Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

Movie

I thought it was time for a refill on my Nazi hating (directed toward, not inspired by) which is why I'm taking a big swig from 1989's Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, directed by household name Steven Spielberg. These spoilers have been out of their cave for 28 years.

Where I'm Coming From & What I Expect

The last movie I saw was Silence of the Lambs so I'm hoping I'm in for a larger helping of lighthearted fun. I've had the privilege of experiencing the first two entries in the Indiana Jones series so I'm already well aware that the best way to route a Nazi is supernatural face melting and Thuggees don't function well without a heart.

Harrison Ford and Sean Connery are simultaneously making their repeat appearances on the blog so this is shaping up to be a special occasion. It's no more relevant than ever that Indy and his inexplicably Scottish father will be filling my screen with the defeat and humiliation of many crisply dressed alt-righters. Also probably some archaeology.

What I'm Bringing

A brownie and some tea. Despite my recent offerings I promise alcohol has not left my life.

 
For so much Nazi hate you sure look the part

For so much Nazi hate you sure look the part

 

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Glad we're just jumping right into it, in what I assume is a glimpse of young Indy. The movie is already delivering some classic laughs such as guy falling off a horse. High brow shit that you would find in any YouTube video by FailArmy except with 100% less camera operator laugh track.

Young Indy (we're on a nickname basis) is such a noble lad for wanting this cave treasure to be in a museum instead of some random looter's collection. Idealistic integrity like that is why he's still not rich as an adult, unlike this who's who of human garbage. I'll take 'people no one would call 911 for' for $500 Alex. I really think they cast the lead looter with the most Harrison Ford looking guy they could find.

Another instance of horse related comedy is now signalling to me that someone may have been taking criticism of the violence in Temple of Doom a bit too seriously. If that's how we're playing it then let's try this one - the cars can't catch up to horse faring Indy even though they have about 20 times the horsepower. His horse must have the optional sports package.

Adult Indy is such a wise man with gems like, "Archaeology is the search for fact, not truth." Too bad he's not available for a presidential advising position. It's always nice to see him teaching since it's easy to forget he has an actual job. Fuck that job though, dad's missing so it's time for adventure!

Can't believe I fell for the classic 'the doctor was a woman' setup (not that doctor), although it's apparently less of a joke and more of a suggestion. She must come with a side of luck because they're able to slam through this church library riddle faster than any crime procedural can compile enough circumstantial evidence to ruin someone's life.

I can't advise strongly enough against wading waist deep in oil water while carrying an open flame. One slip and you'll solve the rodent problem while you find out firsthand what temperature skin starts to jump ship (the pictures in the link might be uncomfortable to some).

I'm confused about how they settled for weak gunshot overdubs but were able to push two large ships together to create a huge explosion. I'm guessing this movie is going to be relying on callbacks to the previous entries in the series, like fighting an enemy while backing into a whirling propeller. These references, however, feel fun and fresh when compared to others' attempts at cashing in on nostalgia.

Normally when someone knocks on a bathroom door they wait for a response before barging in. Instead Indy treats this act of courtesy with the same regard the Friends treated the entrances to each others' private residences. Luckily all this does is lead to a slightly uncomfortable scene that Harrison Ford must be all too bored with by now.

I'm not at all surprised this doorman/butler/Nazi castle bitch didn't fall for Indy's fake Scottish accent. Conveniently father and son are reunited so we can hear what a real Scottish accent is supposed to sound like. After 007 and The Rock it's weird to see Sean Connery in a position where he is a physically weak character, but he's still bringing that mouth full of oatmeal.

I was not expecting them to just mow down a line of Nazis, considering this was a shot at a less brutal Indiana Jones outing. I can just imagine the headline 'Alt-right servicemen punched by whiny professor's bullets.' Surprise, the the doctor woman is actually a Nazi. Double surprise, Indy and his dad has sex with the same woman, and a Google search for related research to link now means my computer needs to sit in the corner and think about what it did.

All this motorcycle jousting reminds me of is Mythbusters. I don't even remember what they determined about the motorcycle flip but what's important is that the flip happened. That clip is a crucial piece of history, like the Wilhelm scream or Darth Vader's heavily misquoted line. I don't want to victim blame, but that Nazi was asking to be part of an impromptu flight when he did a ridiculously unnecessary wheelie.

Seeing this march and large bonfires of books feels like a glimpse into our future. Yes, I feel like history is currently collapsing back on itself, which is only causing me half as much anxiety as this Berenstain Bears mindfuckery. I don't despair though because I'm taking Indiana Jones as educational material about how well Nazis act as bullet sponges.

I appreciate the obligatory wartime zeppelin travel but the superimposition is at a level of obvious so high that it puts this dumbshit to shame. They could have been more convincing and saved money by just using silent movie text cards for the flight scenes, although using birds as a weapon against the final attack plane was Bond level bonkers.

The leader of this province or whatever it is was extremely easy to buy. I'm pretty sure the rights to the Holy Grail are worth a (heaven?) of a lot more than the $250k a Rolls Royce Phantom II goes for even now as a collector's item. To be fair, I probably know more than a few people who would barter everlasting life for their dream car.

What I really don't understand is how the Nazis didn't learn from the last time they fucked with ancient Christian artifacts. If they spent their time learning from history instead of burning it they might be able to avoid an obvious supernatural phenomenon that will happen whenever they find the grail.

Of course we're talking about a group of people who shot their own guy off the tank gun then ran him over, which is pretty much cinema shorthand for 'yeah we're the bad guys.' For a second here it looks like Indy forgot he wasn't Nathan Drake because his single shot triple kill was clearly an attempt to get some kind of achievement.

In a completely unexpected twist Indy now has to pass the challenges to get to the grail for the main bad guy. He's really taking his time though, so he must know this is a cinematic gunshot and provides just enough danger to be scary but nonlethal.

This 700 year old knight is really nonchalant about this whole encounter, like it's no big deal there completely alien looking guys are the first contact he's had in centuries. This encounter goes a lot better than that other time people found a knight while being somewhere people shouldn't go. Aside from the bad guy picking the wrong cup and doing a fast motion reverse-Benjamin Button of course. The real treat is that this FX work is miles ahead of that horrible face melt CG from the first movie.

Seven hundred years of careful guarding are destroyed in a single three minute span which puts this failure somewhere between forgetting to take out the trash and not knowing federal ethics law while on live TV. Not to worry though because this is an uplifting movie, so the right people died, the right people lived, they ride off into the literal sunset, and so can you!

Done!

The third installment of a much beloved franchise, Last Crusade balances its use of familiarity well against its desire to stand on its own. I just spent two hours watching Nazis get killed by a dashing archaeologist so there's not too much to complain about. Last Crusade does manage to steer clear of obvious missteps the series has previously made (annoying and stereotypical Asian kid) but also seems to do so at the expense of meaningful screen time for female and minority characters. The fun exploration utilizing the mythology of that old ass cup places Last Crusade firmly above Temple of Doom, if not Raiders of the Lost Ark.

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