Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade Review
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After taking on Nazis and cult members in his first two movies, in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford) finally meets his match: his father.

As the third installment of the Indiana Jones series opens, director Steven Spielberg takes a step back to the famed archaeologist/adventurer’s youth—and, presumably, his first action-packed artifact-rescuing adventure. Though the young Indy (played by River Phoenix) fails in his first mission, it gives fans a quick insight into the beloved character before stepping into Indy’s future—to 1938, where a grown Indy finally rescues the Crown of Coronado, the relic that slipped through his fingers when he was young.

Professor Jones doesn’t get to enjoy his success for long, though. Shortly after returning to his classroom, Indy is summoned by Walter Donovan (Julian Glover), a wealthy collector who’s found a tablet that offers clues to the location of the Holy Grail. Indy has no interest in the Grail—in fact, he doesn’t even believe it exists. But then he discovers that the first man whom Donovan sent in search of the Grail has disappeared—and that man is Indy’s father, Professor Henry Jones (Sean Connery).

  
 
So Indy hops the first plane to Venice—where his father was last seen—and he quickly finds himself in the middle of another action-packed, Nazi-filled, relic-chasing adventure.

I guess you can say that Indiana Jones meets Bond—James Bond—in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. But while the ultra-classy Connery is brilliantly stuffy as the elder Professor Jones, The Last Crusade is pure Jones—Indiana Jones. Indy is just as smooth (and occasionally cheesy) as ever. There are plenty of one-liners and even some inside jokes for Indy fans. And the action is once again nearly non-stop. With each step that Indy takes toward reaching his father—and maybe even the Grail—another obstacle presents itself.

Still, thanks in part to Connery and his character, The Last Crusade has more depth than the previous two movies. From the beginning, Spielberg prepares viewers for what’s to come by developing Indy’s character more than ever before. Viewers learn more about his past—and about how he became the world-famous adventurer. They see him put on his famous hat and pick up a whip for the first time. But with the addition of Indy’s estranged father comes a whole new kind of tension—one that goes far deeper than the tension (of the romantic variety) that’s found in both Raiders of the Lost Ark and Temple of Doom. The father-son relationship adds a whole lot more drama to the story. And though the added depth and drama may make the film a little subtler—a little more grown up, perhaps—it’s still an action-packed adventure. It also makes it an adventure film that’s worthwhile for more than just the typical adventure crowd.


DVD Review:
As with both Raiders of the Lost Ark and Temple of Doom, The Last Crusade’s disc in Indiana Jones: The Adventure Collection is loaded with extras. As with the first two movies, The Last Crusade features include galleries and storyboards. But there are also a couple of other features—including an AFI tribute to Indy’s women, in which Karen Allen, Kate Capshaw, and Alison Doody discuss their characters. There’s also a feature entitled Indy’s Friends and Enemies, which discusses the villains, henchmen, sidekicks, friends, and leading ladies in the original trilogy.

When you put the set’s three discs together, you get a plethora of interesting (and enlightening) special features that will definitely bring back all kinds of memories of the first three Indy movies. After going through all of them, you’ll be even more excited to see Indy 4.

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