Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade: “Gotta find my Pops!”

August 28, 2009

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
Directed by Steven Spielbergo
Written by Jeffrey Boam (mostly)
Starring: Harrison Ford, Sean Connery, Alison Doody, John Rhys-Davies, River Phoenix, etc.
1989, Paramount Pictures, 127 minutes.

***

Dr. Cowboy and the Case of the Missing PopsNazis are retarded and Indiana Jones (somehow whiter than even Nazis) can kill tons of them with slight effort and to mildly intentional comedic amusement. He kills a lot of them, but we don’t see the suffering up close in any capacity. So the Nazis get killed and it’s light-hearted and satisfying. River Phoenix plays a young Indy in the beginning of the story, where he is running away from baddie treasure-hunters trying to capture/kill him. This creates an uncanny parallel with Phoenix’s off-screen early substance abuse, the personal demons he would later try to exorcise or escape in real life — but eventually succumb to. Phoenix’s role is there to show us that young Indy’s relationship to his father is emotionally unfulfilling, since his dad is an idiot-savant scholar more interested in Latin than his own son. Surprisingly, since this was the turn of the 19th-20th century, the senior Dr. Jones was able to yield an heir (in Indy), and unsurprisingly, Indy is a motherless womanizer.

The plot itself is the New Testament’s answer to Raiders of the Lost Ark, the first one that had Indiana and the Nazis chasing after a powerful Hebrew religious artifact. This time they’re both after the Holy Grail, which is given the usual modern-day, blatant (evangelical religious or materialistic athiest) treatment as a literal magical cup that when sipped from, grants one literal eternal life. This is all very charming as well, because even if the film-makers do know the actual “spiritual significance” of the grail story, there’s no way they could adequately communicate it to the mainstream movie audience, who are commanded (under cosmic law) to drink from the trough.

All good and fun, but the movie is sometimes boring. A more interesting movie would be one where there is an Indiana Jones movie being made on a Hollywood lot, and some crazed academic film theorist (or “American Studies” major *chuckle*) weasels onto the set during filming and steals the props of the film (because they belong in a museum film theory course, as American cultural artifacts from this movie). The people/actors chasing him would be dressed as Nazis (thus not real historical Nazis per-say, but some kind of cultural fascista in their own right) and could be killed off ruthlessly with nuanced hipness, and relatively little exertion, by our protagonist (fun for the whole family!). The bad guy who wants the cross/ankh thing back would be some corporate big-wig fat-cat who desires it as the key to summon the legendary holy grail (perfect formula of hit film-making) in order to live forever (at the top of the box office revenue rankings). It would be a layered critique of both Hollywood and Indiana Jones films. And it would only cost 55 million dollars!

@ Amazon
@ IMDb

______

*I didn’t say anything about the music in this movie, but it gets a special mention for being one of the most annoying scores ever. It’s by John Williams.

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One Response to “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade: “Gotta find my Pops!””

  1. Sergi Says:

    good old movie!


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