When Dr. Henry Jones Sr. suddenly goes missing while pursuing the Holy Grail, eminent archaeologist Indiana Jones must follow in his father's footsteps and stop the Nazis.
If any upcoming filmmaker or screenwriter wants to master the art of Comedy + Action, this is the film to watch and dissect. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade starts off with a bang and doesn't stop until the final shot of Indy and his gang riding off into the sunset.
All along this two hour ride we're laughing and on the edge of our seat at all kinds of action is going on. In this 3rd installment, we sort of get that Indiana Jones will always get out of the many sticking situations he gets himself and others into. So the art of this film is getting the audience to enjoy it as much as possible through crazy action sequences and funny bits. The amount of films that has stolen the emotional template from this Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade in the recent years is in 100's (most recently Iron Man). And in this business having another filmmaker steal your shots and sequences is the greatest form of flattery.
Of course this wasn't the 'Last Crusade' because they decided to make another one 18 years later. And it's really great that they decided to do one more (or many more) because this film really left with you wanting more.
I'm no Steven Spielberg fanatic or even a gigantic Indiana Jones fan for that matter, but going back and watching this film really made me understand how terrific a filmmaker he is. This film is an emotional roller coaster while always making you feel comfortable at the same time. Without using any special effects at all (or very few), this action film will stand the test of time for years and years to come. And that's saying something! If you go back and watch the many action films made in the 1980's, barely any of them really stand up even now much less 10-20 years from now.
Harrison Ford is a master leading man. He was born to be a Hollywood actor. And having him share his screen time with Sean Connery, who plays his father, is a great joy. There really is only about 2 minutes of actual screen time between the two because most of the time they are running away from or running to another conflict. It's all about that Holy Grail and there's going to get it using Dad's bible – something he's been working on for many years.
This is a film that really lacks on a true antagonist, but who cares. I guess there's that rich guy who wants the Grail for himself so he can live forever. Or Illssa, the German doctor who sleeps with both Jones' (not at the same time – this is a PG-13 movie) but ends up betraying them and teams up with the Nazis of all organizations. That Grail can do a lot of crazy things to people. In the end, Indiana must get to the Grail to save the life of his father and himself. And Indy does what Indy does. He's a cool cat, perhaps the coolest in movie history. Yes, he seems to wear a tad too much leather in mostly hot, desert climates. That whip seems a tad dated even for the 1940's. A knife or a gun seem to be better choices. And the hat never seems to fall off no matter what the situation is – or in the few situations it does, it always seems to find its owner.
But go Indiana Jones and go Harrison Ford. Keep making these movies until you can no longer stand up. The world is a better place because of these films. We are entertained and that's really what movies are for – to entertain us. And no one can do it better than Steven Spielberg. I just have to tip my hat (or Indy's hat) to him. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade really made me realize that.