A fantastic sequel that rivals the original.
The at-the-time, presumed final installment of the “Indiana Jones” franchise was released
on Memorial Day weekend in 1989, where it scored over $400 million in proceeds against
its $55 million dollar budget. Unlike “Temple Of Doom”, this isn’t some half-hearted prequel,
but a true follow-up to the original picture – featuring call backs and returning characters.
The two-hour and seven minute film sees treasure hunter Indiana Jones following in his father’s
footsteps to find the Holy Grail before the Nazis can claim the artifact for themselves.
Donning the fedora and whip for a third time, Harrison Ford once again illustrates why he’s
such a captivating and capable leading man. He portrays Jones as a reluctant hero who’s
forced to reconcile his beliefs with his doubts. Despite being only twelve years Ford’s senior,
Sean Connery is more than convincing as his father, and makes for franchise-defining addition.
Their relationship, filled with bickering and hesitant trust, feels like a real, dysfunctional
father-son dynamic. And more importantly, is hugely entertaining a often funny. Alison
Doody portrays a beautiful, but untrustworthy accomplice, while Julian Glover is excellent
as the polite, but uncompromising villain. An exciting cold-open, set in the Utah desert
features River Phoenix as a teenage Indiana, who squares off against a group of grave robbers.
It’s a fun prequel-like sequence that effectively serves as a proof of concept for “The Young
Indiana Jones Chronicles” TV series that premiered a few years later. This opening chase also
establishes a number of the character’s now famous trademarks – working as great in-jokes
for the fans. Departing some sage advice to our young hero, the fedora-wearing grave robber
remarks, “You lost today, kid. But that doesn’t mean you have to like it.” In an effort to
offset the more macabre tone of the second film, director Steven Spielberg opted to lighten
up this movie with plenty of humor; both physical gags and amusing dialogue. The PG-13 rated
film is definitely the funniest entry in the series as a result – and is markedly more
enjoyable because of it. The entire film is a string of non-stop excitement, which includes
a train chase, a boat chase, a motorcycle chase, an airplane chase, and finally, a massive
tank chase. The action and spectacle in this centerpiece tank-sequence are ramped up even
further, filled with dangerous stunts, big explosions, and last-minute rescues. The acclaimed
director makes great use of his locations, like long unbroken crane shots inside a Venetian
library to reveal a discovered clue, or low-angle shots as Indy stares out over an impossible
precipice. John Williams’ score is some of his best work, incorporating bellowing horns
and sweeping strings into existing melodies for fabulous results. One of my all-time favorites
growing up, I practically wore out my widescreen VHS copy of this while falling asleep to it
on long summer nights. This picture’s awesome climax, that sees Indiana facing off against
a series of faith-based challenges – also compelled my friends and I to recreate our
own version for a short-film in college. We had lots of fun with what was basically a
scene-for-scene parody, and I remain particularly fond of “Montana Young And The Search For
The Monte Cristo” today – which has been available here on this YouTube channel since we first
created it ten years ago. No matter how many times I watch – there’s not a single moment
of this picture I don’t enjoy. And although it’s too derivative of “Raiders” to truly
be called the better film, it honestly is. A funnier version of a familiar formula, “Indiana
Jones And The Last Crusade” is the ultimate adventure for all movie fans. Let’s see what
you had to say about it. Unanimous praise was given to Ford and Connery’s
chemistry, as well as the action and humor – we both agree, this is an AMAZING film. That does it for this quick excerpt – but
if you’d like to watch full episodes of “Movie Night”, and submit your own reviews to be
included on the show, please visit the Jogwheel YouTube channel. My name is Jonathan Paula,
thanks for watching and have a good Movie Night!