I'd like to see how Lao fared in the Empire of the Sun Japanese invasion period.
Maybe Indy returned to China during WWII?
There was a lot of tension in Shanghai following the Japanese invasion. I figure Lao Che would have been one of the Chinese businessmen who was loyal to the Japanese which would have made him the target of Chinese resistance groups.
I love all three films dearly but Temple of Doom is my favorite.
My, how time flies after 11 years!
I still love Temple of Doom but overall Raiders has become my favorite and objectively I feel it's the tightest film with the least amount of mistakes. The others are still amazing (and yes, I'm including Crystal Skull in that list as well) but Raiders is not just a great Indiana Jones film but a great movie in general. It's right up there with Ben-Hur and The Maltese Falcon as arguably my favorite film of all time.
To start off, I love Last Crusade so much. There are so many great moments in it. The story is great, the cast is great (chemistry between Connery and Ford is amazing!), and it is much more of a humorous movie with a lot more action, but come on, Raiders is the one that started it all. Raiders is one of the greatest movies in cinematic history, and there's no denying it. The story, the characters, the amount of time and effort put into this masterpiece of a film. There was a point that I forgot the whole entire plot of Temple of Doom. A couple years back, I rewatched it, and I loved it. I loved TOD so much, I liked it better than Crusade. Now I realized that the storyline is kind of strange and dark. I definitely don't hate it, though. I still love it. The characters in this film are very compelling. Many people hate TOD because of Willie. While Willie may be VERY annoying, she's actually quite relatable to many people watching. It's not like every single woman that goes on an adventure with Indy will be fearless and tough like Marion, or mysterious and beautiful like Elsa. If Indy chose another random woman that has absolutely no archaeological experience to go on an adventure with him, they would most likely be very similar to what Willie was like. She also acted as a bit of a comic relief character. And Shorty, man. He's one of the most beloved characters in the franchise, and in my opinion, Indy's best sidekick that's not a love interest (sorry Sallah). These characters in this very dark setting balance the movie a bit from the darker tone.
And then there's Crystal Skull...
Well, admit it. Its still an Indiana Jones movie, just not a very good one. It could have been executed much better, and the aliens thing was a stretch. I liked the idea of Indy's son, but seriously? Lucasfilm casted Stanley Yelnats to play him? Also, the CGI in that movie made the series feel so different, since moviemaking wasn't that advanced in the 80's. When I saw those CG monkeys, I swear, I forgot I was watching Indiana Jones. There's many strange things in Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, but we can't pretend it didn't exist. It's still one of the movies after all.
But yeah, that's just my opinion. I'll look through the comments to see what y'all think!
The Last Crusade, was my favorite since I was a kid, kinda made the biggest impression on me, and to this day it is the Indy movie that I watched the most. The synergy between Indy and his father was great I think.
Having just re-watched all four films, my personal ranking would be RAIDERS, followed behind by LAST CRUSADE, KINGDOM OF THE CRYSTAL SKULL, and TEMPLE OF DOOM.
RAIDERS: Still (more or less) the perfect action film. A few awkward moments, but the pacing, urgency, and tone are all spot-on. The opening scene by itself is worth the price of admission. The ultimate mix of darkness, mystery, action. Best villains of the whole series. Not one but two great ending scenes. So iconic that most of the sequels were just trying to copy it.
LAST CRUSADE: A fun adventure, but the sentimental, late '80s Spielberg is in charge now. Safe and campy compared to the previous two films. Indy's father is a fun character, but he basically exists to emasculate and humiliate Indy through the whole film. Far too much slapstick, and the lamest, blandest villain of all (Walter Donovan). That being said, while the Grail hunt doesn't have the urgency of the Ark, it's still a fun ride with some cool lore.
CRYSTAL SKULL: Better than I remembered it, but still feels like a bunch of RAIDERS-themed set-pieces loosely tied together. Doesn't do a good job of explaining the goals of the characters, where they're going, or why they're doing it. Allegiances shift for no reason (Indy doesn't mind helping the Soviets find the lost city for half the film??). Way too many extraneous characters in Indy's "party" - including Shia LaBeouf. Villain is interesting but doesn't get to do anything villainous, so her horrific death doesn't feel earned. They got John Williams back but he didn't do anything interesting - no cool new themes. I was okay with the "Chariots of the Gods" theme until they just came out and put a CGI alien and UFO right on the screen. A little restraint could have been used there.
TEMPLE OF DOOM: I'll give it credit for NOT trying to be RAIDERS PART II, but that's the best thing I can praise it for. At least it's still got the gritty edge. A side story with no stakes, either to the characters or the world. Claustrophobic. Everyone except Indy is grating and obnoxious. Scenes drag on much longer than they should - you can feel Spielberg spinning the wheels because there's no driving force propelling the story forward. Worst macguffin of the whole series.
Wow, sounds like you don't like any of the sequels at all.
Haha, maybe I sound too harsh. They're not bad films, they're all great in fact. I love Last Crusade and like the other two well enough. But I marathoned them all over a week, and IMO they all pale to Raiders! But I don't want to suggest that they're poorly-made or acted.
I agree to an extent, all the sequels can be criticised more than Raiders, which is pretty much a perfectly crafted film.
Raiders is perfect in every way I think. Defintiely one of those lightning in a bottle cinema moments. The sequels are good films in their own right in various ways but they will forever be held up to Raiders as the standard.
I just had a friend today watch an Indy movie for the first time (shocking, I know!). He caught ToD on TV and said he really enjoyed it and is looking forward to seeing the rest of the movies. I'm curious to see which one he'll declare as his favorite once he's seen them all.