In 1938, Professor Henry “Indiana” Jones, Jr. (Harrison Ford) works as a professor of archeology, that is, when he’s not traveling the world on adventures searching for ancient artifacts. When one such artifact is brought to his attention by Walter Donovan (Julian Glover), Indiana is intrigued. He decides to pursue the adventure when he learns that his own father, Professor Henry Jones, Sr. (Sean Connery) has gone missing in a pursuit of this artifact. What is this artifact? None other than the cup of Jesus, the way to immortality: the Holy Grail. Now Indiana must journey across the world in search of his father and the Grail while the always horrific Nazis close in.
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade marks the last movie of the original Indiana Jones trilogy. Indiana has already battled the Nazis in the pursuit of the Ark of the Covenant in Raiders of the Lost Ark and fought against an evil cult in Temple of Doom. Now, the trilogy turns back to focus on a religious artifact as the first one did. But this time, we are introduced to Indiana’s father, a character we have not met up until this movie. And the sub-plot of Indiana’s reconciliation with his father marks one aspect of this movie that makes it great. Clearly, obsessed with his work, we learn that Henry rarely spent time with Indiana as a child, something Indiana holds against him. But now, with an army of Nazis chasing behind them, and the Grail ahead, they must learn to work together. Here, actors Harrison Ford and Sean Connery thrive. The witty banter back and forth, along with some of the more heartfelt moments, make this action movie stand out as having well-written and well-performed characters. These two incredible actors truly deliver, matching each other enough that the audience recognizes a father-son connection, and yet the two are different enough to create two memorable characters.
Beyond the incredible character work, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade fits right in its action-adventure genre. From boat chases, motorcycle chases, brawls, aerial dogfights, and a long battle on a tank, The Last Crusade has enough action to keep you on the edge of your seat. And its action holds up, even by today’s standards. On top of that, the film is witty, fun, and always exciting, with enough comic relief to remind the audience of some of the absurdity of it all. I highly recommend this movie for anyone wanting to see a classic action movie, or anyone interested in the work of the late Sean Connery. There is not a dull moment.
*review by Brennan Kress