Following the second outing, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade is able to re-capture the magic that made us fall in love with Indiana Jones.
What’s that they say? If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Forget the second film. The third Indiana Jones film takes us back to familiar territory. It’s honestly for the best. Both Marcus Brody (Denholm Elliott) and Sallah (John Rhys-Davies) return. We’re back on familiar ground with Indiana in the classroom. Okay, it’s only temporary before shooting off on another adventure.
Instead of the Ark of the Covenant, the search is on for the Grail. However, Jones isn’t so much searching for the Grail in as much as he’s trying to find his father, Henry Jones, Sr. (Sean Connery). Find him, he does…but that also means running into–yes, Nazis. The two end up searching for the Grail together. They don’t have much of a choice because of…you guessed it, Nazis!
There’s another Jones girl, Elsa Schneider (Alison Doody), in this film. She walks a rather fine line because when we first meet her, we don’t know if she’s good or bad. She makes her interests known very quick.
American businessman Walter Donovan (Julian Glover) gives the film a champagne villain. Meanwhile, Ernst Vogel (Michael Byrne) plays the bad Nazi. With the way the two portray each other, it serves as a counterbalance according to Spielberg in the bonus features. As Spielberg describes in the bonus features (Indy’s Friends and Enemies), using the Nazis as a villain gives the film a “get out of jail card.” He isn’t wrong because as I mentioned in my Raiders review, we know good will triumph evil.
More than in the first film, the James Bond influence is really brought to the forefront. This comes through by way of the film’s casting. Only Sean Connery can portray Indy’s dad. The two of them share great chemistry together when they share the screen. Watching the film years after I saw it for the first time, it’s really hard to imagine anyone else in the role. Their on-screen relationship is one of the best things about the film.
Once more, John Williams is a masterpiece at composing. He brings new tunes into the score while giving us the themes we know and love. After all, this guy is one of the best film composers of all time.
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade returns the franchise back to form after the second outing.
DIRECTOR: Steven Spielberg
SCREENWRITER: Jeffrey Boam
CAST: Harrison Ford, Denholm Elliott, Alison Doody, John Rhys-Davies, Julian Glover, and Sean Connery