1981's Raiders of the Lost Art so an introduction to the Indy character. A proposed adventure story that was the joint brain child of
The film takes place in 1936 and it is primarily an homage to the action/adventurer serials of the 30's. We are also introduced to the elements of Indy: A previous relationship with the drunkard/daughter of Indy's mentor: Maryann Ravenwood, Indy has a fear of snakes, the film opens with a action packed couple scene, Indy fights an indestructible opponent who dies terribly and numerous chase scenes. In the end of the film, Indy's treasure of the
1984's Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom is actually produced second in the series, but is technically a prequel since it takes place in 1935. The film is different from it's predecessors since there are no Nazi's but the film is riddled with some graphic violence, creepy crawlies, great comedy relief from the little Asian sidekick "Short round," a whiney damsel in distress (who will eventually marry Steven Spiellberg), and some gore and imagery that would even appease a hardcore horror fan like a heart being ripped out of a man's chest (which helped land the film as being the very first film to be rated PG-13).
Indy travels from
The film has some great chase scenes, especially in some mine carts in a crazy looking Disney ride. It has some of the grossest scenes from a dinner ensemble where you are served: Beatles on a half shell, Chilled Monkey Brains, Eyeball Soup and Snake Surprise. Or how about walking through a tunnel of bugs that crawl all over you. Definitely the creepy crawlies is a staple of the Indy series. Finally there is a bit more of a romantic side story that shows off this arrogant romantic side of Dr. Jones as he is trying to seduce Willy, but at the same time acting like the ward of the Robin-esque Short Round (P.S. if you like Goonies, Data plays the role of his qwarky little kid and anything he says is funny) "No time fow wuv Docta Jones" Ahh, racial stereotypes – where have you gone?
1989's Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade goes back to the elements of Raiders with Nazi's, relics, chases, the occult, adventure, comedy, romance and it also has this element of a great father/son relationship between Harrison Ford and Sean Connery. The filmmakers though, well, James Bond was an initial inspiration for the Indy character, why not just hire the man who helped bring it about. Sean Connery plays Henry Jones Sr. and truly makes this film very memorable. I mean, how many times are you gonna see Indy get slapped for saying "Jesus Christ," "That's for blasphemy Junior!" Hehehe, classic.
This film is set in 1938 and Spielberg comments on it as "making up to Lucas for what they did to
Personally, this is my favorite in the series just solely based on the father/son dynamic, the return of the Nazi's as antagonists, returning John Rhys-Davies as Salla and even bringing in the dim-witted Marcus Brody for the adventure.
Indy is eventually able to find the Holy Grail, and like the film's predecessors of Indy being exposed to the religions of Hebrew, then Hindu – it is now a focus on Christianity. Using his father's notes, a lure of all of his teachings and studies – he is able to find the Grail and save his father with it. Unfortunately the Grail falls into a chasm and the Indy character is still obsessed with finding and obtaining the relic. But it takes of all people, Henry Sr., to tell Indy "Junior – let it go." A great film and a lot of fun, and in my opinion it should be the end of the series. I mean once you get the Holy Grail – how can you go any further?
And now, without further ado…….
2008's Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull returns Indy to the screen after a near 20 year hiatus from the cinema. Like I said before, the film takes place in 1957 – which would make the Indy character 58 years old but is played by Harrison Ford who is 65. Now, I have a
1) An atomic bomb goes off in a town, Indy climbs into a lead lined fridge, which flies high up into the sky, rolls and crashes into the desert landscape and Indy rolls out. 2) While in a high speed chase through the Amazon, people swashbuckler on top of their cars. 3) Commanding an army of monkeys that swing through the Amazon and attack the Communists. 4) Finally and most sad, is seeing this rather old Indy doing things he did years ago. And I love Harrison Ford, and growing up I think he was just a hero for a lot of kids during that era – but seeing him now, I felt like "Hey Indy, I think it's time to hang up the fedora and whip."
There were some other scenes that were just a little hard to swallow, but I'd have to say the film overall was quite enjoyable. A brief plot: Filling in the role that the Nazi's had, we now have "the Reds" hunting down some infamous crystal skulls that can help fill you up with unlimited knowledge. The film opens up at Area 51 and we see there is a connection with
Indy is criticized for helping the Commies, and loses his job as a professor at his college. He befriends a young greaser - Mutt (played by Transformers Shia Lebouf) – yeah I know? Mutt?! But why now, Indy was also named after a dog. So, Mutt needs Indy's help to help rescue Indy's former classmate /archeologist "Ox" who knows of the current whereabouts of the greatest of the Crystal Skulls.
Mutt and Indy hunt down the whereabouts of Ox and an infamous Conquistador who found
Mutt very well be the predecessor of the series as Lucas is already starting a rumor mill for a fifth film where Indy would play the sidekick and Mutt would be the main action star. It is the end of the era already seeing Indy going out there, but now I feel like where the third film had the father son dynamic, this film has the roles reversed. In fact, there is even ANOTHER scene on a motorcycle where Mutt evades the Commies and smiles – but Indy scowls at him. Very similar to when Henry Sr. and Jr. are escaping
Finally, if you are an Indy completist – such as myself, you should check this picture out. Again, there are some elements that are a little hard to swallow – but Indy is such a great character. I think if you enjoy the elements of Batman and/or James Bond, or even some action/adventure/sci-fi fan, you will enjoy this film. I also recommend you go out and buy the the Adventures of Young Indiana Jones to see where Indy came from before his cinematic adventures, it is a great show and very educational. Check it out, it is the first great film of the summer season.