The second film in the Indiana Jones Trilogy (soon to be a quadrilogy) seems a little out of sorts. It just has less in common with the other two movies. The first and third feature Indiana following clues, hopping around the global to exotic locales, exploring perilous tombs, fighting Nazis, and spending a bit of time as a normal professor of history. Temple of Doom has almost none of this, and this is what's appealing about the series. Not to say it's a bad movie, it has plenty of fun moments. It's just... off. He starts off in China involved in a conflict that gets completely dropped when he, his Asian sidekick Short Round, and annoying female lead Willie crash in India, leading quickly to the underground chamber where almost all of the action takes place.
The cultists Indy fights make adequate villains, and the chief is pretty solidly evil, they're just not as entertaining as Nazis. Since they don't use guns, it wouldn't be fair if he did, so every fight is a lot of barefisted slugging. That can be fun, but you like to have some variety in your confrontations. Thankfully, they made one of the series' more exciting sequences for this, a very unlikely high-speed chase on mine carts suspended by tracks over lots of molten lava. It's hard to say how they managed to build those tracks there or how the carts maintain velocity with all the rises, but it's an easy issue to ignore. There are some pretty violent moments, and this is one of the films that finally caused the creation of the PG-13 rating. None of the face-melting found in the other movies, but some scary stuff for little kids. The girl kind of really sucks a lot, but the kid is surprisingly not that bad. Ford is his usual self, and holds the movie together. Maybe the worst in the series, but still a really fun movie.