Saturday, 17 December 2016

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (4 Stars)

This is the third film in the Indiana Jones series, made in 1989, five years after "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom". Today is the first time I've watched it, thanks to a cheap box set that I picked up in the Black Friday sales. Online, of course. Do you think I'm stupid enough to go to a store and get into a fight? If a little old lady bashed me over the head with her umbrella I wouldn't stand a chance anyway. I don't hit women, not even in self defence, so she could easily rip the box set out of my hand.

Indiana Jones doesn't have the same reservations as me. He's a serious adventurer, so he hits women when he has to. Admittedly, some women are evil, like Dr. Elsa Schneider. But that makes no difference to me. If an evil woman wants to hit me, let her get on with it. If all men thought the same as me women would take over the world, but is that such a bad thing?

This film is about the biggest quest of all: the search for the Holy Grail. There have been legends about quests to find the Grail, quests which may or may not have taken place, for over 1000 years. Various films have been written on the subject, including this one. The Grail is connected with Jesus Christ, but it's not completely certain what it is. Most commonly it's a cup, as in this film, but other legends describe it as a cloth, a plate or a stone. What's common to all the legends is that it somehow imbues eternal life.

Indiana Jones is an archaeologist in a general sense, searching for ancient artefacts all over the world. In this film we meet his father, Dr. Henry Jones, who has an obsession with the Holy Grail and has spent all his life trying to find it.

The search for the Grail leads through Venice, considered by many to be the most beautiful city in the world. It's one place I'd like to visit at least once. If I ever write a bucket list I'll put a holiday in Venice in first place. But I doubt I'll write a bucket list. Most of what I'd write on it would be unrealistic things, like walking on the Moon, so when I get to the end of my life I'll look at the list and feel depressed that I've hardly done anything I wanted to.

The search for the Grail also leads through Berlin. There are a few cities which claim to be Europe's capital city, for instance London, Paris and Rome, but it's my personal opinion that only Berlin has a right to the title. Since the film takes place in 1938 it's the height of the Third Reich. One thing that has always attracted me to Nazi Germany is the military regalia, the imitation of the symbols of the Roman Empire. I can well understand that simple people who didn't know the evil beneath the surface were filled with pride when they saw this display of German might. I too might have been ripped along for a while. Remember, there's no shame in believing something that's wrong. There's only shame in being blind to facts that prove you're wrong.

I enjoy "The Last Crusade", even though it's not up to the level of "Temple of Doom". Buy the box set, like me. You won't be disappointed.

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  1. It really is a great family film. Sean Connery perhaps at his very best. I enjoyed how he played against his most famous role by being rather clumsy and vulnerable, and yet keenly intellectual. His dialogue to Ford near the end where he actually addresses him by his name is one of the most emotive moments in film history.

    1. I agree that Sean Connery was the best thing about the film. I should have mentioned him in my review. Thanks for mentioning it. I know my reviews aren't perfect, that's why I love it when people leave comments!


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