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Rating: **** out of ****
My opinion of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade could be deemed slightly biased. It is the first film I ever saw in theaters and it's also the first movie I purchased on video. I even own the same, worn-down, beat-up copy (and look upon it even more fondly than the widescreen edition, for sentimental reasons, of course) (but nothing beats the pristine quality DVD). I think it's fair to say it's this movie that cemented my love of cinema, the high regard I hold for great escapism, which is sorely lacking from today's cinema; movies that should be fun now drag or bludgeon themselves with relentlessly awful scripts or MTV-style direction that turns relatively simple scenes into chaotic blurs. The Last Crusade may only be thirteen years old, but I think I can safely say they don't make them like they used to.
The film stars, of course, Harrison Ford as Indy Jones, the archaeologist/adventurer who's on yet another quest, this time to find his father, who'd been searching for the Holy Grail. Said Dad is played by none other than Sean Connery, whose highly charismatic performance is quick to place this film, acting-wise, above the others in the trilogy by giving Ford a genuine acting equal (let me put it this way, he's only half a notch below Harrison Ford/Indy in charisma and appeal if that tells you anything). The rest of the film focuses on this ongoing journey between father and son (eventually joined along by Sallah and Marcus Brody), complete with amazing action and stunt sequences, clever humor, and nasty (but fun) surprises.
The script, by Jeffrey Boam, takes a few cues from Raiders of the Lost Ark, but actually improves upon that story by paying more attention to characterization. The delightful opening scene (all three movies really open with a bang, don't they?); which details how young Indy got his scar, whip, hat, and fear of snakes; makes for a better prequel than Temple of Doom (and any of The Adventure of Young Indiana Jones, for that matter).
The story is engrossing because there's a lot of fun clues offered towards the location of the Grail and, thus, there's a lot of engaging little discoveries (love the "X marks the spot" scene). I'm quite certain, like with Raiders of the Lost Ark, the plot has a few holes, but they're fairly hard to notice, and I've seen this movie quite a few times, but maybe it's just my enjoyment of the film clouding that up. Either way, it speaks volumes in favor of Spielberg's direction and the performances.
Given that action and adventure is the series' selling point, you can expect the thrills and wondrous delight of discovery delivered in spades. The action scenes are terrific (and matched well with John Williams' rousing, memorable score, also the best of the trilogy), the best being a fantastic ten-minute chase sequence on board (and in) a tank, possibly the best action sequence of Spielberg's career. I also loved the motorcycle chase and the Zeppelin setpiece, where the heroes go about dispatching of two enemy fighters in unexpected, but quite hilarious, fashion. The climax, complete with frightening booby traps, is a suspenseful venture into the unknown.
The Last Crusade is far more humor-oriented than its predecessors, but part of the movie's effectiveness is that it's able to deliver belly laughs without defusing the tension during the action sequences. Some of the jokes are just brilliant, including one with Indy armed with a Luger in confrontation with a trio of Nazis on board a tank that's even funnier than the swordsman scene in Raiders (well, to me, at least).
The supporting cast is all-around superb; John Rhys-Davies is back as Sallah, wonderful as ever and displaying a bit more enthusiasm searching for the Grail than he did digging up the Ark of the Covenant. The late Denholm Elliot also returns as Marcus Brody, the most lovable goof of a museum curator. Alison Doody is interesting as Elsa, the blonde historian whom Indy falls for; a twist involving her character and her actions towards the climax make her not as one-dimensional as she may initially appear. Julian Glover is the best of the main Indy villains, he's far more menacing than Paul Freeman's Belloq and less over-the-top but equally enjoyable as Amrish Pruri's Mola Ram. I also enjoyed Michael Byrne's performance as the Jones hating Colonel Vogel, who relishes in torturing Indy and his father. When it comes to pure delightfully nasty villainy, Byrne is even more fun to watch than Glover.
Harrison Ford delivers his best Indy performance (maybe even his best performance, period) in this particular adventure. With the addition of Connery as his father, it reveals a personal side to Indy we haven't seen before. It's his rapport with Connery that separates this film from the rest of the genre. They craft an uncannily touching, funny, and genuine bond. That, coupled with the superb action and thrills, solidifies The Last Crusade as the pinnacle of high adventure summer entertainment.
Indiana Jones, the man, the legend, the whip. Everyone I know has seen
at least one of the Indiana Jones movies and usually Raiders of the
Lost Ark is their favorite. Now I loved Raiders of the Lost Ark, I also
really loved Temple of Doom even though it gets a lot of hate for it's
darkness. But The Last Crusade is my favorite of the trilogy and the
strongest in my opinion. For goodness's sake we have Sean Connery as
Indiana's father, how could we get any better than that? I love his way
of saying "Junior!", always gets me in a good chuckle. Harrison Ford
still has that same Indy charm that swoons the ladies, the adventure
that captivates the guys and takes us on an incredible journey that
we'll never forget.
In 1938, Indiana finally recovers the Cross and donates it to his friend Marcus Brody's museum. Indiana is later taken to the residence of wealthy businessman Walter Donovan, who informs him that his father has vanished while searching for the Holy Grail, leaving behind partial directions from an incomplete stone tablet along with his diary containing his life's work on the Grail. Indiana and Marcus travel to Venice to investigate Henry's disappearance, meeting up with his colleague Elsa Schneider. Discovering catacombs beneath the library where Henry was last seen, Indiana and Elsa find the tomb of Sir Richard, a knight of the First Crusade who is buried with a complete version of the tablet. Indiana finds his father, only to be betrayed by Elsa, who reveals that she and Donovan are working with the Nazis to find the Grail. The Nazis steal the Grail diary and capture Marcus in Iskenderun, where he was sent with pages from the diary to seek the protection of Sallah. The Joneses manage to escape the castle and follow the Nazis to Berlin, where they recover the diary from Elsa. The Joneses, Marcus and Sallah arrive to find that the Nazis are unable to pass through three "trials" of God. After Indy's father gets shot, he doesn't have much of a choice as to pass the trials and choose the correct cup to save his father's life.
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade is one of my favorite movies of all time, it's just a flawless movie that will always be timeless. My future kids will watch these movies, they're just a lot of fun. Who said archeology can't be fun? This also has one of the most exciting chase scenes of all time, Indiana is trying to rescue his father and a friend from a Nazi tank and he is on a horse, a brutal fight ensues and was just so exciting to watch. I've watched this movie since I was a little girl and I still watch it with pleasure today, even with my friends we love watching Indiana and his adventures. They're an absolute blast and if you haven't seen Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, please take the first opportunity you have to watch it, it's a great movie.
One thing you gotta say for this series: it isn't boring.
And "Last Crusade" has enough thrills, chills and spills to fill up a few dozen old Saturday afternoon serials.
Right down the line, everything about this film is superb. Ford and Connery do the father and son routine superbly. Rhys-Davies returns as Sallah, as does Elliott who plays Brody with as much befuddlement as Connery does his role. And who can blame him?
And the FX: there's so many you lose count. But don't bother, just sit back, relax and get swept up in the moment. You can't help yourself but to get into this "Crusade".
Ten stars. A classic Ford with a bright Sean.
Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade was, in my opinion, the best movie
of the Indiana Jones trilogy. This movie featured the same type of
humor we have become accustomed to from Jones, as well as another
beautiful woman (also probably the best Indy girl) and lots of great
action scenes! This movie starts off with a teenage Indy (River
Phoenix) which gives us a look at an event that molds his life and
character as well as his relationship with his father, Henry (Sean
Connery). We also learn he is a "Junior" and that he hates to be called
Back as an adult, Indy's father is kidnapped and he must set out to find him. His only clues are his father's diary notes, which were mysteriously sent to him earlier that day. They lead him to Italy, where he meets the gorgeous blonde, Dr. Elsa Schneider (Alison Doody), who becomes an integral part of this story.
Once again, the grown up Indy (Harrison Ford) does battle with the Nazis. Apparently, Adolf Hitler is after the Holy Grail, which contains the blood of Christ. So Indiana and his father team up to get there first. Along the way, there is a great action scene where Jones fights a few Nazis on board a moving tank.
Overall, as I mentioned earlier, I believe this to be the best Indiana Jones movie of the three. This action movie was good long before movie studios learned to make the great CGI and special effects. It's effects were pretty good anyways but back in 1989, things just did not look as good as they can make them today. Still, highly recommended and worth your time. 9.5/10
Everything clicks in this action-packed cliffhanger. In his third (and what for years what thought to be his last) adventure, Indy is on the hunt for that ultimate treasure, the Holy Grail. Along the way he must contend with Nazis, a secret brotherhood and, of course, snakes. Sean Connery is a wonderful addition as Indy's father, and the chemistry between he and star Harrison Ford may just be one of the best in film history. The movie is a true rarity in that its attempts to outdo each preceding chase sequence succeed. Though children might have trouble interpreting the plot, this crusade is one people of all ages will enjoy.
The second sequel to Raiders of the Lost Ark is an awesome, beautifully crafted film, and arguably the best of the Indiana Jones trilogy. The film is funnier, classier and far more laid back than the other two woody story lines, mostly because of the introduction of the excellent Sean Connery as Indy's eccentric father. Spielberg and Lucas get back on track after their off the rails first sequel in which to many peoples' horror had none of the Nazis or characters that made Raiders so unique, however, what Spielberg does to make this film a classic is the use of historical data with the swashbuckling storyline of adventure and action. Not to mention that this may well be the greatest feel good film ever made...
When the two greatest filmmakers in the world teamed up to create the
best action movie of all time - Raiders of the Lost Ark, it seemed
unlikely that they could duplicate their divinely-inspired work. After
a miss with the entertaining yet forgettable Indiana Jones and the
Temple of Doom, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade comes pretty close
to doing just that.
Film history's most profitable star Harrison Ford returns to his signature role in a performance that speaks for itself, and benefits greatly from a gallery of memorable supporting characters. That includes Sean Connery, the grandest of all modern action day movie heroes (and appropriately cast, as the spiritual father of the character is James Bond). Connery plays against that, in a performance that is different than anything he has ever done, and it works. Even so, Denholm Elliott can't seem to help stealing every scene he's in as Marcus Brody, a lifelong friend of the Jones family.
This movie stands by itself in the way it deals with spirituality, and is thick with religious themes throughout, without preaching to you. This is a very difficult balance to achieve in any film, and that alone makes the film stand out as brilliant. It is more abundant with humor than the previous two films, without the characters falling into irritating self-parody. Being a sequel, this is a difficult balance to achieve as well. (Look at action sequels such as Lethal Weapon 4).
This film stands among the greatest action adventures of all time. I don't know anyone who hasn't seen it, but if you haven't, don't walk to see it. Run.
"Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade" was supposed to be the final movie in
the "Indiana Jones" series. At least that's what director Steven Spielberg
and producer George Lucas said at the time this film hit theaters. But now
they've said there will be a fourth "Indiana Jones" film. I really don't
know if that's a good idea, because the "Last Crusade" was a fitting end to
a great movie series. Harrison Ford returns for his third go around as
swashbuckling hero Indiana Jones, this time accompanied by Sean Connery as
Indy's father, Dr. Henry Jones. These two actors work beautifully together
as they fight off the Nazis in search for the Holy Grail. Two actors from
"Raiders of the Lost Ark" reprise their roles to great effect in "Last
Crusade": Denholm Elliott as Marcus Brody and John Rhys-Davies as Sallah.
Alison Doody is the heroine (good or bad?); Julian Glover is the villain;
River Phoenix portrays a young Indy at the beginning to see how this
character really got his start. "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade" not
only has great characters, it also has a decent story (taking place in
1938), plus exciting action scenes and special effects. It's better than the
second film "Temple of Doom" and comes very close to topping the first film
"Raiders". The "Indiana Jones" series should stay right where it is with the
"Last Crusade" as the finale. Unless Spielberg, Lucas, and Ford can prove us
wrong and make a really good fourth film in the series, we shall see. I
loved all three movies in the "Indiana Jones" series. If the fourth film
does gets made, I hope it'll be equally as good as the first
**** (out of four)
Indiana Jones teams up with his father to try and locate the Holy
Grail. Something that the Nazis are again particularly interested in
We didn't know it at the time, but every Indiana Jones fan on the planet presumed that The Last Crusade was to be the final film to feature the intrepid archaeologist. As it turned out, another film would surface in 2008, but casting that aside (as many would like to do), Last Crusade should, and is, judged as the trilogy closer it was meant to be.
In 1988 Steven Spielberg was deep into bringing Rain Man to fruition, all thoughts of Indiana Jones had gone by the wayside with the harshly judged part two, Temple Of Doom. In stepped George Lucas to politely remind Spielberg that they had an agreement to make another Indiana Jones picture, Spielberg no doubt obliged and humble, passed on his Rain Man work to Barry Levinson who promptly bagged himself an Oscar for the film. It can be guessed that Spielberg was probably grouchy around this period, but he needn't have worried, because The Last Crusade provided a much needed hit for not only himself (post Empire Of The Sun), but also Lucas (Willow) and Harrison Ford (Frantic).
I mention the run up to this picture because it explains a lot on why the film is pretty much a retread of Raiders Of The Lost Ark, something that some detractors find unforgivable. Yet Last Crusade is still an immensely enjoyable adventure picture, with Spielberg proving that he was still capable of a popcorn bonanza. Using the Raiders formula and moving away from the dark flourishes of Temple Of Doom, Last Crusade is actually the simplest film of the three, but still it manages, courtesy of a sparkling casting decision, to become the most entertaining of the original trilogy. Is it better than Raiders? Of course not, but it positively rips along with sparky dialogue and an agenda of cliffhanging suspense like the adventure films of yore.
In comes Sean Connery as Dr Jones Senior, and its the picture's trump card, because the magnificent interplay and obvious rapport with Ford (cool as a cucumber) is there for all to see. It's this what drives the film on thru it's more mundane and picture filler sequences, showcasing two top wily professionals with care and consideration to their craft. The casting of Alison Doody as the main female is a poor one, and one only has to look at her subsequent career post Crusade to see she wasn't up to the task here. Bonus comes in the form of the River Phoenix prologue, Phoenix as the young Indiana paves the way for the jaunty path that Crusade takes, whilst simultaneously giving us a nice little back story from which to launch the adventure.
Made for $48 million, the film went on to gross $474,171,806 Worldwide, now that's a lot of people who evidently were happy with Raiders Of The Lost Ark 2! And I gleefully count myself amongst that number. 9/10
An ideal action-comedy/adventure if there ever was one; in this entertaining third installment archaeologist Ford must travel to Italy in 1938 to try and rescue his estranged father. However, the rescue mission soon turns into a historic quest as he seeks out the Holy Grail, once again finds himself battling Hitler's Nazis, and again encounters dangerous perils every step of the way. Follows basically the same formula as Raiders of the Lost Ark, but Connery is an added bonus as Ford's father and the two make a perfect duo. A good blend of elements as the film provides lots of exciting, cliffhanger action scenes/stunts, memorable lines, and genuine humor, but the relationship between the two leads is what really gives it stability. Lots of fun. ***½
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