While I disagree with certain sections of this Temple of Doom analysis (especially those criticising Last Crusade), I found it an interesting read. The second Indy film is my least favourite of the four, so it’s fascinating reading something that produces such a compelling and detailed argument in its favour.
“I’ve argued in this essay that Indy transforms from a kebob-slinging mercenary into a respectful professor. He becomes a warmer person, a person of faith. And while I don’t think faith is necessary to be a good person, perhaps in Indy’s case, he needed it. In any event, Indy’s rise from the muck of grave-robbing and money-grubbing starts when Short Round rams a flaming torch into his side and pulls him out of the Thugee’s waking nightmare. Indy hits bottom when he hits Short Round, and he knows it. I task you to find a harder-hitting or more heartfelt moment than when Short Round rears back with that fucking torch and says, “Indy, I love you!” That is what movies are all about. I’ve always admired Luke Skywalker’s unswerving love for his fallen father, but Short Round beats Luke by a longshot. And what does Indy do the second he wakes up? He teams up with Short Round to kick some ass, says he’s sorry – and then he goes to rescue the enslaved village children.”