Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
The man in the hat is back... And this time he's brought his dad.
Archaeology, Nazis and that whip. Yes, Harrison Ford returns for the third instalment of the Indiana Jones trilogy. Except this time around Indy has the added pressure of working alongside his feisty father, Henry Jones (Connery).
The film kicks off with an extended flashback to Indiana's early days and our young hero (Phoenix) having his first taste of adventure during a scout trip in Utah. Jump forward to the late 30s and a new quest begins, with Indiana Jones joining Henry Jones in his hunt for the Holy Grail. But when Henry is kidnapped, it is up to Indy to piece together the clues, track down his father and triumph over those evil Nazis.
Based much more on the Raiders of the Lost Ark formula that made the Indiana Jones films so iconic, The Last Crusade is packed with just as much action adventure than ever before. From the opening chase on a train, to fights on moving tanks, there’s sure to be a thrill or two for every member of the audience. And even if swashbuckling adventure isn’t your thing, you’re sure to be won over by the comedy, particularly the father-son relationship between Ford and Connery. Without a doubt, it’s the funniest of the Indiana Jones movies whilst remaining faithful to its original roots.
Ford and Connery, as always, offer excellent performances whilst bringing a level of humanity not really seen before in Indy’s character. Alongside an enjoyable look at a younger Indy by Phoenix, The Last Crusade is supported by a wide range of characters, each providing their own brand of humour to the film.
There’s certainly nothing like an old fashioned good verses evil escapade, and The Last Crusade effortlessly ticks all the boxes which make this genre so entertaining. From the moment John Williams' iconic music starts, you know you’re going to be in for a ride.
The year is 1938, and Adolf Hitler, his sights still set on ancient artefacts, has his henchmen searching the globe. When Henry Jones (Sean Connery) disappears on his lifelong quest for the Holy Grail, his son Indiana (Harrison Ford) picks up where his father left off, hoping to reach the sacred cup before the Nazis do, and rescue his dad in the process.
Admit it, you were disappointed with Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. Oh, it was alright, it wasn't precisely bad, but... Well, fortunately Last Crusade is so much better. The return of characters from the first Indiana instalment, hapless Brody (Denholm Elliot) and helpful Sallah (John Rhys-Davis), is a step in the right direction, but it is the inspired casting of Connery as Indy's dad that really lifts this movie up - the tetchy exchanges between father and son are a real joy.
The plot zips along nicely too, hurtling from Venice to Berlin to the Middle East with relentless momentum and in an astonishing variety of vehicles: speedboats, zeppelins, aeroplanes, motorcycles, tanks... Anybody complaining that many of the elements - Nazis, long-lost religious relic, etc. etc. - should be sternly silenced. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade is pure, escapist entertainment, and you just can't knock that.
Screenings of this film:
|1993/1994 Autumn Term – (70mm)|
|2001/2002 Summer Term – (70mm)|
|2006/2007 Summer Term – (35mm)|