A mystical wild ride full of song, beauty and close calls for our favorite archeologist. From the streets of Shanghai to the the foreboding Pankot Palace it is up to Indie to save villages, hot women, kids and even himself. There is evil all around and part of that evil is Dr. Jones’ (Harrison Ford) greed which village elders use against him to see that he set things right. They believe that a great evil is rising in Pankot Palace and that the Thuggee cult, the worshipers of the evil aspect of Kali have stolen their children, stolen their Sivalinga stone from their shrine and have made all their fields and crops dry up. They don’t believe in coincidences and know that Indiana is there, sent from Shiva, to rescue them and their children. As this is a prequel to Raiders of the Lost Ark, Indie is very skeptical about the whole thing. It is not till a young boy half starved wanders into the village and hands him a scrap of fabric that he starts to wonder if the story is true. He knows the children are missing, what he is wondering if it is true is that the stone that was in the village was actually one of the five fabled Sankara stones. If he could get those, and you see it on his face, he would be rich and famous beyond belief. As he put it to Short Round (Jonathan Ke Quan), “Fortune and glory kid, fortune and glory”
The smartest character in the film was Short Round, a kid that Indie picked up in Shanghai when the child tried to pick pocket him. Now Shorty is his companion and driver and the one who seems to get him out of trouble. It is him driving a car that rescues Dr. Jones and Wilhelmina “Willie” Scott (Kate Capshaw) from the clutches of Lao Che (Roy Chiao) as they escape his night club “Club Obi Wan”. Nice pun with that one Lucas, gave us all a smile. Of course there is a gun fight in the crowded streets and the only person actually hit was the driver for Lao Che. Everyone else involved, except for Indies gun which Willie dropped, got away unscathed. A little unrealistic but fun none the less and even entertaining and funny in parts. The funniest and Lao Che thought so as well was when the trio were ushered into a cargo plane by Weber (Dan Aykroyd) that was actually owned by the gangster. You know already that it is not going to be a good flight at all and that is not even considering that Indie is arguing all the time with Willie who just happened to get caught up in something that she didn’t even know about. All she wanted was to get her hands on the diamond.
So we have a tired archeologist, an eleven year old kid that is older then Indie and a money chasing actress / singer all on their way to New Delhi. Little do they know that their travel plans have just been changed by Lao Che and according to the natives Hindu god Shiva. While they are asleep the pilot and co-pilot dump the plains fuel and then jump out of the plan. If the feathers from the cargo had not woken Willie they would have died on the side of a mountain. Without any para-shoots Indie has them all jump into an inflatable raft and jump out of the plane before it crashes. As it is inflating it slows their decent till they start sliding down the face of the mountain and then into the river that is far below. That is where the village shaman finds them and takes them to his village and tells them what has befallen them.
This film is one wild ride after the next with plenty of pauses in between so that you can catch your breath. You even have a wild mine care race that would make one hell of a roller-coaster, minus the torrent of water of course. Don’t know what I am talking about there? Then you really need to go and see the film. We get to see Willie in several exotic outfits without even seeing anything but it seems that we have. Indie even looks respectable and not so scruffy when he goes to the Sultan’s dinner party. Short Round and Willie are about the puke at that feast and wind up eating nothing at all. Guess they don’t like Snake Surprise, stewed eyeballs, insects and chilled monkey brains. At least those are better then what Dr. Jones had to drink which turned him into a mindless follower of Kali. You really have to see the film to know what I am talking about and I hope that I have made you curious enough to go find out for yourself.
This is not what you would say a family film. It had more violence then Raiders but was not nearly as disturbing. At least in this film you don’t have people melting away in front of you. Glade they saved that one for the last film and didn’t put it in this one. There is child slavery, so the story does have a moral and we see how Indie starts to have a true sense of right and wrong that we see in Raiders and later films. This was an excellent prequel and helped to explain Dr. Jones’ personality and see that he is indeed flawed as we all are but is able to rise above that to make a difference.
I give this film a Musing review of