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Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom

Year: 1984
Production Co: Lucasfilm
Studio: Paramount
Director: Steven Spielberg
Producer: George Lucas
Writer: George Lucas/Gloria Katz/William Huyck
Cast: Harrison Ford, Kate Capshaw, Ke Huy Quan, Dan Aykroyd
The Empire Strikes Back of the Indiana Jones films. Darker, scarier, more black humour and thrills...

The only difference is that it comes within the shadow of surpassing its predecessor as opposed to surpassing it, as it's accepted throughout this galaxy Empire did in leaving A New Hope in the dust.

That, and Steven Spielberg ended up not liking it, thinking it was too scary for his inner matinee-going youngling.

Not me, or the rest of Generation X. After the fourth cinema viewing I was as thrilled as ever with the roller coaster coal car race, as horrified as ever at the unfortunate extra lowered into the lava pit by Mola Ram and Chatter Lal, as stricken with lust as ever by the dripping wet Willie (future Mrs Spielberg Kate Capshaw) trying to escape the flooded caves.

Indy's in as much trouble as ever, looking dapper in a Shanghai nightclub as he bargains for a rare jewel with shady gangster Lao Che and his comic book goons. One huge musical number and spectacular, hilarious bar fight later and Indy's on the run again with Willie in tow and joined by his sidekick, short round (Quan, who'd go on to a short but auspicious career in Spielberg stable films like The Goonies).

After a last double cross by the gangster by being abandoned in a plane running out of fuel, the trio crash land in India. Fate delivers them into the hands of a village devastated by the fearsome Thuggee cult that operates out of the Maharaja's palace nearby.

The narrative is enough to deliver so many Saturday matinee/comic strip set-ups and iconic sequences you can't help but love it.

Neither Lucas nor Spielberg had forgotten the lynchpin of the whole Indiana Jones ethos - having a good time. It's nothing but laughs and thrills from start to finish, and like Tarantino with his yellowed VHS cult section, Spielberg is the Lazarus of a movement, and Doom is perhaps the most loving expression of it - even if he doesn't think so.

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