The Great Movie Re-Watch
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989)
In 1938, after his father Professor Henry Jones, Sr. goes missing while pursuing the Holy Grail, Professor Henry “Indiana” Jones, Jr. finds himself up against Adolf Hitler’s Nazis again to stop them from obtaining its powers.
Okay, I’ve got another hot take to go on top of my Ghostbusters II one. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade is my favorite Indiana Jones movie. Watching it again cemented that for me.
Indiana is a shit archeologist and a shit professor, and the only reason he has a job is nepotism. Man almost immediately bails on his students when he’s actually available to work. He also goes around destroying anything with potential historical value if it stands in his way. He’s never mentioned his father before and what we know of his father isn’t endearing, but Indiana won’t let anything stand between him and saving his dad.
There are a lot of issues in the story. I spent most of my re-watch pointing all the things that didn’t make sense. Like, why in the flashback to his youth is Indiana all about things being in a museum, but then in Temple of Doom which happens next chronologically, is he all about money? Then in Raiders, he’s back to it belongs in a museum. Temple Indiana doesn’t fit.
Why is he carrying around a flaming torch in a tomb he’s said he could retire from all the petroleum in it? He is literally dripping flames onto this “oil.” Of course, this is after he destroyed a library floor which should have gone against both of his professions. Dude, could you not wait an hour or so before hammering a hole into an ancient tile? Your dad has been missing for days at that point. Are a few more hours going to make a huge difference?
The whole movie is a bunch of good scenes with shit that doesn’t make sense in between, which seems to be standard Spielberg at that point. Big set pieces and damn the logic of everything else. Reading the Wikipedia entry for the movie, it sounds like a miracle we even got this coherent of a story. Several people wrote drafts, including Chris Columbus, who wrote two. Spielberg and Lucas started location scouting for his and then bailed because they decided it was too racist and unbelievable. If the creators of Temple of Doom think your script is racist and unbelievable, then… *yikes*
There’s a lot in the Wikipedia article for Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. Including the fact that the prologue inspired Lucas to create the Adventures of Young Indiana Jones, which is not available to stream anywhere and is only available on DVD split into three volumes and cost over $90. I’ve seen a couple of the stories when I was a kid, and I’d love to watch all of them, but I find it difficult to spend that kind of money on a DVD. Paramount needs to get that up on their streaming service. It might get me to subscribe.
I believe there are only two women with lines in this entire movie. Both of them are Nazis. There are a couple of rich German women on the airship, but they didn’t say anything. This is pretty par for the course when it comes to these movies. However, it was pretty gross that both Jones’ men slept with Elsa. It says a lot about the treatment of women in this movie that that’s almost an improvement.
I appreciate a good adventure movie, but The Mummy movies have aged much better than the Indiana Jones ones. I’d love to see more of this type of movie being made again. There are so many movies I’d love to see made with an eye toward fixing their treatment of women and minorities. Hollywood loves to remake and reboot. Why can’t they do that and make things good? I’m not asking for a remake or reboot of Indiana Jones. That would be wrong. There’s a lot I don’t like about these movies, but they need to be left alone. I just want an adventure movie that doesn’t make me cringe in embarrassment.