Movie Review: Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989)

Last Crusade

 

Plot:

While out horse-riding with his Boy Scout Troop, 13-year old Indiana Jones (River Phoenix) discovers a group of thugs that found a golden cross. Indiana, who wants the cross in a museum instead of in someone’s personal possession, steals it. Back at home, where his father, Henry Jones, Sr. (Sean Connery) is busy doing research on the Holy Grail, Indiana is forced to hand the cross over to the sheriff who returns it to the thugs’ leader.

Years later, Indiana recovers the cross and donates it to a museum as he always wished. He is back teaching archaeology at the university and he is swamped with work and over eager students. Walter Donovan (Julian Glover), an ancient artifact collector, meets Indiana and tells him that Henry has disappeared while looking for the Grail in Venice. Indiana finds a package in the mail from his father, containing the diary Henry kept with all the Grail data he has.

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Indiana and his friend Marcus travel to Venice where they meet Dr. Elsa Schneider (Alison Doody). Indiana immediately finds a secret passageway under a library. Indy and Elsa find a complete version of the inscription Henry had used, revealing the location of the Grail. The passageway is set alight by members of the Brotherhood of the Cruciform Sword, a society that protects the Grail from evil goers who want it only for power. After Indiana catches the Brotherhood’s leader, Kazim (Kevork Malikyan), he reveals to Indiana where Henry is being held captive – Castle Brunwald on the Austrian-German border.

Indiana rescues Henry but is betrayed by Elsa and Walter Donovan, both undercover Nazis. They had patiently waited for Indiana to find the Grail, and tie him and his father up in the castle while awaiting execution. The Jones’ escape and head to Berlin to retrieve the diary from Elsa. They are successful but Indiana has a terrifying face to face encounter with Adolf Hitler.

After escaping capture yet again, Indiana and Henry meet up with Sallah (John Rhys-Davies) in Hatay. They learn that their friend Marcus (Denholm Elliot), who had accompanied them on the quest, has since been abducted by the Nazis. The Nazis are moving towards the Grail’s location with the map they stole from Marcus.

Indiana, Henry and Sallah find the Nazis. Henry is captured while trying to rescue Marcus. Indiana and Sallah manage to save both Henry and Marcus.

The four catch up with the Nazis once again who are now trying to retrieve the Grail. In the temple there are a series of booby-traps and they know only Indiana has the abilities to get through them. As motivation, the Nazis fatally shoot Henry because they know the only way Indiana can save his father is through the restorative powers of the Grail. Indiana gets through the traps and finds a room with plenty fake replicas of the Grail and one true one. The keeper of the Grail tells Indiana that he can have it if he chooses the correct cup; any other cup will kill him. Elsa and Donovan arrive and she betrays Donovan by giving him the wrong cup and killing him. Indiana chooses the right cup and rushes back to his father, restoring him to full health. Elsa forgets the keeper’s warning and takes the cup out of the boundaries it is supposed to stay in and the temple begins to collapse. She dies when she tries to save the cup, and Indiana nearly goes the same way but listens to his father and leaves the cup. He, Henry, Sallah and Marcus escape into the sunset while the temple collapses behind them.

last crusade knightsd

Rating: 7.5/10

I liked this movie so much more than the Temple of Doom. It wasn’t nearly as depressing or dark and had the trademark adventures from both previous movies. I loved that they made the Nazis the enemy again. I like that their enemies were basic, you know (not that the Nazis were basic or not a proper enemy, rather that everyone had a common enemy and everyone could associate)

I am not a fan of woman beater Connery and thought his character was rather idiotic. He seemed strange and a bad father and nothing he did endeared him to me. To be fair, I probably would have liked the character more if someone decent portrayed Dr. Jones Senior.

Even with her questionable ethics, I liked Dr. Elsa Schneider. She is an impressive female lead and a very decent villain. I found her classy and beautiful and intelligent and miles different from Willy (a definite improvement).

I loved the return of Sallah and the University and how popular Jones was with his students.

The scene where Indiana comes face to face with Hitler was quite scary. I liked how much more authentic the Nazis were – in the Raiders of the Lost Ark they were portrayed as a bit dumb, but in the Last Crusade it is obvious that they were an evil force rapidly gaining speed. Those flags hanging everywhere were quite chilling.

I am happy I started watching the Indiana Jones franchise. It is fun and entertaining and I can see myself watching at least two of the three again at a later stage.

This movie had everything needed to be a good action movie. It moved fast and I wasn’t bored at all. Really good stuff!

Movie Review: Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984)

temple of doom

Plot:

It’s 1935, and Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford) is risking his life again. He narrowly escapes a crime boss, Lao Che (Ray Chiao), in Shanghai with his sidekick Shorty (Jonathan KeQuan) and gets the unfortunate task of having to take night club singer Willie Scott (Kate Capshaw) with them. They board an airplane but the plane belongs to Lao and when the flight attendants and pilot skydive out of the plane they are in deep trouble. The plane crashes in the Himalayas and the trio escapes alive through Indiana’s enviable skills.

The first village they get to is Mayapore, and the residents are in a very bad way. They believe the poverty and famine that is plaguing them as well as the mysterious disappearance of their children is because their Sivalinga, a sacred stone they had in a shrine, was stolen by the residents of the nearby Pankot palace. They believe Indiana was sent to them by the Hindu god Shiva to retrieve the stone and restore their village. Indiana naturally agrees to look into the matter and hypothesizes that the Sivalinga might be one of the five famous Sankara stones that give fortune and glory.

The trio is welcomed at the Palace by the Pankot Palace Prime Minister ChattarLal (Roshan Seth) and Maharajah Zalim Singh (Raj Singh) who is still a child. They are invited to spend the night at the palace and attend festivities, where Willie passes out when offered some monkey and eyeball soup. Indiana’s enquiry on whether the palace and an ancient Thuggee cult are indeed behind the village’s downward spiral is politely rebuffed.

willy and the monkey

Within a few hours Indiana is attacked by an assassin. He saves himself and discovers underground passage ways, but a bad move by Shorty causes the room to start closing in on them. Eventually Willy frees them after some hysterical screaming. The trio heads further into the tunnels to see what is going on.

They reach an underground temple where the Thuggees are busy worshipping the Hindu goddess Kali through human sacrifice. High Priest Mola Ram (AmrishPuri) is in possession of three of the five Sankara Stones. He is also behind the enslavement of the village children who are now forced to mine for the two other stones. Ram is hoping to rule the world when he has all five stones. Indiana wants to get the three stones but he, Willie and Shorty are caught. Indy is whipped then forced to drink an evil potion that causes him to serve Mola. Willie is kept as sacrifice and Shorty is put to work in the mines. He manages to break free and wakes Indiana up by burning him with a torch. The Maharajah, also under mind control, uses a voodoo doll to stop Indiana. Shorty awakens the Maharajah with the same methods and afterwards the Maharajah points them in the right direction. Mola gets away but Indy and Shorty get the stones, save Willie and free the village kids.

When the trio escapes, they are cornered by Mola and his men on a rope bridge. After giving Shorty and Willy instructions to tie themselves to the bridge, he cuts it and some of the henchmen become crocodile dinner in the river below. Mola tries to overpower Indy but Indiana invokes an incantation to Shiva to punish Mola for abusing power. The stones grow red hot and Mola and two of the stones fall into the river, and Indiana catches the third. The henchmen are caught by members of the British Army.

bridge

Indiana, Willie and Shorty return to the village to return the stone. The villagers are very happy because they are becoming prosperous once more, and when the children return the trio are the heroes. Indy and Willie kiss after a short argument and all seems well.

So, after watching and completely enjoying Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark, I knew I had to embark on another adventure with Indiana. I went in expecting the same hilarious and adventurous experience that I got from the Lost Ark.

Rating: 6.5/10

I have to say that I didn’t find the Temple of Doom even nearly as entertaining as the Raiders of the Lost Ark. It was very dark, but that would have been fine if I could like the female lead more. Really, Winnie may be one of the worst roles I have ever seen in movies. She was selfish and a brat and entitled and just not anything I could ever like. She had no acts of bravery or kindness and all her attitude was the wrong kind of attitude. Indy should have left her in the club and went on the adventure only with Shorty. I can’t imagine anyone writing her as a female lead because there was nothing fun or good about her.

I liked the costumes and I once again found the portrayal of anything other than American as stupid hilarious (considering how stupid the vast majority of ‘merica really is… sorry guys). Based on all the Hindus I know I have to say that human sacrifice is way at the bottom of their to-do lists. I found it hilariously inaccurate but can see how other people might be offended. I liked the common Nazi enemy element in the first and third movies – they were at that time the worst thing imaginable (and still is) and I think it worked well with Indiana’s quest to get precious artifacts for museums because the Nazi’s are still known for their love to steal precious artifacts.

It was very dark and depressing overall. I’m deducing that the large amount of children in the film were specifically included to get kids to watch them film. Firstly, I don’t like children in movies. They are either used as cheap tricks or to get a younger target audience, and since I am interested in neither I don’t often watch any of it. Kids in slavery and being beaten are definitely not material for children to watch, a woman (although annoying) being slapped and sacrificed, the drinking of demonic blood – I think a lot of depressed people had influence over the script.

If it sounds like I didn’t like the movie, I did, I just didn’t find it on the level of the first – a thing quite common in sequels. I did like the huge adventure taking place, the good old fight scenes, the sometimes ridiculous 80’s acting, Indiana Jones, who was once again very hot and Indy’s character who is so badass and an excellent explorer.

Have you seen it? What did you think?

Movie Review: Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark

Indiana Jones and the lost ark

IMDb Top 250 Movies

29/100

Archaeologist Indiana Jones retrieves a golden idol by getting through an ancient booby trapped temple in Peru. As he escapes, he is surrounded by his rival, another archaeologist Renè Belloq(Paul Freeman) who seems to take great pleasure in stealing Indiana’s successes. Belloq has the indigenous Hovitos on his side and Indiana is forced to surrender the idol. He manages to escape death by boarding a waiting seaplane.

Indiana Jones returns to his teaching at Marshall College as an archaeology professor, and is visited by two Army intelligence agents. They tell him that the Nazis are searching for his old mentor, Abner Ravenwood, who is the leading expert on Tanis, an ancient Egyptian city. Abner also apparently possesses the headpiece of the Staff of Ra, and the Nazis desperately want it. Jones deduces that they are searching for the Tanis because it may be the location of the Ark of the Covenant, and the Nazis believe that if they acquire it they will become invincible. They are looking for the staff of Ra because it is the key to the finding of the Well of Souls, a secret chamber in which the Ark is buried. The agents want Jones to find the Ark before the Nazis does, because the ramifications of that would be troublesome.

Indiana Jones goes to Nepal to learn that Ravenwood is dead and that his daughter Marion (Karen Allen) has the headpiece. Marion and Jones had something between them before and she is still angry the way it ended. Marion tells Jones she doesn’t have the idol and he leaves and the tavern she owns is raided by a Nazi agent, Toht (Ronald Lacey) and some thugs. The tavern burns down after a big fight when Indiana shows up. Toht gets his hand burned by the headpiece when he tries to take it and Marion and Indiana escape with it. Toht has the emblem now seared into his hand. Marion says she will accompany him in his search for the Ark.

Marion and Jones land in Cairo and Sallah, a skilled excavator, tells them that Balloq and the Nazis are digging for the well of Souls. They are using a replica of the emblem that they cast from Toht’s hand. The Nazis tries to kidnap Marion and it looks like she dies. Jones and Sallah learn that the Nazis miscalculated the location of the Well of Souls. Jones and Sallah find the Staff of Ra and uncover the Well of Souls, which is filled with the one thing Jones hates, snakes. Jones retrieves the Ark but the Nazis and Belloq arrives, and tosses the alive Marion into the pit with Jones and seals them inside.

Marion and Jones escape and he manages to get the Ark back. They leave the next morning on a boat, but the boat is boarded by Belloq and the Nazis. The ark is once again stolen and Marion is taken captive, but Indiana follows them. He trails them to an isolated island in the Aegean Sea, where Belloq wants to test the power of the Ark before he gives it to Hitler. Indiana reveals himself and threatens to destroy the Ark, but Belloq knows he will never be able to destroy such an important historical object. Indiana and Marion are tied together and Belloq opens the Ark. Nothing seems to happen but suddenly ghost like beings emerge from the Ark, killing everyone except Marion and Jones, who kept their eyes closed because Jones realised its’ supernatural powers.

Back in DC, the Army takes the Ark to safety, ignoring Jones’ objections and stores it in a giant government warehouse alongside similar crates.

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Rating: 8.5/10        

IMDb gave Raiders of the Lost Ark 8.6/10, but I am a little anal about numbers so I will stick with 8.5/10. However, moving away from my obsessive nature, I really, really had a good time with this. I put it on to see if Zoë’s raging that it is awesome held credit (her requirements for something to be awesome is quite high, so I had a fair idea that it would be good) and IT WAS.

I didn’t expect to be so entertained. Indiana Jones and the raiders of the Lost Ark is action packed and fun with surprisingly good graphics. Who knew how looky Harrison Ford was?

I expected horrible 80’s acting and it was nothing like that. The lead actress, Karen Allen, had some exaggerating moments and it is obvious that women empowerment was a myth back then and Indie was saving her from everything but she had some ‘tude and wasn’t afraid to tell people shit.

The Lost Ark didn’t follow a generic storyline and it every time you thought the action was over they had something else in store. I loved the snakes and how Indiana doesn’t fear anything except them and I absolutely loved the ridiculous plastic German guy and the snooty French man. I laughed like a loon at the Love you written on the student’s eye lids and Indie’s disconcertment about it. I loved the archaeology bent and the different locations and how it was showed that Indie wasn’t immune to thieves who took his relics seconds after he found it. My favourite scene in here, and it may even make a favourite of all time, was when someone wanted to knife fight him in Cairo and he took out his gun and shot them. I don’t know why, but it was hilarious!

Indiana Jones is cocky and sure and really hot. His adventurous side appealed to me and I loved that they wrote him as a highly intelligent guy that loves exploring.

I feel a bit like a granny by saying this, but they just don’t make movies like this anymore!