Aqua’s favourite doctor (Harrison Ford) goes after the Holy Grail of ancient artefacts: the Holy Grail. He’s accompanied by a holy grey-old man, his father Henry Jones Snr (Sean Connery), who’s devoted his life to finding the mysterious goblet.
As someone who was never particularly enamoured with the Indiana Jones films, I was surprised by how much fun I had with this. It might be because I recently subjected myself to the tepid tedium of Dan Brown’s flatulent symbologist Robert Langdon, but I found The Last Crusade to be a non-stop delight, and not just because the Holy Grail didn’t turn out to be the last surviving descendent of Jesus.
For Indy’s third outing, Spielberg hones all the usual ingredients to such a degree that it feels truly masterful. A franchise which could feel tired, with yet another Most Important Artefact Ever, instead whips up new excitement with a lighter tone than the gruesome Temple of Doom. But it also carries greater emotional weight through the development of the relationship between estranged father and son who, as adults, discover they have far more in common than they used to think.
The action is fast-paced, the effects ingenious and the stunt work exceptional, bolstered, as always, by an excellent John Williams score. Since Connery’s death, Ford has described the fun they had working together on this film. Fortunately it’s just as fun to watch, and you’d need to be Richard the Stoneheart not to enjoy it.