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Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
1989 - PG-13 - 127 Mins.
Director: Steven Spielberg
Producer: Robert Watts
Written By: Jeffrey Boam, George Lucas, Menno Meyjes
Starring: Harrison Ford, Sean Connery, Denholm Elliott, Alison Doody, John Rhys-Davies
Review by: John Ulmer
   
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade – Director: Steven Spielberg – Starring: Harrison Ford, Sean Connery, John Rhys-Davies – Co-Producer: George Lucas…

Indiana Jones is back in “The Last Crusade,” which, surprisingly enough, is not the last crusade, keeping in mind that there is a fourth film being filmed soon.

Harrison Ford returns to the role of archeologist Dr. “Indiana” Jones, along with some old faces (John Rhys-Davies) as well as some new (Indy’s father, played by Sean Connery).

In this sequel, Indiana Jones must find another ancient artifact (a goblet) before some Nazis do. After all, he is Indy.
Unfortunately for him, the only man who can and must help him is his father, Sean Connery (I think his name’s Henry in the movie, but I honestly can’t remember).

Spielberg is back in form here, after the horrid “Temple of Doom” sequel. “The Last Crusade” brings Indy back to where he belongs, with deserts, Nazis, and the Indiana Jones “feel.”

You see, the “Temple of Doom” sequel was so miserable because not only did they try to turn the Indy character into some sort of super-man, but they also tried some elements that just did not work. When I say this, I mean the sidekick (“Shortstuff” – a very forgettable “pal”), the location (Some jungle out in Africa, was it?), the plot (Cults? Wasn’t the original film about artifacts? Shouldn’t they stick to what worked?) Et cetera…

This Indiana Jones movie, however, gets back on track, like I said before. It just “feels” more like an Indiana Jones movie.

Harrison Ford is (once again) completely believable as Indiana Jones. As I said in my “Raiders…” review (which can be found on this same site), Ford’s character is not as gungo-ho as the stereotypical adventure hero. We feel he carries out his missions with a smug smirk because he is – simply – Indiana Jones, and that is what he must do.

Sean Connery is excellent as Indiana’s father, completely convincing as an ex-adventurer who still has it in him for one last go as a daredevil. A Scottish father for Indy may seem a bit weird, but really, is it?

John Rhys-Davies returns to his “Raiders…” role with a warm welcome – he is still utterly loveable and moving as his character.

And then there is young River Phoenix, who makes a small appearance in the beginning of the film as a teenaged Indiana Jones. I love the entire beginning sequence, because not only does it give us a glimpse into the background of the Jones character (motivation behind it all, etc.) but also, we find out how Indy got his nickname (Phoenix walks into the Jones residence and we find out his pet dog’s name is Indiana).

And then there are the great locations, cinematography and excellent tongue-in-cheek gags that may not be as good as the original film, but to me, finalize the Jones chapter in concrete.

That is why I am a bit sad to hear another sequel has been planned. It will be nice to see Indy again, but is it really necessary? I think that at Ford’s age – sixty-something – Ford will come across as more of a cripple than any hero.

Still, I’ll be one of the first in line to see it when it (eventually) comes out.

I’d have to give “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade” 4.5/5 stars. “Raiders of the Lost Ark” gets 5/5, and “Indiana…Temple of Doom” gets 3/5.

Kudos to Spielberg, Lucas, Ford, Connery, Davies and Phoenix, plus all the others who made the trilogy what it is today.
 
Movie Guru Rating
An important film.  A substantive artistic achievement.  Resonant. An important film.  A substantive artistic achievement.  Resonant. An important film.  A substantive artistic achievement.  Resonant. An important film.  A substantive artistic achievement.  Resonant. An important film.  A substantive artistic achievement.  Resonant.
  4.5 out of 5 stars

 
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