Brett & JB’s review published on Letterboxd:
JB's review: 7/10
"Nice to see some bare chest (;"
Well I hate to reduce the two side characters in The Temple of Doom to "useless" and "annoying", but let's just say I like it best when it's Indiana Jones in the spotlight.
It's not even necessarily that I don't enjoy having other characters around for him to work with or rescue. However, Willie and Short Round add a strange shot of silliness to a film with explicit flirting and death by flattening. It doesn't mix well to me.
The Temple of Doom takes another interesting turn, too, by taking place in 1935, with no relation to the first, which emphasizes the serial nature that it's inspired by. This film mainly takes place in one area over one day. As a consequence, the worldwide vistas and character drama are somewhat traded for elongated action scenes. Jones and crew don't develop in any way, but their perilous journey is fun nonetheless.
I appreciate the ending of the original so much because the entire film (and Indy himself) is a search for real artifacts of artificial legends- which is why the eventual supernatural element is so powerful. Here, that's also traded casually away for glowing rocks and voodoo dolls.
I wouldn't say it improves on much, or even elaborates on Indy (something The Last Crusade does better). Instead, it just does more: more action, more jokes, more John Williams score. It's just another journey under the belt. But still a rather fun one. And a rather...racy one, to say the least.