After the summer of 1981, all summer adventures were measured against Indiana Jones. For whatever reason, the particular attributes of the character -- the way he winced in pain when pummeled, the way he never seemed to get a break -- were very appealing in a human way, and his adventures were endlessly thrilling. Sadly, as the 1980s wound down, we got our last Indiana Jones movie for 19 years, leaving the 1990s barren. Of course, there were lots of terrific summer movies, ranging from Unforgiven to Speed, Mission: Impossible to The Fugitive. But I was always looking for that particular Indiana Jones charge.
I think I found it, twice. (And just in case you're thinking about The Mummy, just forget it.) The first time was during a festival of Hong Kong movies held sometime in 1993. I had recently discovered the phenomenon and was eagerly devouring everything I could find. I haunted this particular theater that week, and brought my brother along to a Jackie Chan double feature. The first was Project A II (1987) and the second was called Armour of God II: Operation Condor (1991). It didn't matter that both movies were sequels and that we hadn't seen the originals. I loved them both, but Armour of God II had that special Indiana Jones feel.