Harrison Ford dons the famous fedora for the third time in Indian Jones and the Last Crusade. This isn’t the best film in the franchise, but it’s the best sequel in the series for sure. Sean Connery joins the cast as Indy’s kidnapped father. Who better to play Indy’s dad than motherfucking James Bond?
This movie opens with River Phoenix portraying a 13-year-old Indiana Jones on a horseback ride in Utah. He comes across some thieves trying to steal a gold cross. He decides that the cross belongs in a museum so he steals it and tries to escape. It’s brief scene that seems like a precursor to the Young Indiana Jones Chronicles and you find out how he got his trademark scar, whip, and fedora. It’s a great way to start the film, and it’s way more relevant than an extravagant musical number.
One day, Indiana Jones meets a guy named Walter Donovan (Julian Glover) who tells him that his dad has been kidnapped while looking for the Holy Grail. Indy doesn’t get along with his father, but he’s still his dad so he goes to rescue him, armed with his trusty whip and his father’s diary. Indy goes to Venice to pick up his dad’s trail and meets Dr. Elsa Schneider (Alison Doody), the love interest for the film.
Indy and Elsa have a little adventure exploring the catacombs and nearly getting killed by The Brotherhood of the Cruciform Sword, a secret society that protects the Holy Grail. The Brotherhood decides that Indy is a swell guy and tells him that the Nazis have his father held hostage in a castle.
Indy goes to the castle and finds his dad, and then he finds out that both Elsa and Walter Donovan are working for the Nazis. Indy and his dad escape and overcome a bunch of obstacles like motorcycles and blimps and tanks, all while attempting to beat the Nazis to tracking down the Grail.
They reach the canyon where the Grail is, but the Nazis are already there. Donovan shoots Sean Connery, forcing Indy to have to navigate through a few crazy booby traps using the information in his dad’s diary. Indy gets to the Grail and is able to use its healing powers to save his dad. But then Elsa takes the Grail past the great seal (that’s like crossing the streams, it’s bad), and the whole canyon/temple thing starts to collapse. Sometimes I wish Indy stayed in that temple… if he died they couldn’t have made Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.
The father-son dynamic between Henry Jones, Sr. and Henry Jones, Jr. is what makes the film. Indy just wants his dad’s approval, but Henry makes him work for his affection. He loves his son, he just doesn’t know how to convey it. Indy uses his fists and violence to escape situations, and his dad tends to use his wits, best exemplified when he uses his umbrellas to scare the birds and bring down the Nazi plane.
It seems like they figured out who Indiana Jones is and what he represents. This movie is much more like the original than Temple of Doom. There are a lot of great moments in this movie. At one point Indy comes face to face with Adolf Hitler. Indiana Jones was hanging out with world leaders way before Forrest Gump made it cliché. This is a good movie and a great way to end the trilogy. Too bad it’s not a trilogy anymore.
Critically Rated at 14/17