus the removing of the beating heart, yet in the next film chronologically (Raiders) he says he doesn’t believe in magic. The roller coaster mining cart ride was exciting but at one point they go over a large chasm of lava. Yet when the bad guys break the water dam the water mysteriously goes over the lava chasm and pours out the holes in the cliff face. A lot of is just seemed like relentless action simply for action’s sake.

  • Temple of Doom is overrated.

  • Temple of Doom is certainly the weakest now that I’ve rewatched it a few times as an adult. That being said, it still does have its moments, and I have a huge crush on Willie every time I watch.

  • A: All of Roger Ebert’s reviews are worth looking at, he was one of the great writers of his generation, or any generation. He just didn’t write novels is all.

    B: Doom is way too dark, and just isn’t fun. I mean Short Round was hilarious, but that was it. Crusade, my favorite of the four of them overall, was fun. Connery and Ford had great chemistry, and Ford hadn’t yet turned into Mopey Ford that he would soon turn into his acting style. Yes the plot was a bit silly, but c’mon, it was Indiana Jones.

  • Raiders > Crusade > Crystal Skull > Temple of Doom.

    Temple of Doom is, in a word, obnoxious. The only stuff I enjoy in that movie all happens in the first ten-fifteen minutes. At least Crystal Skull had a few decent sequences in each act, even though it too is a pretty piss-poor film.

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