The end of a Trilogy

It’s been quite a while since I’ve done a movie review around here. In fact, I think it’s been about four months since I watched the second part of the Indiana Jones trilogy – The Temple of Doom.

Obviously, I’ve had quite the hectic time between then and now, and haven’t given myself time to watch a movie, but I did recently. As had been noted in the comments on the other two reviews of the movies, the finale would be the best of the bunch. Those declarations are definitely not unfounded.

Last Crusade Ending Picture.

As it so happens, I had seen bits of this film as well – in particular the last section where Indiana has to cross the stone bridge by spelling Jehovah. I also remembered seeing where he had to cross over the pit based on faith alone. The strangest thing though is that I could have sworn that I had seen the actual bridge that they used to cross the pit. Maybe my eyes were just deceiving me. 😉

Well, now that I’ve started with the end, let’s go back to the beginning and talk about the awesomeness of the opening sequence where we see a young Indiana being chased by some, well, hoodlums after his discovery of a gold cross which, as it turned out, was being sought after by its supposed original owner. Part of the chase involved going through one of the things that I hold close to my heart – a train. Not just any train, a circus train.

Circus Train

Part of the brilliance of the sequence is how all of them get into the snake pit. Granted, it was quite eerie to be sent into the snake pit, it certainly helped Indy get out with the cross.

After the flashback to his youth, we go back to the present where he is teaching another class of students, who, like in Raiders of the Lost Ark, were completely enamored with Indy as a teacher. Maybe we need teachers like him for archeology in today’s schools, eh? 🙂

Anyway, he’s delivered a message about his need to be helped and, while in his office (after fighting off the hording masses of students) he finds a package from Venice containing his father’s “Grail book”, which was a diary of his search for the holy grail. What had happened is that him, along with a fellow archaeologist, had found one part of the “grail stone” whose inscription had information on where to start from to search for the grail.

Pay attention!

Once in Venice, Indiana meets up with a woman who would turn out to be more trouble than necessary (and, really, a woman who was having way too much fun apparently). He winds up in a boat chase with some people whose mission in life is to protect the grail. Unfortunately, this almost ended up being the end of our hero when he was too busy with fighting to notice a small problem. Can you see the problem? Yeah, generally heading into a propeller isn’t going to do the hair, body or anything else any good.. 🙂

Another really cool part of the film comes after quite a while – they’ve found the rest of the grail tablet (of course, after almost getting incinerated in a sewer filled with rats), finding out that the woman had a dual purpose–specifically a need to be friendly with the Third Reich. Indiana and his father are on a convenient Zeppelin flight from Berlin to somewhere outside of Germany, when some Nazi agents come after him.

Brilliantly, he decides to commandeer the uniform of the ticketing agent and check for tickets. Of course the agent didn’t have a ticket, so when he’s booted off of the flight, everyone heeds attention.


Soon enough, it’s discovered that they are still on the flight, so they do an about face, which leads to Indy repeating something he’s done in the past – fly a plane. Of course, landing? That’s a different matter. Let’s just say that the landing goes much smoother than the last plane he had tried to land 😉

Some more time passes (I’d guess a few days or weeks, but it’s only a matter of minutes; it’s a movie you know 😉 ), and then the third chase begins – an automobile chase. Granted, Indy, his father and Salah are somewhat overpowered. Tank v. Car. Who do you think has the advantage here? 🙂

 Tank falling through Photoshop?

If you guessed Indiana, you’d be right. 😉 Though, I think the fact that the tank’s fall down the cliff looks like it was put in via Photoshop might have something to do with that…Just saying 😉

Of course, the movie ends with everything being set right, and everyone riding off into the sunset. Really, everyone but the Germans are happy – the Hatay Republic has use of a new Rolls, the grail was found then lost thanks to the Germans wanting it to go past the threshold, and Indy’s father was saved thanks to grail water.

Into the sunset

So, why should you watch this movie?

Well, why shouldn’t you? The music is brilliant (as you would expect from John Williams), the acting is amazing. Even though the special effects might look a bit “cheap” – it adds a lot to the quality of the movie (consider that it was made in 1989 so CGI was still in its infancy). Lastly, there’s a fourth movie coming out sometime in the near future. Why not remind yourself of the greatness of the original trilogy.

The whole trilogy is out on DVD on a three disc set – and it mustn’t be too expensive (I’d venture to guess it’s priced at around $25 for the set, but with Christmas sales you should find it cheaper).

Do yourself a favor this weekend (or sometime in the near future) and watch Raiders of the Last Ark, The Temple of Doom, and The Last Crusade. If you’re crunched for time, watch the Last Crusade 😉