Dave’s 3-Word Review:
Amazing, but forgetful.
It’s easy to say that your favorite film in the Indiana Jones series is either the first or third…that goes without question. It’s harder to explain why, sometimes, one film is considered better than the other, because they are so darn close in how well they were done. I tried to keep that in mind when I watched Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, because like many of you, it really is a hard decision. Both are so good. However, I do have an answer as to which one is better. You may or may not disagree with me, so stick with me here as I try to validate my reasoning behind deciding that Raiders of the Lost Ark is the best film in the franchise.
So after recovering an item that he lost as a kid to a pack of greedy smugglers, Indiana Jones returns to teaching archeology at Marshall College. However, when his father goes missing in search for the legendary Holy Grail, Indiana goes searching for his father (Sean Connery), only to get wrapped up in the search himself, along with the Nazis and a puzzling diary, into finding the long lost relic.
Tell you what, I can’t get enough of Indiana Jones. This film took what was ignored or forgotten in Temple of Doom, turned it around, and gave us hope for the series. We are given a story we can love; something concrete and relatable….something we all know of, just like the Ark of the Covenant. I’ve mentioned this before, and I’ll mention it again, it doesn’t have to be a biblical thing, just something we have all heard of in the past. That being said, I loved that they used the Holy Grail, because that alone has been used at least twice more in other treasure hunting films since this.
Also, thank God that Short Round or the floozy blonde from the Temple of Doom didn’t make any cameos. The film acted like they never existed, and I’m glad. Instead, we were given more sidekicks that we can actually love. We had Sean Connery as the hilarious father to Indiana Jones, and of course Gimli as Sallah. Heck, even the guy who played Marcus did a great job. Adding another sidekick was risky after last time, just more possibilities to screw something up, but no…they all did a great job working alongside Ford. Also, the dynamic range and chemistry between the actors on screen was a perfect tool to use probably the most amount of humor in the series. It was funny, and that humor never diminished the tone of the film, or made you lose track of what was important. In fact, I think the lack of humor in Temple probably hurt it badly. Indiana needs to keep things light, because that’s a huge part of his personality. He’s cunning, smart, romantic, attractive, and yes, funny – but only funny when working alongside an actor he has true chemistry with.
I have very little to actually complain about in this film, but I’ll go ahead and try to say how this wasn’t as good as Raiders. I’ve seen all of these films before, as have you probably. The only thing I noticed that lacked in this film over the others was the amount of memorable scenes. I could almost remember the end scene shot for shot, but the rest of the film was a blur. Even when I watched it again, most of it felt new. That’s not to say that the scenes were any bad, because they definitely were great. It was just the fact that scenes in this film won’t be talked about as much as the others. I will say, however, that the end of the film – is the best scene out of all Indiana Jones films. Period. The only other complaint is the use of Nazis again…I get it, but it might have been cooler to see another villain.
All in all, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade reminds us of why this series belongs in your personal collection. It is one of the most beloved movie series of all time, and it’s hard to even begin to argue with that.