Movie Kumite: Indiana Jones Edition
I am not even about to try to determine if Raiders of the Lost Ark is superior to Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade or vice versa. If you ask me on a Monday I might tell you I think Raiders is the better movie. If you ask me that following Wednesday my answer could very well be The Last Crusade. It is a veritable toss up.
But what about the lesser loved films in the Indiana Jones franchise. Certainly one of those movies has to be better than the other? The best way to get that answer is to throw Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull and Indiana Jones in the Temple of Doom into our cinematic slugfest known as the Movie Kumite…
I am not sure there has been a villainous group that has had more staying power in the United States than the Russians. Kingdom of the Crystal Skull has a Cold War theme with Irina Spalko (Cate Blanchett) leading the charge for our villains with hopes of securing advance alien technology for Russia.
But Temple of Doom has Mola Freakin’ Ram. Mola Ram has the ability to reach into your chest and rip your heart out! I don’t know about you but I think an enemy who can remove organs with his bare hands is more of a threat than one with political and philosophical differences.
And if Mola Ram wasn’t enough, Temple of Doom also has the gangster Lao Che at the start of the film. He is all kinds of evil!
CRYSTAL SKULL – 0 TEMPLE OF DOOM – 1
WOMEN OF ACTION
This one is an interesting battle. It is the tough chick against the damsel in distress. It is an actress with franchise history against an actress who was banging Steven Spielberg. That last line may seem crass but this is the Movie Kumite and Anything Goes!
No matter how you look at Karen Allen’s Marion Ravenwood wins this one. She holds her own and totally goes against TLC’s warnings about waterfalls.
I will give Willie Scott (Kate Capshaw) props for dealing with those bugs and that awful dinner. But that is still not enough to beat out Marion in this round.
CRYSTAL SKULL – 1 TEMPLE OF DOOM – 1
Indiana Jones is assisted by young sidekicks in both of our competing films. Neither are among the most beloved characters in the history of the franchise but both were integral parts to their respective movies.
But who was more effective? As long as you can put whatever personal feelings you have about Shia LaBeouf and his antics of the past aside I think you would agree that Mutt Williams brought a lot more to the table action wise than Short Round who was there for comic relief more than anything else.
Plus Mutt comes from good stock. He is the son of the greatest adventurer in movie history, that has to count for something.
CRYSTAL SKULL – 2 TEMPLE OF DOOM – 1
JUMPING THE SHARK PENALTY
Every Indiana Jones movie asks that the audience suspend their disbelief. Simply closing your eyes means the Ark won’t turn your skin into melting wax? The Holy Grail is guarded by a really old knight and the water from the Grail has the ability to heal a bullet wound? Magic rocks with diamonds inside and using a life raft to jump out of a plane?
But Kingdom of the Crystal Skull took it to a new level when Indiana Jones survives a nuclear explosion by locking himself in a refrigerator! Nuking the fridge has now become synonymous with jumping the shark because of this and because of this I am taking a point away from Kingdom of the Crystal Skull and we are all tied up…
CRYSTAL SKULL – 1 TEMPLE OF DOOM – 1
It is time to see if the critics can end the stalemate. As always we turn to two of the most respected movie web sites on the world wide web for their take on our battle.
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull has a 6.2 rating on IMDb. Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom has a 7.6 rating on IMDb.
Over on Rotten Tomatoes, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom has an 81% approval rating, while Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull has a 54% approval rating.
And the critics officially bury Kingdom of the Crystal Skull like the Lost Ark of the Covenant. The winner of our Indiana Jones battle is 1984’s Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.
FINAL SCORE: CRYSTAL SKULL – 1 TEMPLE OF DOOM – 3