Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

"Essential"

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade Review


Released in 1989, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade is one of the reasons why I believe in the summer blockbuster. The movie provides us with unadulterated entertainment for more than two hours, which is a nearly impossible feat to pull off these days. And it's a sequel, to boot. I don't think there was thirty minutes of entertainment in Charlie's Angles: Full Throttle and American Wedding combined.

Those two ill-fated movies didn't have half the talent behind Last Crusade. Steven Spielberg is back behind the camera, with executive producer George Lucas co-creating the nifty story, which has Indiana Jones recruited by a wealthy collector (Julian Glover) to find nothing less than the Holy Grail. Along the way, Indy encounters a well-armed band of religious zealots, Nazis, and his fussy father (Sean Connery), the missing leader of the Grail project who doesn't embrace his son's sense of adventure.

One of the movie's great pleasures is watching Connery and Ford, two of the coolest people alive, onscreen together. Part of the credit must go to screenwriter Jeffrey Boam, who doesn't try to have the characters outdo each other in the rogue charm department. Connery plays the stick in the mud to the hilt, looking put-upon and carrying around his leather briefcase and umbrella everywhere.

At the same time, Connery is such a virile, confident presence that he's instantly likable. He's the anti-Kate Capshaw, the one reason why I can't watch Temple of Doom past the awesome opening sequence. Ford is terrific as always, and part of the fun is watching his usual unflappable character getting riled by his father's comments and unfamiliarity. It's the equivalent of watching a teenage girl and her dad at the mall and twice as funny.

It helps that Boam gives the two acting giants plenty of snappy banter, which they deliver with precise timing. The supporting cast also fares very well, especially two late actors -- River Phoenix (star of the dazzling and informative opening scene featuring a teenage Indy discovering his whip and fedora) and Denholm Elliot who shines as Indy's erudite, but clueless colleague, Marcus. The film's funniest sequence comes when Indy tells the Nazis that they'll never find Marcus, that "he'll blend in; you'll never see him again." Cut to a befuddled looking Elliot, walking around a crowded foreign, train station shouting, "Does anyone here speak English... or Ancient Greek?"

Spielberg's sense of timing in the movie is impeccable. You get the feeling watching The Last Crusade that there are no wasted or repetitive shots. And no one films action scenes like he does. The movie is a testament to that -- no excessive jump cuts or fancy editing (thanks in part to Lucas), and no cramped framing. If you're spending millions on a movie, the audience should see the spectacle. It's a lesson that has served him well for close to 30 years and will entertain audiences for countless more.

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, as well as the series' other two outings, is why people go to the movies and keep going back: they want to believe in a world outside of their own. In thirty years, kids will still be arguing over who gets to play Indy and adults will have to fight off the almost unbearable urge to join in the fun. I'll be among them.

Where there's Jones, there's fire.



Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

Facts and Figures

Genre: Action/Adventure

Run time: 127 mins

In Theaters: Wednesday 24th May 1989

Box Office Worldwide: $474.2M

Budget: $48M

Distributed by: Paramount Pictures

Production compaines: Paramount Pictures, Lucasfilm

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 88%
Fresh: 60 Rotten: 8

IMDB: 8.3 / 10

Cast & Crew

Producer:

Starring: as Indiana Jones, as Professor Henry Jones, as Dr. Marcus Brody, as Dr. Elsa Schneider, as Sallah, as Walter Donovan, as Indiana Jones (young), as Vogel, as Kazim, as Grail Knight, as Fedora, Alexei Sayle as Sultan, Paul Maxwell as Panama Hat, Isla Blair as Mrs. Donovan, as Butler

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Manchester by the Sea Movie Review

Manchester by the Sea Movie Review

This may not be the cheeriest movie of the season, but it's so skilfully written,...

Live By Night Movie Review

Live By Night Movie Review

Ben Affleck launched his directing career 10 years ago with his film of Dennis Lehane's...

La La Land Movie Review

La La Land Movie Review

After storming awards season with Whiplash two years ago, writer-director Damien Chazelle returns with something...

Assassin's Creed Movie Review

Assassin's Creed Movie Review

Hopes were high that this film might finally crack the curse of movies based on...

Silence Movie Review

Silence Movie Review

Faith is a topic Martin Scorsese can't quite shake, courting controversy with complex films like...

A Monster Calls Movie Review

A Monster Calls Movie Review

A difficult movie to market, this isn't actually the BFG-style fantasy adventure it looks like....

Monster Trucks Movie Review

Monster Trucks Movie Review

Word has it that a 4-year-old came up with the idea for this unapologetically silly...

Advertisement
Collateral Beauty Movie Review

Collateral Beauty Movie Review

Dramas exploring the nature of death and the true meaning of life are always in...

Paterson Movie Review

Paterson Movie Review

Unpredictable filmmaker Jim Jarmusch ricochets from his artful vampire movie Only Lovers Left Alive into...

I, Daniel Blake Movie Review

I, Daniel Blake Movie Review

At 80 years old, British filmmaker Ken Loach won his second Cannes Film Festival with...

Why Him? Movie Review

Why Him? Movie Review

Writer-director John Hamburg continues to recycle the formula that made his first hit Meet the...

Passengers Movie Review

Passengers Movie Review

Anchored by the almost ridiculously engaging Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence, this sci-fi movie travels...

Neruda Movie Review

Neruda Movie Review

Clever Chilean director Pablo Larrain (who also directed Natalie Portman's Jackie) takes on the Nobel-winning...

The Eagle Huntress Movie Review

The Eagle Huntress Movie Review

Narrated by Daisy Ridley (The Force Awakens), this documentary is one of the most gripping...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.