Harrison Ford as Henry Jones, Jr.
Sean Connery as Henry Jones, Sr.
Alison Doody as Dr. Elsa Schneider
Denholm Elliot as Marcus Brody
Directed by Steven Spielberg
**WARNING: If you haven’t seen Raiders before you read this review and see Crusade, you will be committing a version of blasphemy (God plays an invisible role in both movies. He won’t be happy with you). Snakes and rats will visit you in your dreams, while you look for a place to use your whip to swing away from danger. But there won’t be anything there! Go watch Raiders. NOW. **
Synopsis: We finally get some back story on Indy as a kiddo and figure out where his obsession with collecting antiquities came from. Once again, as an adult, he’s got the Nazis on his tail—this time, they’re trying to get the Holy Grail, since their plan to obtain and use the Ark of the Covenant was thwarted. Indy, dad, Marcus and Sallah go on one last big adventure together to save the world (without getting lost in anyone’s museum).
This is number two on my list of favorites in the series; it’s actually pretty difficult to separate Raiders and Crusade. There are so many amazing qualities that grab you from this movie that it’s hard to keep track. But I’ll sure try for ya:
First: the cast. Sean Connery AND Harrison Ford? The remaining cast could have been filled with pigeons and cockroaches, directed by a feral cat and it STILL would have been amazing. I really liked the nasty Nazi general; he was also good in Braveheart as the creep-tastic british soldier who attacks Murron before she departs. I cheered loudly when he was thrown out of the zeppelin. But I think my favorite character (outside of the main cast) was the 700+-year-old knight who was charged with protecting the grail; funny, sympathetic, and adorable as only older folks can be. He really brought some emotion and perspective to the final scenes.
Next: location, location, location. Berlin. Venice. Jordan. Isn’t it incredible that places like the temple in the “Canyon of the Crescent Moon” actually exist?! That’s definitely on my bucket list. Provided I can get there and back to my air-conditioned hotel in a day.
Finally: the father-son storyline. And, of course, the actors who play them. There’s so much charged atmosphere in the shared scenes. There’s definitely animosity; Indy has been angry with his father for so long that now he can’t really even justify the emotion. There’s mutual respect (after the initial feeling of shock that the other man can even do those sorts of things wears off). There’s unconditional love. It’s really a first-rate portrayal of two estranged men whose paths finally cross at one of the biggest moments in history.
But wait: one last item—the score. John Williams gives us plenty of emotion this way; something that I think was definitely missing from the previous two films. I really think that he’s the only reason I cry at some movies.
- The boat chase scene. Yes, you knothead, I said go between them. I don’t get paid my full teacher’s salary unless I attempt to get squished between two ships at least once a month. GO AROUND! Geez.
- Morbid though it might be, I did like the scene in which dad gets shot. The love felt by Indy for his dad really comes out here. I am a chick, remember? I like it when I can cry.
- The grail choosing. This was a Pepsi ad a million years ago; anyone else remember that? I know it was in the previews for some old VHS I haven’t seen in a while; I’ll have to go through them again. Anyway: definitely an intimidating prospect. On one hand, you’ve got eternal life. On the other hand, you die. Right now. I’d be a bit more careful than either Elsa or Indy, when I stop to think about it. I might even just turn around and go back. Take that crazy leap from the lion’s head, sand or no sand.
Weepy Meter: 3/10 It’s John Williams’ fault. And dad getting shot. Whaddya do? You cry. Duh.
Man Meter: 8/10 The third time’s the charm, right? Man’s man and all that. Guns, tanks, cliffs, booby traps, comedy, hot chick? It’s a guy-movie buffet.
Overall Rating: 9/10 Yes, it’s worth it. Even if you give Temple and Crystal Skull a miss, you must see this one. Because you’ve already seen Raiders, right? RIGHT?! Stop now, go Netflix it. DO IT. Then watch this one.