Susan Lacy has an upcoming documentary focused on Steven Spielberg releasing in October on HBO called, Spielberg. In an interview with the New York Daily News, Lacy said that Spielberg feels Indiana Jone and the Temple of Doom is the Indy franchise’s weakest entry.
This really isn’t news to anyone that has paid attention to Spielberg’s comments in the past regarding the second released Jones adventure. Spielberg feels the film is too mean spirited and dark. While the level of darkness isn’t that far removed from Raiders of the Lost Ark, in my opinion, the general reception the film received upon its release seems to have had an effect on Spielberg. The violence in Temple of Doom led to the creation of the PG-13 rating and also caused an uproar from parents who felt the film was too scary for young kids that enjoyed the previous Indy film.
The reaction to Temple of Doom definitely influenced the toned down Indy films that followed. While Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade is without a doubt a classic, nobody could argue that the ‘edginess’ of the first Indiana Jones films is missing. By the time we got to Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull, the film many believe to be the worst in the franchise, including myself, the grittiness of the series is completely MIA.
It will be interesting to hear Spielberg elaborate on his dislike for Temple when the Spielberg documentry debuts on HBO, October 7th.