Indiana Jones is at it again, this time searching for the Holy Grail. Of course the Nazis are there as well, and as his father points out, it's a race between good and evil. If the Nazis get their hands on the holy grail first it'll be eternal darkness all over the world... or something like that.
The movie starts with a flashback into Indiana's past, when he's a kid, stumbling onto some thieves trying to steal a very special cross. He manages to escape, but the thieves take the cross from him anyway, with some help from the popo. A ton of years later he takes the cross back once again. Then his father gets kidnapped and sends him his diary. Turns out the father has spent 40 years of his life researching and searching for the Holy Grail, and now it's Indiana's turn to do so. Oh btw, in the introductory flashback of the movie, Indiana's fear of snakes gets a probable explanation. :)
It's a great movie, as all other Indiana movies I've seen so far. The fights all have the choreographically-wild style that characterizes fights from this day and age (you know, when the characters really lunge at the opponent), but there are still quite a few dangerous stunts among them, a lot of knocking down and shooting up and tumbling around, and some clever situations. Like taking refuge in the fireplace when a fire spreads through the castle. It's both clever, fast-paced and entertaining at the same time. In a way I'm amazed that they actually made a movie this fast-paced back in 1989. Most the movies I've seen from this time aren't nearly as quick or quick-witted as this one.
Another thing that strikes me is how they combined daylight and darkness. Nowadays, everything is dark. To portray evil there has to be darkness, but why, when it stands out so much better under a bright sun? It's one of the great differences between the eighties and the past-millenia movie-making style. All the remakes we get are darker than the originals. Think Batman, Superman, Terminator, etc etc. It's always death coupled with darkness, and the stereotype gets boring fast, there's only so much variation when you can't play with color and atmosphere. On a side note, the movie has some incredible special effects: traps and illusions, explosions, gunfire, everything is very realistic. And most of it probably is... real. I don't mean they're shooting with real bullets, I mean they're probably shooting with blanks or blowing up small charges to simulate gunfire and hits. I mean it's not digital. Only the blood looks as all blood from the eighties, just a bit too bright. The illusionary bridge at the near-end of the movie is probably my favorite effect from this time, and it seems to be real, too. It's quite a feat.
Of course there's a little love aside from the action, and the meeting with the father calls for a lot of comedy. Sean Connery and Harrison Ford are a great duo, wish they'd make more movies together. At one time in the movie Indiana gets Hitlers autograph, unintentionally, just to randomly name one of many interesting moments. Of course there are more dramatical moments as well, such as when Indianas father is dying and he is forced to find the holy grail to save him. The mystery knight that greets him, after having waited 700 years in the temple, is a magical moment. I like how these movies seamlessly pull together reality and mythology. The beginning is similar to the end, taking place in the desert, four old men riding into the sunset. The bad guy dies, the Nazis flee the scene and it ends happily after all... though that has nothing to do with the beginning.
But anyway, this is a great movie, as all the others in this series. If you've seen them, you better see this. If you haven't, this is a good introduction, especially since it features the flashback at the beginning. I actually think this was the first Indiana Jones movie I ever watched (fortunately), and it seems I did so in good order. Don't know if this is my 2nd or 3rd time watching, but it never gets old. I'll give it a...
rated 4/5: fo shizzle
I wrote a long review on this one before, so I'll keep it short this time.
When I think of Indiana Jones, it's actually scenes from this and the fourth movie that come to mind the most. The leap of faith, the UFO taking off, the giant ants and the faces melting... well, that last one was from Raiders Of The Lost Ark... and the previous from the sequel. I guess I actually recall scenes from all of these movies when I think of scenes I remember most... except for the second one.
There are some interesting similarities between this and the fourth btw, since we get to meet Indiana's predecessor in this one, and his potential successor in the next. The similarities don't lie only in their meeting, but in the things they do while together; how they react to each other. The relationships between them. It makes me wonder if everything was planned already in this movie, or if the latter just built upon the coincidence.
The movie? Well, it starts with a flashback, following the cross of Cortez, and eventually leads us on a quest for... the Holy Grail!
Once again it's a race against the Nazis. Yet unlike the first, and once again since the second, the movie won just one Oscar, but I liked this one a whole lot more than the former. In my very limited Indiana Jones Movie Rankings this places second, with only the first as former.
A tidbit of knowledge I attained since my last watch of this movie: young Indy was played by River Phoenix, why died of a drug overdose just a few years later. Kurt Cobain dedicated a song to him: Jesus Doesn't Want Me for a Sunbeam.
All in all, it's another great movie in the realm of Indiana Jones! Final one up next...
rated 4/5: fo shizzle