Starring: Harrison Ford, Sean Connery, Alison Doody
Directed by: Steven Spielberg
Written By: Jeffrey Boam
Rating: PG (US) Running Time: 1 hr 58 min
The opening song and dance act from the Temple of Doom made it clear the series was headed in the wrong direction. I’m happy to report however, the very opening shot of the Last Crusade, being almost identical to the opening shot of Raiders of the Lost Ark, announces a return to form for Steven Spielberg and the Indiana Jones franchise.
All the old elements are here from the first movie. Indiana Jones recovers an artifact, only to have it taken away after a great opening action sequence. Just like Raiders. Indiana’s nemesis is a collector of rare antiquities and is working for – you guessed it, Hitler and the Nazis, who – you guested it, are searching for a ancient biblical artifact promising supreme power to its owner. Did George Lucas just recycle Raiders?
That strict adherence to the Raiders play book is actually one of the Last Crusades main weaknesses. Thankfully though, this third installment has plenty of surprises of its own. Thanks in no small measure to the addition of Sean Connery as Indy’s father, Henry Jones. In the Last Crusade, we get to learn a lot more about Indiana Jones and his family. Indy’s childhood is explored. What happened to his mother is revealed, and why he became estranged from his father. It’s also great to watch Harrison Ford and Sean Connery work together. The dialog between the two is sharp and witty, and they play off each other perfectly.
The action in any Indiana Jones movie is always fun to watch, and the Last Crusade is no different. From the castle escape and chase, to the battle with a Mark VII tank and the Nazis. The action as usual is fun, inventive and exciting to watch. The visual effects in this movie are thankfully kept to a minimum, and are a little more polished this time around.
If you liked Raiders of the Lost Ark, then you should like the Last Crusade too. You’ll have to forgive it’s many similarities to the first film though. This has a similar story structure to Raiders, but a much lighter tone.
This isn’t as nicely shot as Raiders of the Lost Ark, and the visual effects have dated a little. A HD showing is still recommended.
Best element for me:
Sean Connery is a very welcome addition to the franchise, and the interplay between him and Harrison Ford is absolutely worth the ticket price!