Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989) – Film review by Andrea Carnevali

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️- Review by Andrea Carnevali

In 1938, after his father goes missing while pursuing the Holy Grail, Indiana Jones finds himself up against the Nazis again to stop them from obtaining its powers. Available to watch on Disney +

Let’s face it, they don’t make them like this anymore. This is probably one of those last “adventure movies” filmed all around the world on actual location, with an actual script and some great set-pieces, before CGI came in and made them all look more like video-games.

This might be a bit of a controversial opinion, but “Last Crusade” is possibly my least favourite of the original trilogy. That doesn’t mean that it’s less enjoyable or less of a handsome film.

It may not have the memorable action set-pieces from “Raiders” or the tension and the energy from “Temple of Doom”, but it makes up for all that in charm and so much humour that my jaws still hurts from all the smiling.

The chemistry between Sean Connery and Harrison Ford is pure gold: their comedic timing is impeccable, whether they’re tied up on a chair while a room is on fire, or flying on a plane or riding a motorbike, their expressions and banter balances the fact that actually the action and stunts are not as impressive or original as one might remember.

Of course there are great ideas here too, like the introduction to young Indy, rats in the catacombs under Venice, the tank chase, the three final challenges and of course bringing back the Nazis (including Hitler himself). And that final ride into sunset, which many still think should have ended the trilogy once and for all.

But there are less successful things too: for example bringing back Sallah felt more like a fan-serving exercise than anything (so much so that he’s left with very little to do), the ploddy scene full of exposition telling us everything we needed to know about Holy Grail, the rather cheap-looking scene on the boat at the start of the film (that one annoyed me even back in 1989 for how set-like it looked) or the slightly wasted opportunity to have fun with boats and gondolas along the canals in Venice.

Spielberg is so keen to make us laugh and to bring humour everywhere he can (after being criticised for all the darkness in the previous instalment) that he seems to forget the kind of action that made the other films so thrilling.

Don’t get me wrong: I still think this is a great ride and I love it with all my heart (and I really adore its soundtrack too), but I have to be honest I love the first two a bit more. So, not quite a five star… but pretty damn close.