Movie Review: Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

by Shannon Riggs
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Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

  • MPAA Rating: PG-13
  • Recommended for ages 11 and up
  • Run Time: 126 minutes

Quick Take: Part origin tale, part a good ol' Indy adventure, this flick is a rollicking good time for families with older children.

If your quest is for the Holy Grail of classic action-adventure flicks, you'll find it in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, the third in Steven Spielberg's Indiana Jones series. This installment takes Indy on a new adventure with higher stakes than ever, while letting viewers in on some interesting character history, such as how Indy came to fear snakes.

When adventurist-archaeologist Indiana Jones is invited to lead a quest for the Holy Grail, he declines -- until he discovers that his own father is missing and is part of the quest. Indiana begrudgingly picks up his father's pursuit of the Grail -- the pursuit he's spent a lifetime resenting, because it took so much of his father's time and attention. Harrison Ford and Sean Connery are expertly cast as father and son -- Indiana Jones and Indiana Jones "Junior." Their matching swaggers make up for their mismatched accents.

Once he accepts the call to adventure, Indy soon finds himself battling the worst of all foes, the Nazis, in a race to see who can reach the Grail first in a series of high-action chase scenes -- one of which brings Indy face to face with Hitler himself. To find the Grail and save his father, Indy must rely on his father's clues and journal, and he must summon his faith.

Part of the fun of this, or any, action-adventure movie is seeing how the hero thinks and responds under pressure. No matter how high the stakes -- whether it's a Nazi tank, a false love, or an endangered dad on the brink of reconciliation, nothing rattles Indy's nerve. The climactic scene in which Indy attempts to capture the Holy Grail is probably one of the most famous action-adventure scenes of all time.

Kids Will Love:

The high suspense and delightfully improbable chase scenes, such as the one where Indy, with nothing but a horse and a well-placed rock, takes down a Nazi army tank.

Parents Will Love:

Sharing this action-adventure classic with their children, which is almost as much fun as watching it for the first time. The unfolding story of Indy's relationship with his father gives the film emotional depth that's surprising for what's supposed to be just an escapist action-adventure flick.

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