Rakesh's movie talk
Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade (1989)

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Directed by Steven Spielberg
Written by Jeffrey Boam (based on story by George Lucas and Menno Meyjes, and characters created by George Lucas and Phillip Kaufman)
Starring Harrison Ford, Sean Connery, Denholm Elliot, Alisson Doody and Julian Glover


Making a third Indiana Jones movie is inevitable. With George Lucas producing the two earlier flicks, it is only natural that he wants a money-spinner, in the spirit of his Star Wars trilogy. Spielberg on the other side was suffering from the box office failures of his more serious efforts like The Colour Purple and Empire of The Sun. He wanted the audience to come back; and what else is there but the crowd-pleasing flick like Indiana Jones to make a comeback on the mainstream cinema. Speaking of failure, you do know about Lucas and the duck, don't you?

Aside from the need for a sequel, Spielberg also wanted to apologise for the violence in the second movie. He realised that it actually alienated his favourite audience, the children, and wanted to bring Indy back on an adventure all the family can share. Speaking family, Spielberg included one for Indy, his father. More on that later.

This film begins with an extended flashback, showing Indiana Jones as a young man (Phoenix Rivers in his best Harrison Ford imitation) who encounters a bunch of smugglers. The flashback relates to how the young Indy got the hat, whip and even the cut on the chin. It's what comic lovers would refer to as 'origin scene'. Then we see the older Indy (Harrison Ford, naturally) in typical Indiana Jones action scene. It ends with Indy finally getting back the artifact that belongs to the museum.

At home he realises that his father goes missing and finds out that his father, Prof. Henry Jones Sr.(Sean Connery) has been working for a wealthy collector who is financing the senior's personal quest for the Holy Grail. You see, the Holy Grail is the cup Christ drank from during the Last Supper. It is believed that drinking from this cup will give you eternal life.

A couple of clues drag Indy to Venice where he encounters his fathers assistant and some Nazis. Then, he finally finds his father. Here onwards the real fun begins. However, to read the review from here onwards as well, you must bear in your mind that I am a Sean Connery fan, so I can be a bit biased. Why? Connery plays Indy's father and honestly he is one of the main reason why you should see the film.

I don't remember seeing Connery in an all out comedy role, but here he comes very close. This time around, Indy doesn't have Kate Capshaw's Willie as his foil - his dad was enough. There are many riotous and supposedly quiet scenes where the two reflects on each others relationship. No, not the two, but just Indy who wants this adventure to bring them closer. Henry Jones Sr. is just indifferent to this and the rapport between the two gives rise to many hilarious situations.

When casting was mentioned for someone to play Indy's father, Spielberg wanted someone strong to play against Harrison Fords own strong persona. Connery was perfect. Playing the English, bookish, Medieval Literature professor, he is a perfect antithesis for Ford's energetic, all American quick-on-the-foot Indiana Jones. It doesn't mean that they are different like night and day. There's this woman, ...oh, you got to watch it. A Freudian delight that will also tickle your bones.

There are plenty of action scenes in this movie and they move the plot along rather than looking like a cut and paste stuff. With strong comedy, courtesy of the script, and the Jones boys, the movie moves briskly, and never bores.

A fourth film is in the making now and it is not confirmed who will be supporting Ford in the casting department. I really hope that Connery will be back too. After all, he is the reason why I rate this film as the best Indiana Jones flick, even better than the first.