Man in Black Review: Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989)

What is your name? Indiana Jones.

What is your quest? To find the Holy Grail.

What good is this movie? Read on to find out.

Having recently come off of Suburban Knights, watching a reviewing a film in which James Bond is Han Solo’s father and they’re searching for the Holy Grail was almost too much- especially when Sean Connery said the word “prize”. Luckily- or unluckily, depending on how you look at it- this is a short text review where I need to punch the keys for God’s sake, not a video that I’ll spend weeks on, so I’ll keep my James Bond, Cinema Snob, Star Wars, Monty Python, Highlander, and other quotes to a minimum. Or I’ll try. I mean, it’s only a model after all.

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade is a good conclusion to the Indiana Jones saga… or it was. It sums up the series nicely, providing an origin for the name “Indiana”, the fear of snakes, the whip and the hat. Sean Connery introduced as James Bond’s father is epic enough, but it’s extremely downplayed; far from being a James Bond figure, Henry Jones is an archaeologist in his own right that considers being shot at “a new experience for me”. He belongs in a museum!

As for the comedy, the action, and the adventure, (would Henry like to comment on the Ockshford comma?) they’re pretty much identical to the first movie. This isn’t to say that it’s anywhere near a carbon copy, but if you want pretty much an equal portion of each plus a hearty helping of intentional cheese, both of these movies are going to be your taste. Some scenes look fairly similar, but the execution is different enough that it is pulled off successfully. Best of all, Short Round and Willie are nowhere to be seen. Henry is the sidekick, Elsa Schneider is the love interest, and there can only be one of each.

I can’t deny that having watched some of the aforementioned movies colored my perceptions of The Last Crusade. For example, Indy had to face three challenges in order to complete his quest to find the Holy Grail. Much to my chagrin, this had nothing to do with shrubberies or unladen swallows (despite reference to birds).

My final thoughts on Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade is that I agree with the masses this time. I would actually categorize this as the best Indiana Jones movie, but probably not by much (certainly less than the gap between Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, two of my Top 10 films of all time). It’s certainly better than Temple of Doom (and I already explained the two main reasons why), and Kingdom of the Crystal Skull… well, it’s not a terrible movie, but compared to this, it’s Mamma Mia.

If you’re a fan of the Indiana Jones series, either you’ve already watched this, or you plan to. If you’re not familiar with the series, give it a look. You’re the Man Now, Dog.

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