127 Min. | Action – Adventure – Fantasy | June 1989
IMDB Rating: 8.3
Director: Steven Spielberg
Starring: Harrison Ford, Sean Connery, Alison Doody
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade Review
“Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade” was the third and final instalment in the original Indiana Jones trilogy. Whereas “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom” was a prequel to “Raiders of the Lost Ark”, “Last Crusade” is a true sequel. Apart from an opening scene relating an adventure of the teenage Indy as a Boy Scout in 1912, the action takes place in 1938, two years after “Raiders”. Whereas “Raiders” was a great commercial and critical success, “Temple of Doom” received considerable criticism, both on account of its dark, gloomy atmosphere and its racist treatment of Indian characters. Steven Spielberg, therefore, was determined to make the third film lighter in tone, closer in spirit to “Raiders”.
Once again the villains are the Nazis, once again the plot involves the search for a legendary relic with mystical powers and once again much of the action takes place in the Middle East. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade also introduces us to Indy’s father, Henry Jones, Sr. The James Bond films were undoubtedly one of the inspirations for this franchise, and it was possibly in their homage that Sean Connery was cast as the elder Jones, even though he is only twelve years older than Harrison Ford. Like his son, Henry senior is an academic archaeologist and has gone missing while seeking the Holy Grail. Indy believes that his father is in danger and sets out to find him, a quest that will take him to Venice, Germany and ultimately Hatay. In Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, the main female character is Henry’s colleague, Dr. Elsa Schneider, a glamorous Austrian blonde whose loyalties are ambiguous.
After the awful “Temple of Doom”, “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade” represents a welcome return to form, both for Spielberg and for Ford, who seemed ill at ease in the earlier film but here is back to his old ebullient self. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade contains a better balance of suspense and humour than did its predecessor, much of the humour being at the expense of the hapless Marcus. There are some excellent action scenes, such as the train sequence in the opening scene, the escape from the Zeppelin and the tank chase though the desert. “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade” is a very enjoyable adventure film in the same tradition as “Raiders”.
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