HOME |  JOIN |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
It Came from the Desert
Lodgers, The
Eagle vs Shark
American Assassin
Die, Mommie, Die!
All the Money in the World
Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds, The
Black Panther
Children's Hour, The
Mayhem
Sphere
Guyver, The
Night School
Loveless
Ragtime
Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters
Murders in the Rue Morgue
Wound, The
Scalawag
Let's Get Harry
Girl with Green Eyes
Sunchaser, The
Tom Jones
Downsizing
Defiant Ones, The
Centerfold Girls, The
Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner, The
120 BPM (Beats Per Minute)
Police Academy 3: Back in Training
   
 
Newest Articles
Wes Anderson's Big Daddies: Steve Zissou and Others
Bad Taste from Outer Space: Galaxy of Terror and Xtro
A Yen for the 1990s: Iron Monkey and Satan Returns
Hey, Punk: Jubilee and Rock 'n' Roll High School
Help! with The Knack: Richard Lester in 1965
Roll Up, Get Yer Free Cinema: The Shorts on the BFI Woodfall Blu-rays
Time for Heroes: The Dam Busters and How I Won the War
Hell is a City: Midnight Cowboy and Taxi Driver
Boris Goes Bonkers, Bela Goes Bats: The Old Dark House and Mark of the Vampire
Charles Bronson's Mid-70s: Breakheart Pass and Others
Kids in America: The Breakfast Club vs Metropolitan
80s Dance-Off: Staying Alive vs Murder-Rock vs Breakin'
The Cinematic Darkside of Donald Crowhurst
Dutch Courage: The Flodder Series
Coming of Age: Boys on Film 18 - Heroes on DVD
   
 
  Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade This Time He's Brought His DadBuy this film here.
Year: 1989
Director: Steven Spielberg
Stars: Harrison Ford, Sean Connery, Denholm Elliott, Alison Doody, John Rhys-Davies, Julian Glover, River Phoenix, Michael Byrne, Kevork Malikyan, Robert Eddison, Richard Young, Alexei Sayle, Alex Hyde-White, Paul Maxwell, Isla Blair, Vernon Dobtcheff
Genre: Comedy, Action, Fantasy, Adventure
Rating:  9 (from 3 votes)
Review: Utah, 1916, and a troop of Boy Scouts are traipsing through the majestic scenery on an expedition when two of them break off from the main party on discovering an archaeological dig nearby. Teenage Indiana Jones (River Phoenix) notes the leader has found a priceless, gold, jewel-encrusted cross but has no intention of doing anything with it than keeping it for himself which outrages the young man: after all, artefacts like that belong in a museum where everyone can see them, not locked away in a private collection. Thus he sneaks into the cave and steals the treasure in the name of posterity, commencing a chase which has Jones escape on horseback then leap onto a circus train - but he'll learn a hard lesson today.

The third Indiana Jones instalment was all too aware of the controversy the second had brought out in several sections of society, but though it was a sizeable success it was regarded as too much of a departure from the widely acknowledged classic that was the first, Raiders of the Lost Ark. Which was why with Part 3 director Steven Spielberg was keen to get back to what had appealed to audiences with that blockbuster of eight years previously, which meant essentially much the same plotting as he had used before, the same mix of fantasy adventure, romance and humour, the rollicking John Williams score and bringing back the Nazis as the main antagonists, a safe bet since there were very few who would accuse the production of missteps with that lot.

It was very nearly a copy of what had been so popular, which would have made for a sense of overfamiliarity too contrived to leave us feeling we had seen something fresh and novel. Fortunately, Spielberg used one of his tropes to inject a different spin here: it was not romance which fuelled the central relationship, but his favourite theme of parental responsibility, even then getting to be a regular occurrence as his default concern when making his stories. This could have left us thinking, not again, get over the daddy issues Mr Spielberg, only he had the bright idea of casting James Bond as Indiana Jones' father: step forward Sean Connery as Dr Henry Jones Sr, who doesn't appear until almost the second half of the film which rendered the search for him all the more telling.

Indy learns early on, after the opening sequence which saw the soon-to-be late River Phoenix doing an amusing juvenile variation of Harrison Ford, that his parent has gone missing while seeking his lifelong obsession, the Holy Grail, but has posted his notes in diary form back to his son in America from which he realises Henry disappeared somewhere in Venice. Off he goes after him, summoning up the need for parental approval in adventure serial tribute, which has been there from the very first sequence as we begin to understand the formative influences that maketh the swashbuckling archaeologist we see before us as the man he stumbled across in Utah all those years ago was clearly who he sought to emulate because his actual father was so distant once his mother died.

It's actually kind of sad when you think about it that Indy was so starved of a role model he would turn to such a vivid memory instead, not that Last Crusade gave you much opportunity to mull that over, with the set-up detailing a wealthy collector (Julian Glover) putting him on the trail to Europe accompanied by a returning Denholm Elliott (John Rhys-Davies was back as well, later on), indicating this was now paying its respects to its characters' screen history as well as those vintage tales of derring do Raiders attempted to recapture so triumphantly. Star who never quite made it Alison Doody was the thankless love interest this time around, but didn't get much of a look in once Jones Sr appeared, and thanks to Tom Stoppard's uncredited dialogue rewrites the rapport between Ford and Connery managed to suggest a genuine history in between slightly tediously funny, tough love shtick that carried the film over plenty of spectacular stunts and special effects oddly less, er, effective in 1989 than they were in 1981. Some say it should have ended here, but nostalgia is a powerful thing, as this proves.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 968 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Steven Spielberg  (1946 - )

Currently the most famous film director in the world, Spielberg got his start in TV, and directing Duel got him noticed. After The Sugarland Express, he memorably adapted Peter Benchley's novel Jaws and the blockbusters kept coming: Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Raiders of the Lost Ark and the Indiana Jones sequels, E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, Jurassic Park, Minority Report, Catch Me If You Can, 2005's mega-budget remake of War of the Worlds, his Tintin adaptation, World War One drama War Horse and pop culture blizzard Ready Player One.

His best films combine thrills with a childlike sense of wonder, but when he turns this to serious films like The Color Purple, Schindler's List, Saving Private Ryan, Munich and Bridge of Spies these efforts are, perhaps, less effective than the out-and-out popcorn movies which suit him best. Of his other films, 1941 was his biggest flop, The Terminal fell between two stools of drama and comedy and one-time Kubrick project A.I. divided audiences; Hook saw him at his most juvenile - the downside of the approach that has served him so well. Also a powerful producer.

 
Review Comments (3)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which film has the best theme song?
Spectre
The Ups and Downs of a Handyman
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Enoch Sneed
Paul Smith
  Jamie Nichols
Andrew Pragasam
George White
Darren Jones
  Butch Elliot
   

 

Last Updated: