Monday, May 21, 2012

Monday Sequel Spotlight: Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

Welcome to a new weekly feature here at Movies With Abe. In this series, I’ll be taking a look at some famous (and infamous) sequels to see how they compare to the original. I'll do my best to alternate between the greats and the best forgotten. Leave your thoughts or a suggestion for a spotlight in the comments!

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
Directed by Steven Spielberg
Released May 24, 1989

“Raiders of the Lost Ark” remains easily one of the best action-adventure films ever made. The plot of its sequel, “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom,” wasn’t nearly as strong, and so it’s better to forget that installment. The third film, however, did a magnificent job doing exactly what a sequel is supposed to do: capture the excitement of the original film and amplify it. Bringing in Sean Connery as Professor Henry Jones Sr., the father of Harrison Ford’s professor and world traveler, was the best decision that Steven Spielberg and company could have made. His demeanor and humor were perfect for the film’s tone and atmosphere, and his familial chemistry with Ford worked excellently. I still remember the fantastic scene in which one villain tells another that “Jones is getting away,” only to be told “I think not,” to which the first responds, “Not that Jones, the other Jones!” The magic was still all there – somewhat literally – as father and son pursued the Holy Grail and once again had to thwart its evil influences. It’s hard to find a sequel as capable – or as beloved – as this one. Made only eight years after the first film, it served as a great cap to a fun and memorable trilogy. For some reason, Spielberg and George Lucas thought it worthwhile to add another film to the franchise in 2008, and it was hardly a welcome addition. Scenes were almost exactly replayed from the previous films in an effort to recall the excitement, and the plot was rather miserable. Sometimes a trilogy should just stay a trilogy, and this third installment is probably the best argument for that.

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