Monday, November 02, 2009

best films: #61: INDIANA JONES AND THE LAST CRUSADE (1989)

Previously ranked and blogged at #74
Why oh why couldn't this genius wrap-up have been, in fact, a wrap-up? In an effort to forget the fourth entry in this series existed, let's relish in the wonder of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. After a great start with Raiders of the Lost Ark and a shaky follow-up in Temple of Doom, this final installment more than made up for the nervous Jones girl that was Kate Capshaw. And I think the secret of its success lies in the hands of two highly entertaining performances -- that of Sean Connery as Indiana's doting father and the late River Phoenix as young Indiana during a thrilling opening sequence on a circus train. Add to that an exhilarating series of final tests that lives up to the famous giant rolling ball sequence in the first film and a typically charming performance from Harrison Ford, and this threequel beats the odds of what most trilogy enders fall victim to. It's fun, original, brilliantly scored, and full of fun historical fictionalization.

Standout Performance: Oh, Sean Connery. You had me at "Jun-yah!"

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