As part of this weekend’s Steven Spielberg blogathon I decided to write something about my favourite of his movies. For more of these pieces about the films of Spielberg head over to Outspoken & Freckled, Citizen Screenings or It Rains… You Get Wet and peruse the rest. My choice is Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.
Its a widely held belief that Raiders of the Lost Ark is the best of Spielberg’s Indiana Jones trilogy. That’s right, I said ‘trilogy’ and I’ll fight anyone who claims otherwise. Anyway I agree that Raiders is the best of the bunch however The Last Crusade is my favourite of the three films. Its the one I can watch over and over, its like a big comfort blanket made out of dead Nazis and Sean Connery’s chest hair. In other words – I love it. Here’s why.
Basically Last Crusade has everything that’s great about the films distilled into its purest form. We get the rollicking opening sequence, this time with a young River Phoenix, which sets the scene and also gives a little back story into Indie’s past. After this its non-stop action and comedy with Harrison Ford and Sean Connery tearing shit up from one side of the world to another. Their chemistry as father and son is near perfect even though in real-life the pair only have around ten years between them. Nazis get punched, tanks are destroyed, and ancient relics are discovered. Its fantastic stuff.
Last Crusade is a return to form after the dark, strange, out of step Temple of Doom which lost some of the magic and replaced it with the most annoying female character ever committed to celluloid. In fact this time Indie’s love interest turns out to be a villain giving the story another fresher dimension and providing room for Harrison and Connery to provide the fun.
There are too many classic scenes to talk about them all but I’ll single out a few for your discretion. There’s the rat infested sewer scene in Venice, the thrilling escape from the Nazi castle, the frenetic tank chase, and much, much more. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade may not be the greatest movie featuring Indie but that’s only because it came after Raiders, but in my opinion its the most fun. Seriously what other film has both Sean Connery killing a plane with some birds and also provides the fact that in Hebrew, Jehovah begins with an ‘I’? Its the holy grail of father/son archeology movies and you should watch it right now!