Sunday, December 8, 2019

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.png 

Like its predecessors, the third Indiana Jones movie opens with a subplot irrelevant to the main storyline, centering around the cross of explorer Coronado, although the opening scenes do give Indy’s backstory as a Boy Scout who believes said artifact belongs in a museum, and gives the origins of elements such as his fear of snakes, proficiency with a whip, and signature fedora. The flashback hints at the primary plotline of the search for the fabled Holy Grail initiated by Indy’s father, the Nazis seeking the MacGuffin as well, somewhat illogically thinking they could use it for mass application across their military forces.

Sure enough, Indy, simultaneously seeking his missing father, aims to get the Grail before the Nazis, beginning his search in Venice, Italy, where he has an encounter with a brotherhood seeking the protect the artifact. One of them, Kazim, has an awesome quote that pretty much sums up my personal religious views: “Ask yourself: Why do you seek the Cup of Christ? Is it for His glory, or for yours?” Jones does find his father held prisoner in an Austrian castle, the two joining on their search for the Grail and generally having some humorous chemistry, with Last Crusade, akin to modern Marvel Studios films, striking a good balance between humor and action.

The action ultimately climaxes at the sanctum where the Grail lies, although akin to Raiders, the conclusion somewhat renders the whole search for the artifact irrelevant. Nonetheless, the film is probably my personal favorite of the franchise, given the aforementioned religious commentary, with Sean Connery definitely being one of the best sidekicks to Indiana Jones. Indy’s friend Sallah, who returns in the third film, has been ballyhooed as a “great” sidekick by critics whom nostalgia has blinded, but I never found him that interesting a character, and while the film has largely aged well, I again think movies should be judged based on their actual content and cohesion.

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