Saturday, June 30, 2012
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
In one of the most appropriate bits of casting ever, Sean Connery plays Dr. Henry Jones, an expert on the Holy Grail who has spent his life looking for it and had been somewhat neglectful and dismissive of his son.When Henry Jones goes missing, Indiana races to rescue, and before long, the Joneses are reunited on a quest to get the Grail before the Nazis.
It's impossible to watch Connery and not be reminded of the James Bond legacy he brings to the table. In a way, Last Crusade could be seen as the meeting of two action genre icons: the witty, old-school, impossible-to-impress Conenry and the laconic, physical, almost exasperated Ford. Of the two, Ford is more business, less likely to get distracted, and more aware of the immediate danger. Every time he does something heroic, he turns to his dad, who usually rolls his eyes or is focused on something else, casually dismissing his son's efforts to impress him. Henry Jones is also more of an intellectual, wearing his glasses a bow tie in the desert and resorting to his wits when his son might rely on fists. Both father and son get a chance to surprise the other, whether it's Henry causing a flock of seagulls to crash a Nazi warplane or Indiana rescuing his father from a tank.
Of course, it wouldn't be a successful Indiana Jones movie without a number of standout action sequences, and Last Crusade offers its share: the boat chase through the canals of Venice, the Joneses' escape from a burning Austrian castle followed by a motorcycle chase, an aerial dogfight, and the attack on a Nazi tank convoy in the desert. Twenty-plus years later, they still retain the power to excite, and the special effects work remains top-notch.