With Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, it’s 1935 and Indy’s back in the saddle again. This time he toting around an 11-year-old boy named Short Round, and a ridiculously bad lounge singer named Willie Scott. The sexual tension between the three of them is unbearable. The movie begins with the three escaping Shanghai’s most villainous crime boss, Lao Che, at his nightclub, Club Obi Wan, and then hightailing it out of China in a plane owned by Lao.
While they sleep aboard his plane, the pilot parachutes out, and the plane crashes somewhere over the Himalayan rainbow. Luckily for our heroes, the plane has an inflatable raft, and they use that to “ski” down the mountainous slopes and into a rapid river. I think the only thing more implausible would be surviving a nuclear blast in a lead refrigerator, but that’s for another review.
They end up in a little Indian village where the tribespeople there think that Indy and company have been sent by the God, Shiva, to retrieve a sacred stone that has been stolen from them…oh and to get their innocent children that were taken too…by evil forces from the Pankot Palace.
Indy swaggers on down to the palace where he is warmly received by its Prime Minister, Chattar Lal. (Probably because the palace’s very young Maharajah and Short Round go to the same junior high school.) They feast on the local delicacies, and make idol chitchat. Chattar scoffs at Indy’s questions about claims by the villagers that the Thuggee cult is responsible for all their disappearances (even though Chattar is wearing his ceremonial “Thuggee 4 Life” shirt).
I think Indy hit a nerve, because later that night, he’s attacked by an assassin. Don’t worry, he survives, but unfortunately for us, Willie is still alive too. We still have hope for her demise though when, in her room, the trio finds a hidden entrance to secret tunnels filled with Goonie booby-traps. They stumble past the traps, and find the Thuggie’s temple of doom which is dedicated to the worship of the goddess Kali.
The Thuggies 4 Life are led by Mola Ram, their high priest and villainous overlord. It is he who enslaved the local children, so that they can mine for the remaining two Sankara stones. You see, there are five total, and Ram already has three of them, and I’m sure we all know that nothing good will come from a man named Ram having five stones in his possession!
Indy goes to steal the stones, but he, Willie, and Short Round are captured, and taken away to separate locations. Indy is forced to drink the “Blood of Kali” which puts him in a trance that forces him to do the Thuggie’s bidding. Willie, thankfully, is going to be a human sacrifice, and that can’t come soon enough!
Short Round is forced to work in the mines, and is reunited with Mikey, Chunk, and Mouth, but he quickly escapes and gets Indy to snap out of his trance with a flaming torch below the belt. Indy then kicks Chattar Lal’s Thuggie ass. Short Round snaps the Maharajah out of his trance with another flaming “torch” and learns how to get out of the mines.
Indy gets a Thuggie squished into red bindi juice, then he and Short Round rescue Willie, snatch the stones, and free the children, but the vile and evil Mola Ram continues to thwart their escape. Indy and company flees the underground complex via a lame-ass theme park mine cart chase. Once out, they are immediately confronted by Mola Ram and his henchmen atop a rope bridge that overlooks a crocodile-infested river.
Indy cuts the bridge in half and everyone has to hang on for dear life. He then uses a magical incantation that makes the stones red hot. Two fall into the river below, but the third is caught by Mola Ram, which burns his hand like a mofo! He drops it, but Indy is able to nab it…of course it’s cool to the touch now. Mola Ram falls into the river, and becomes crocodile sushi. The Thuggees 4 Life don’t give up though.
They try to shoot Indy with arrows, but he is saved when a company of British Indian Army riflemen, summoned by the little Maharajah, arrive on the scene. A big battle ensues, and many of the Thuggies get a cap popped in their ass. Indy, Willie, and Short Round return to the village with their stolen children and stolen stone in tow.