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1984

Harrison Ford as Henry Jones

Kate Capshaw as Willie Scott

Jonathan Ke Quan as Short Round

Amrish Puri as Mola Ram

Directed by Steven Spielberg

 

Synopsis: Indy and crew end up in India and are asked to find a sacred stone that was stolen from a local village.  The hope is that when the stone is returned, the countryside will be returned to its original beauty and richness, and the children of the villagers will also be released, having been stolen by an ancient evil that has been resurrected at the deserted Pankot Palace.

This is a silly movie.  It’s an Indy movie, so it’s full of good stuff, but there are plenty of irritations that get under the skin, even mine, which is tough to do, since I like basically every movie ever made (see previous posts for my number one dislike of all time).  What makes me crazy?  Let’s list the items, shall we?

  • Willie Scott.  Not going to deny that Kate Capshaw did a good job in this role (her second).  But the character is one of the most annoying I’ve ever seen.  She’s an award-winning whiner.  “I burned my fingers and I cracked a nail!”?  Come on, now.  In retrospect, she’s the exact opposite of Indy’s freewheeling, come-what-may awesomeness, so the two characters play off each other well.

Yeah, that’s the list.  She is the only thing that drops the rating on the movie.  So what did I like about it?

The rest of the cast: Short Round is terrific, and his relationship with Indy is well written in the classic Spielberg style (yes, I know he didn’t write it.  You know what I mean).  He’s funny, keeps Indy in check, and is a pretty handy sidekick when you need someone to watch your back.  And Mola Ram?  Great villain.  He brings a new meaning to the term “maniacal laugh”.  Not a guy I’d want anywhere near me with his creepy hand and chants to Kali.  I like my heart INSIDE my chest.

The comedy: again, while Willie drives me nuts, she and Indy play off each other so well!  Shorty gets in plenty of jabs, and the gross-out scenes just add to the fun.

The locations: it’s not really filmed in India; the government wasn’t all that excited about the script, so the majority of the location shots were in Sri Lanka (Bridge over the River Kwai, anyone?).  It’s beautiful and desolate at the same time.  The bridge scene is iconic (but the alligators were filmed in Florida.  Not that it matters).

My favorite scenes:

  1. The first dinner with the Maharajah.  Good lines by Willie, and the food was delectable.  Who’d turn down custard and raspberry sauce?
  2. Shorty and Indy playing cards in the jungle.  So well-written and funny!
  3. The bug tunnel.  It creeps me out every time I see it, but it’s so cool.  Love the millipede.  Blech.

Weepy Meter:  0/10       Unless you can’t handle grossness.

Man Meter:       8/10       Again, it’s an Indy movie.  Except for his one character flaw, he’s a man’s man.

Overall rating:  6/10       Willie really drags this one down for me.  I still enjoy the chance to shout out “Kali Ma” whenever I can.

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