The third installment in the Spielberg/Lucas Indiana Jones saga, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade evokes many of the thrills of the first two efforts (Raiders of the Lost Ark and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom) without blatantly… More The third installment in the Spielberg/Lucas Indiana Jones saga, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade evokes many of the thrills of the first two efforts (Raiders of the Lost Ark and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom) without blatantly copying either of them. After a lengthy prologue in which we learn how young Indy (River Phoenix) first developed a taste for heart-pounding adventure -- and his lifelong fear of snakes -- we find the grown-up Jones (who else but Harrison Ford?) teaching his archeology classes in 1938. He is approached by an art collector (Julian Glover), who wants Jones to embark upon a search for the Holy Grail. It so happens that another archaeologist has disappeared while searching for the precious goblet; it so happens further that the missing man is Indy's own father, Dr. Henry Jones (marvelously portrayed by Sean Connery). What follows is a roller-coaster of thrills, whisking both the elder and the younger Joneses to Venice, Berlin, and the most treacherous regions of the Middle East. Complicating matters is the presence of lovely Alison Doody, whose attraction to Indy -- and his dad -- does not dissuade her from her loyalty to the Nazi party. As in Raiders of the Lost Ark, the much-sought-after religious artifact in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade is not so easily found -- and even when it is discovered, its powers are a bit too much for those impure of heart. This Indiana Jones effort set a record by grossing $50 million in the first week of release.
Consensus: Lighter and more comedic than its predecessor, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade returns the series to the brisk serial adventure of Raiders, while adding a dynamite double act between Harrison Ford and Sean Connery.