Indy: "Fortune and glory, kid. Fortune and glory."
Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom is the second film in the Indiana Jones film series, though chronologically the first as this all happens before the previous film Raiders of the Lost Ark.It involves Indy getting into some trouble in pre-World War II China, involving nearly getting poisoned to death, and crashing a plane in the Himalayas. The main plot is him fighting against an evil cult in India, who stole sacred stones and kidnapped children for slave labor.Released in 1984, the film got heavy criticism for its violence, which wasn't bad enough for an R, but was considered too much for PG. Even Steven Spielberg admitted this. The film, and the first Gremlins film, are a large part of the reason the PG-13 rating was created in the US.
"Indiana Jones and the Tropes of Doom":
Aluminum Christmas Trees: Indy mentions that Short Round's parents were killed in the Japanese bombing of Shanghai. Many assumed this meant the bombing in 1937 at the start of the Second Sino-Japanese War; there was, in fact, a bombing in 1932.
Aren't You Going to Ravish Me?: In the scene where Indy bursts into Willie's room looking for more hitmen and for the secret entrance to Kali's temple, Willie is at first coquettishly alarmed by the aggressive demeanour of Indiana, then confused and finally disappointed.
Willie: I'm right here!
Artistic License: No, Kali worship isn't really like that, nor are the Thuggees. These films are intentional mimicry of early century pulp fiction.
Serving live eels to human diners is a good way to get yourself charged with homicide, as raw eel blood is toxic to people.
As Long as It Sounds Foreign: Only Mola Ram (who is played by an Indian actor) speaks Hindi. The movie was shot in Sri Lanka, and all extras speak Sinhalese as a result.
Bad Boss: Mola Ram throws his own men down the broken bridge in an attempt to dislodge Indy. He also orders the water tank knocked over and smashed, sending a huge tidal wave down the mine tunnels without regard for the six or seven Thuggee guards in mine carts who went down there after Indy and co.
Big Bad: Mola Ram. Notably, the only Big Bad in the series to be defeated by Indy himself. Belloq was killed by the wrath of God, Donovan was tricked by Elsa into drinking from the false Grail, and Spalko was knowledged to death by the aliens.
Brainwashed and Crazy: Anyone opposed to Mola Ram: The maharaja, many of the slaves, and even Indy. Possibly Chatter Lal as well. Don't drink the kool-aid around Mola Ram.
Hell, the novelization and shooting script both had even Mola Ram waking up from brainwashing when he grips the Shankara Stone at the end. And then the poor guy falls to the crocodiles (cut from the movie both because it seemed too cruel and it begged the question of who brainwashed him?).
The Brute: The commander of Mola Ram's Thuggee guards.
Call Back: Indy preps to dispose of the two swordsmen the way he did memorably in Raiders of the Lost Ark, only this time, his gun isn't there. (This movie occurs chronologically before Raiders, but then again, just shooting sword-wielding enemies might be Indy's standard practice.)
Category Traitor: Jones accuses Mola Ram of betraying Shiva — a deity that neither of them worship, but it mattered to the ancient text about the Sankara stones. Bizarrely, it's the one decent piece of Hinduism in the movie. Kali is Shiva's bride and both part of the same over-deity. Mola Ram is a blasphemer on a big-big scale.
Chekhov's Lost Gun: Willie throws away Indy's gun. Later on he's confronted by two swordsmen, reaches for his gun and... oops!
Chekhov's Skill: Indy fluently shifts into Chinese while arguing with Short Round over which of them is cheating more at cards. He later uses the same language to warn the boy that he is going to cut the bridge without alerting Mola Ram and his Mooks.
Convection Schmonvection: Zig-zagged. It's averted when the first sacrificial victim bursts into flames well before plunging into the lava pit. Then it's played straight when Willie is in the exact same situation.
Darkest Hour: Indiana Jones is brainwashed by Mola Ram and joins the Thuggees, Willie Scott is made a sacrifice to Kali, and Short Round is enslaved and toiling in the catacombs with all the other kidnapped kids, basically meaning that it was all over for the world, non-Thuggee religions and our heroes…that is until Short Round destroys the chains on him and escapes!
'80s Hair: Willie's hair is quite a bit more 1984 than 1935 — check out that perm, and later on, those bangs! Apparently, she's so fashion conscious that she's fifty years ahead of her time!
Evil Chancellor: Chattar Lal, the Prime Minister of Pankot, is in cahoots with the Thuggee.
Fake Shemp: Harrison Ford injured his back during filming, and was out for several weeks. To continue production Spielberg used Ford's stuntman Vic Armstrong to perform the action sequences (even the simpler ones Ford could do) from behind and Harrison later filmed a few token close-ups.
Fate Worse than Death: One of the children begs to be killed before they turn him into a Kali Ma, "alive but like a nightmare"
Fingore: The Kali statues outside of Pankot Palace had necklaces of real human fingers. A rather blatant warning that the Thuggee were active in the area.
Foreign Queasine: "Ahh. Chilled monkey brains!" —Not to mention the live eels inside a posed snake corpse, eyeball soup...turned out it was a Batman Gambit to try to encourage both the British and Indy's party to leave; it obviously failed miserably.
The novelization highlights the banquet menu as a tipoff that all is not well in Pankot, as Hindus would never eat such food, and further that not even a "normal" bad guy would serve something so depraved.
Giant Mook: The slave driver who gets ground up, played by Pat "Bomber" Roach.
Hand in the Hole: Indy and Short Round are going to get crushed to death in the trap full of bugs because Willie doesn't want to stick her hand in the dark hole to release the trap. It's a subversion, though, because it's not the dark hole that she's squicked by. It's the fact that the hole is literally crawling with bugs of all types. And she picks the wrong hole at first as Indiana's hand points out.
Hard Head: When Mola Ram falls to his death, he slams his head into the cliff-face, but he doesn't seem to notice, given his uninterrupted scream.
Heart in the Wrong Place: The villain snatches the heart from the left side of the sacrificial victim's chest. His attempt to do the same to Indy likewise uses this trope. It's hinted, however, that this may be hypnotic imagery rather than the heart being ripped out.
When Indiana discovers the mine and throws a rock against a guard, revealing his presence and alerting the Thuggees, but it turns out he was surrounded already, other mooks were sneaking from behind.
The two thugs that work for Lao Che. Instead of simply shooting Indy while he was sleeping on the plane, they instead plot a collision course into a mountain and then parachute from the plane. This is even more stupid when you realise that they're just parachuted into the middle of the Himalayas! Where the hell were they planning on going after landing halfway up a mountain?! According to the shooting script, the two thugs saw that Indy had quick reflexes and weren't sure whether he was asleep or half-asleep so they got cold feet and decided to jump out of the plane rather than go after him with a knife
Indy Hat Roll: Trope Namer, done after escaping from the room with the descending spikes.
Ironic Echo: Indy calls for water when he sets his shoes on fire stopping the minecart. A second later he's shouting the same phrase to warn against the rushing torrent of water coming down the mine shaft.
There's a scene where Indy and Short Round are trapped in a room with a Descending Ceiling and filled with spikes. In order to free them, Willie has to reach into a hole filled to the brim with bugs. Scary, but thanks to Indy and Willie both freaking out, it's also hilarious.
Willie Scott's Busby Berkeley performance of Anything Goes in Chinese tops the film off.
Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: Indiana Jones was ready for his nocturnal activities and not really too eager to investigate much before a hitman is sent against him.
Noisy Nature: One scene had enough wildlife sounds to supply a trip to the zoo.
Noodle Incident: During dinner at Pankot Palace, the prime minister, Chatter Lal brings up a grave-robbing incident in Honduras "greatly exaggerated by the press" and another one where Indiana was threatened with the loss of his head by the Sultan of Madagascar if he ever returned.
Not Distracted by the Sexy: After being attacked by an assassin in his room, Indy goes to Willie's room to search for the secret passage that the assassin entered from. But Willie mistakenly believes that Indy showed up at her room so that he could make love to her. Willie spends the next few moments offering herself to Indy while he ignores her in his search for the passage.
Oddball in the Series: In many ways. It's the only film where Indy isn't shown teaching at his university at any point, although it is brought up, and it's the only one which uses the poster font in the opening credits.
Indy actually lets out a little yelp of terror when he realizes there are more Thuggees charging towards him.
Also when he realized he doesn't have his gun.
This is Wille's facial expression for much of the film.
The plane's fuel is empty and is about to crash.
Indy: I think we got a big problem.
Papa Wolf: Indy. "They're innocent children... Mola Ram, prepare to meet Kali, IN HELL!!"
Pet the Dog: The normally cynical and selfish Indy letting himself be captured and tortured by the Thuggee to save a little boy from being whipped to death.
The Precarious Ledge: After the mine-cart chase scene, Indy and his companions wind up on a narrow ledge that runs past the shaft's opening. Water cascading from the mine causes parts of the cliff wall to cave in or be penetrated by broken wooden beams, forcing the three further along the ledge to avoid the debris.
Played for Laughs, where Indy and Willie have an argument over their Belligerent Sexual Tension. Each one is certain that the other is hot for them (and they're both right), but their egos won't allow either to "submit". Thus, they retire to their individual rooms and the audience is treated to a montage as they prepare themselves for a wild night of raunchy sex, only to (angrily) realize that neither one is biting. Then, the trope is played its straightest after Indy is almost assassinated in his room and barges into Willie's to check for another assassin, with Willie reclining on the bed, positively giddy to see a crazed Indy bursting her door down.
When Indy grabs the breasts of a statue (to push to reveal a secret entrance), Willie snarks, gesturing to her own breasts, "Hey, I'm right here!"
A Taste of the Lash: Regular treatment for the child slaves and given to Short Round and to Indiana, with his own whip.
Tastes Like Friendship: Indy and Willie are given food in the village. He makes her eat it even though it tastes awful because he knows the villagers gave them all they had.
Indy: That's more food than these people eat in a week. They're starving. Willie: I'm sorry. You can have— Indy: Eat it. Willie: I'm not hungry. Indy: You're insulting them and you're embarrassing me. Eat it.
Subverted when Indiana is about to pull his "revolver defeats swordsman" routine from the previous movie, but he is lacking the gun. He resorts to Good Old Fisticuffs and then proceeds to Whip It Good.
Played straight by Lao Che's pilots who just jump out and leave Indiana inside the plane without fuel in a collision course (explained in the novelisation).
Whip It Good: Indy's whip gets used in lieu of a gun when he goes up against a pair of swordsmen.
Wilhelm Scream: Twice. First in the club when a serving cart smashes into the orchestra, and later at the end when Mola Ram is getting eaten by alligators.