Total Pageviews

Sunday, April 22, 2012

The Last Crusade: 1989

   Here we are.  The last Indiana Jones film.  Well...almost, but I'll address that later.  The year was 1989, and Steven Spielberg and George Lucas had finished, what was then the last rendition of Indiana Jones' adventures.  The chronicle was coming to a close, and they decided to end on a high note.  Well, they did, and although not as good as the first film, it came in at a close second.  My guess was that, they went back to the basics.  They had a chance to experiment, and it did well, however you can see that they played it safe with this film.  It goes back to biblical artifacts, like the first film, and uses the same villains, the Nazi's.  Hopefully this review won't become too identical to that of, "Raiders of the Lost Ark,"  but I'll try to finish strong with our third film in the franchise entitled, "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade."  Enjoy.

   Remember how I said that the only two films that would include character development, was this one, and the fourth one.  I suppose that before the trilogy ended, the film makers decided to give Indiana Jones some character.  But, why?  Was it to show us that he once had a past?  Well, you could say that because the opening scene does show us young Indiana Jones, and his struggle to keep an ancient artifact,  The Cross of Coronado, away from some archaeologists that obviously only wanted it for the money.  But that's been the general plot of the other films, so they're basically rehashing something we already knew about.  Nevertheless, The opening to, "The Last Crusade" is a very engaging one, even though it technically gives us no new information whatsoever.  But lets start with the actual plot of the film.

   The film is set in 1939, and the plot involves our hero searching for The Holy Grail, which the film described as, "The challis used by Christ during the last supper."  It was explained that whoever found the grail and drank from it, would be endowed with immortality.  Who wants the grail?  Why the Nazi's of course!  Who's trying to get to it before they do?  Why, Indiana Jones!  So, the story really just follows Raiders,  but with a few extra tweaks to the characters and the plot.  However, I like that they generally make these characters useless during the climax of the film where Jones is chasing the tank, because it adds more tension to the film.  It's like Indy's carrying everyone on his shoulders, and you really want to see him clear this last hurdle.  Now, there is a very important character that Indy brings along in this film.  That man is his father.

          Dr. Henry Jones is played by Sean Connery,  and I think that doing this was a fantastic choice.  Although not helping in the action packed parts of the film, (his earlier career took care of that) other than just accompanying him, he does provide the bantering necessary to give exposition without annoying the audience.  I don't know, I think it's his voice.  Jones' father is meant to provide us with (you guessed it) more character development!  Oh, and the reason that he's in this film, if you were wondering, is because he was captured by the Nazi's, to help them find the holy grail.  Jones explains to Donovan that, "Grail-lore is his hobby."  My only complaint with his character is that, although he appears in some quirky action scenes, it does weaken his quote on quote, "badassedness."  But nonetheless, while viewing the film, Sean Connery did add allot of fresh material for Indiana Jones to work with in the film, and at least I was able to care about him.

   Dr. Elsa Schneider is our damsel in distress, in, "The Last Crusade."  I believe that adding this character was very smart.  She is intelligent, knows her history, and pretty.  She seemed like a formidable candidate for Jones to save.  That is until we get a twist in the film, and find out who she really is.  Don't worry if you haven't seen the film I won't spoil it.  Anyway, I did like the including of this twist, because it was what really separated itself from, "Raiders of the Lost Ark."

Note:  The only reason that I am not writing a paragraph on the villain,is because I would just be repeating my paragraph from my, "Raiders of the Lost Ark" review.  There is also another twist...

It's that time of the review where I pick apart the film's action scenes.

1.  The opening chase scene on the train:

"Quick!  Derp face...activate!"

2.  The fight on the boat, during the storm:

"Oh no...I didn't get that joke...who are the aristocrats?"

3.  The speedboat chase scene in Italy:

"Wait...I don't even KNOW how to drive a boat!"

4.  Marcus Brody is captured

"Ohhhh man... Something's about to go down.  I just know it!"

5.  The Jones escape in a sidecar from the Nazi's


6.  The Jones boys escape the Nazi blimp with the plane

    "What happens at eleven o-clock?"

7.  Jones saves his father, and Marcus from a tank

  Suddenly the gravity of the situation sinks into Indy's head...

"Dad, you really seem less of a badass lying down like that." 

8.  The three trials


   So, that's the Indiana Jones franchise for you.  They are simply, well made, highly budgeted, action/adventure films.  Every time I watch them I enjoy them, and if you haven't heard of these films, check them out.  At times the culture can be a little racist, and the characters loud and obnoxious, but films like this are meant to have some cut-outs.  I think this aspect works, because the whole reason Spielberg and Lucas made these films was to pay homage to the classic adventure serials such as Flash Gordon, and movies like, "Treasure of the Sierra Madre."  Heck, if you've ever wondered how George Lucas came up with the idea to have a chapter recap of the last film in the Star Wars films, take a look at, "Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe."

     Look Familiar?

   But, I'm not here to write about Star Wars.  I just wanted to take you back to a time where something as action and adventure-packed could be made.  Never again would we see something like this.  After the three films, it would be the last we would ever see of an attempt to recreate the yesteryear's of cinema... least that's what we thought


Next Review:  Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull  2008


Post a Comment