So, it’s safe to say we’re all very much fans of the franchise, yeah? They say that one criticises the things they love because they want it to improve and that’s the only way it can get better, with whatever the it
may be. So following this logic, I’m wondering, what aspects would you improve about any of the Indy films?
This is a thread just for fun to see what ideas you have that could elevate, say, your favourite or least favourite film. The hypothetical
changes you would make to make the overall film better could be something like the music, a deleted scene being re-implemented, or a scene being taken out, more or less dialogue added, a new sub-plot?
As for myself, Temple of Doom is easily my favourite and always has been, so here would be my answer to me asking myself “How could the film be better?”
- The film should have been called “Raiders of Temple Kali,” keeping the “Raiders” as the franchise identifying title. A “starring Indiana Jones” subtitle could have worked.
- During the entire first half of the film, the (youthful?) greed and selfish desire for fortune and glory could be emphasized more. (I’ll come back to why later.)
- When the plane crashes into the mountains and they jump out with a raft, this could happen much closer to when the plane actually crashes to heighten the peril, and the crash of the plane could cause an avalanche of the snowy mountains. The intensity of the scene would be bettered for the fact that loads of snow would be chasing them as they’re “rafting” and speeding down the mountain and forest with the deadly snow catching up to them. Before they fall to the river, the avalanche effect could actually overtake and consume them, putting the audience in a moment of “What the hell just happened… he isn’t supposed to die here
” and doing away with the cliché of the hero making it just
in time. Even though them being overcome by the rampaging snow would only last a few seconds, that suspense would make it feel much longer. … then they fall free, but into the river.
- During the Dinner of Doom, the pigs head dish should be re-implemented. Even if it goes over the top, I believe the campy humour the film sports would be great. The explanation of the history of the Thuggee cult could be articulated a bit better. Harrison tends to mumble and as some key points are mentioned, the camera is on Willie. A brief moment of better explanation would have made for a slightly better told story, without impacting on the humour of the dinner too much after.
- When it comes to the sacrificial ceremony that Indy, Willie and Short Round watch, the magic stones are brought out first. Then there could be topless Indian female dancers, some of which stroke Mola Ram’s face sexually as they dance for the demonic, zombie crowd. After the heart is ripped out and the hole in his chest closed, we get a close up of the stones glowing as to indicate it’s the magic keeping him alive. As the victim is being lowered, Mola Ram could take a bite out of the heart which squirts blood on his face and covers his mouth with dripping blood. The lowering of the victim would be intensified with more quick cutting of the topless dancers, the scariness of Mola Ram’s bloody face with that evil grin, the crowd chanting with some sweeping flying camera shots, the horrified expression on Indy and the victim burning with an agonising scream. Continued quick cutting featuring these things as the fast paced male choir, drum beats heighten and the heart in Mola Ram’s hand bursts into flames and the sustained shot of the victim’s skin melting off revealing his skeleton; with no wall of fire filtering out and sparing the horror imagery.
- In the case of the torture scene where Indy is whipped, the speech Mola Ram gives about the Christian army being cast down and forgotten, the Muslims being overrun forcing Allah to Bow to Kali and the British army being slaughtered could be more prominent. Amrish’s thick accent and the sounds of Indy struggling to drunk make this almost inaudible when it’s good dialogue. The rough order of events could be that after Indy spits the Blood of the Kali out, his shirt is ripped off completely with Indy turned around as the bullwhip lashings begin. The torturous pain could be dwelled upon more by extended whipping and drawings of blood on his back, keeping the “Leave him alone you bastards!” as Short Round gets a less intense lashing. Then
the voodoo doll is brought out with its back held against the flames, which causes even further devastating pain for Indy. A close-up could show his back, as blood suddenly pours out of his wounds. The pain emphasized by Harrison’s strong grunts, and even tears as we see him so broken down he begs them to stop, eventually vomiting off-camera. The torture stops before he is turned around and his back shoved against the wall complete with a skin-crunching sound effect,
- As Willie is being handcuffed in the cage by Indy, I thought it would be cool, if messed up and possibly too extreme, for Indy to actually rip out Willie’s heart as directed to under the influence of Mola Ram. The hole in her chest would also repair and she’d stay alive just as the other victims do as she’s being lowered. The magic of the stones is what would keep her alive for the rest of her life as long as they are in existence. Later in this scene when Chattar Lal gets his ribs crushed by the wheel-mechanism, instead of this happening, Indy could grab his neck and force it to the floor at the other end as one of the handles lands and clamps his neck to the ground which stops the cage lowering, but much much shorter of the lava than in the film, and with a higher pitched screech sound of it stopping. Immediately after, his neck snaps and his severed head flies upwards with a fountain of blood which lands in Short Round’s hands, he gets a fright by what he is suddenly holding, but throws it up in the air to spin kick it into the lava gap pit that separates the crowd, then a shot shows him with a cheeky grin of laughter. (When the neck initially snaps, Indy quickly grabs the wheel handle so it doesn’t drop even
further.) Also in this scene at some point, a small explosion at the bottom of the pit could spray a few a few spheres of lava, some of which burn Willie and leave scars for the rest of the film.
- When hanging on the bridge with the cult firing arrows at him, for some slapstick comedy one of the arrows could be shot into his arse cheek with a cartoony wobbly sound bite.
- The death of Mola Ram could be more brutal and actually visible.
- When it comes to my earlier point about Indy being more obviously in it for the money, at the end of the film I like that he has a turn around which really builds his character (as it is a prequel), so I wonder if there could be any way that it could fit for him to have a moment of realisation of what just happened and have his emotions overcome him.
"In moments of extreme danger, coolness replaces fear, and all of one's energy is devoted unconsciously to survival. Later, when the danger is past and one has time to dwell on thoughts of the closeness of death, one surrenders to the terror of an awful crisis already mastered."
-- Helene Deschamps-Adams
That is what I would like to be explored purely through facial expression and music somewhere when he reaches the village, which is the turning point of his character.
Well, there are my detailed suggestions on how Temple of Doom could have been better, to which I hope I made sense. I’m probably the only person in the world who would actively prefer added shock-value and sustained peril and fear, I realise, but I’d be interested in hearing opinions on those suggestions, and some of your own.