Steven Spielberg is great when he takes advantage of a silhouette. His best example of this is with Indiana Jones. He’ll hide the character in deep sun so you only make out the recognizable shadow of his famous fedora hat and bullwhip by his side. I treasure a moment like this as “Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade” approaches it’s closing credits and he rides off into the sunset along with his father and their trusty companions. (Other great silhouettes happen in “Raiders Of The Lost Ark” – when he first meets Marion, when he’s traversing through the South American jungle or when he’s digging towards the Well Of The Souls. I love it every time I see it.)
“The Last Crusade” no longer offers the mystery of the famed archeologist. Unlike “Raiders” where Indy only says what is necessary and his past experiences remain unknown, this story offers a background. How does Indy first dabble into the world of rare antiquities and what did he miss out on as a child followed by an adventurous transition into adulthood? There are some answers here.
Harrison Ford keeps Indy stoic and only amusingly frustrated when interfered with by pesky Nazis and a wonderfully naively innocent Sean Connery as his father. Their pursuit for the Holy Grail, the cup that belonged to Christ at The Last Supper, is a similar storyline to Indy’s first adventure. However, what sets it apart is the relationship between father and son. I imagine it’s a similar connection between a lot of dads and their sons and therefore I have a nice affection for the film.
Spielberg continues to be great with his action moments by keeping it light and fun. River Phoenix echoes a young Indy as Ford would have played it as a pre teen. It’s a convenient short story to show how the character earns the hat, the jacket, the whip and even his infamous fear of snakes.
Boat chases, underground relics, rats and fist fights a top a tank are well edited and clearly shot.
The 3rd of four wonderful adventures is still fun to watch and offers enjoyment that many of today’s blockbusters have simply forgotten.
It’s always exciting to ride alongside Indiana Jones.