Plot: It opens in a castle in Scotland in 1937, where Indiana Jones, while on a fishing trip, investigates murders by a ghost, the Baron Seamus Seagrove III. Indiana returns home, where Marcus Brody tells him to aid the zoologist Clare Clarke in Africa, who has discovered a 200-year old pygmy named Tyki. Indiana meets up with her and his old friend Scraggy Brier in Mozambique, and discovers a suicidally lovestruck student of his named Betsy has stowed along. The Nazis, led by Lieutenant Mephisto and Sergeant Gutterbuhg (who has a mechanical arm), attack, and despite Indy’s best efforts in the ensuing boat chase, Tyki is captured.
Still, Tyki gave Indy a scroll which guides him to a Lost City via the Zambesi River. There, Indy, Clare, Scraggy and Betsy enter an uneasy alliance with pirates, led by Kezure. The Nazis attack in a giant tank, which Indy manages to rescue Tyki from by using a rhino as his steed. Tyki takes them to the city of Sun Wu King, where it is revealed Tyki is a prince. His father is then killed by the Nazis, and a battle ensues where Indiana is killed by Mephisto. The Nazis are defeated though, and Tyki takes Indy into a garden of immortal peaches, where Sun Wu King comes to revive Indy. Kezure eats a peach, but dies because he is not pure of heart. Sun Wu gives Indy his transforming Golden Rod, while Betsy decides to stay with Clare.
Review: It’s no secret that I am a huge Indiana Jones fan; Raiders of the Lost Ark is arguably my all-time favourite film so I was excited to read this script which is also known as Indiana Jones and the Monkey King.
Sadly, it doesn’t really matter what you call it, it’s still pretty terrible. If you thought Crystal Skull was a bad movie then thank your lucky stars this movie never saw the light of day.
First of all we’ve got a female Jar Jar Binks by the name of Betsy who Indy was having a fling with; she insists on following him on his adventures and keeps embarrassing herself and everyone else by being a complete moron. I hated Willie Scott in Temple of Doom and she ruined the movie for me but Betsy makes Scott seem like Orson Welles in comparison.
It was apparently going to be Indy 3 but thankfully someone with taste decided not to make it happen but that explains why some of the action scenes seem familiar.
The bad guys are Nazis (and quite lame) and there are too many stupid moments to mention; if you think nuking the fridge in part IV was the low point then you ain’t seen nothing yet.
At the end of this very long and quite tedious adventure when Indy and co. arrive at the Monkey King’s home they are greeted by Gorillas. OK, fair enough you might think but then the Nazis attack and the Gorillas fight back and in one scene they take over a tank and drive it… while dressed as Nazis… yeah… that didn’t really work for me.
There are so many dumb moments that you can’t suspend disbelief to that level and it’s easily the worst Indiana Jones story I’ve ever read. I enjoy the spin-off novels, all of which are better than this nonsense so I really don’t know what they were thinking with this.
Overall, Indiana Jones and the Garden of Life is beyond stupid with annoying characters and forgettable action so it’s no wonder this never got made.