A strong story, witty script and more emphasis on character over action make INDIANA JONES AND THE LAST CRUSADE the finest of the three Indy films of the 1980s. No, let's check that - Sean Connery and Harrison Ford make it the finest, with help from a strong story, witty script and more emphasis on character over action.
Although not as much fun as RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK, THE LAST CRUSADE does manage to wash away most of the bad taste left over from THE TEMPLE OF DOOM. Harrison Ford gives his best performance yet as Indy, probably due to finally having somebody his equal to play against in Sean Connery. Choosing Connery as Henry Jones, Sr. was a brilliant casting move - the action star of the 1960s playing the father of one of the best action stars of the 1980s. But although Connery had recently proved he could still trade blows with the best of them in the James Bond film NEVER SAY NEVER AGAIN, here he gets to play against type as a befuddled and seemingly harmless professor to whom his son's life of danger and intrigue is completely intolerable. The growing relationship between father and son make THE LAST CRUSADE the deepest of the three films, although that's not saying much. It is also the funniest, with Connery proving once again, as he always did in the Bond films, to have expert comic timing. It's not that he's given jokes to say, but that he has such a way with words that you'll probably walk away from the movie quoting stuff like "I wrote it down in the diary so I wouldn't have to remember!" in a Scottish accent.
With action sequences that match any in the
previous installments, and more quotable dialogue than in RAIDERS and
TEMPLE OF DOOM put together, INDIANA JONES AND THE LAST CRUSADE is a
near-perfect end to the original trilogy. ½ - JB
ADD ANOTHER QUOTE AND MAKE IT A GALLON
"But you said he had a two day head start. That he would blend in, disappear."
"Are you kidding? I made all that up. You know Marcus. He once got lost in his own museum."
INDIANA JONES AND THE FEATHERS OF THE HORSE
Fittingly, this film, set in the late '30s, has at least two references to the Duck Soup, when a mention of the word "tanks" brings the reply "You're welcome.". The first, obviously, is when Dr. Jones Sr. actually mentions them ("I should have mailed it to the Marx Brothers!") while berating Indiana. The second is a joke lifted straight from