a critiQal film review Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989)

  • DVD
  • Vudu

Plot: When his father (Connery) goes missing while searching for the Holy Grail, archaeologist/adventurer Indiana Jones (Ford) must follow in his father's footsteps and find the true hiding place of the Grail before the Nazis do.

567 words (Est. Reading Time 2m 50s)

After re-watching both of Indy’s first two adventures ( and ), we only had one more film to watch before we set out to see this weekend: Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade.

Harrison Ford returns for a third time, and literally leaps back into his role as Indy in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. Flashing the quick smile audiences have come to expect from Indiana, Harrison Ford does a great job of keeping viewers tuned into this third installment.

Alongside him this time around is Sean Connery, who plays Dr. Henry Jones Sr. perfectly. Whether the two are bickering like father and son, or both exclaiming gleefully over a new find, the two match wonderfully, and are a delight to watch as they play off each other on-screen.

Even Dr Jones Sr’s reactions to his son’s rather violent actions are hilarious to watch. While he doesn’t condone the violence his son is producing (and gives his son some comically stern stares that have audiences cracking up), he comes to realize his son Indy is just doing what he has to do. These touches of fatherly disapproval only add to the pairing, making the two even more of a cohesive unit.

In this third film, audiences also get a little better feel for Indiana Jones, as a young Indy (played to perfection by River Phoenix, displaying what looked to be great promise before his life was cut so short) leads them on a merry chase that helps uncover, among other things, Indy’s fear of snakes and the reason he always has a whip at his side.

The only minor disappointment was Alison Doody as the female interest in the film. While her involvement does elicit some comical moments between Jones Sr and Jones Jr, she overreaches a bit with her acting, coming off as something a bit less than the viewers are expecting.

Because this is a second sequel, the action and excitement are also ratcheted up a couple of knots, making the film an almost non-stop adventure. Gone are the days of quiet discovery – this time around, the discoveries have to be brief, as there is always someone just around the next corner who wants to cut Indy’s life expectancy way down.

Thankfully, while the film seems to be jam-packed with action sequences (some of the highlights include a boat chase, a motorcycle chase and a battle with a tank), the film sets just the perfect pace. It delivers moments of relative calm right when needed, which allows the viewer – and Indy – to catch their breath before jumping back into the fray.

It’s a wonderfully directed adventure, and is as exciting as they come. With the inclusion of both new friends (Connery) and old friends (Denholm Elliot returns from , as does John Rhys-Davies), a wonderful father-son dynamic between Connery and Ford, an epic quest and a high-pitch of excitement, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade seems an almost perfect finish to the trilogy, even finishing with the 4 good guys riding off into the sunset.

Obviously, a must-own on DVD.

The only thing missing from what many of us assumed was the conclusion to the series? Karen Allen, reprising her role as Mirian. (Word is, that is rectified in the new film).

PS…Liked journeying through the first 3 films with us? Join us Sunday as we review the 4th (and last?) leg of Indy’s journey, !

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