We usually reserve these posts for topics of greater significance. However, I have spent the last few days moving and the last few hours playing Frisbee golf so I have been a bit strapped for time. The result is that I took a post that I had originally intended to be what we call a “secondary” post and made it a “primary,” if this post had feelings it would be proud. I will be back to angering people with my opinions as soon as I get internet in my apartment.
Have you ever had a life-changing revelation? Have you ever done something or thought about an issue in a very specific way, thinking that it was normal until you met a person who does that same thing differently or has a differing belief? I had one of those moments a few Thursday nights ago in one of our weekly TTAF meetings.
The topic at hand was movies, and as in every good conversation about movies the Indiana Jones series came up. Specifically I brought up the fact that I can count few disappointments in my entire life greater than the last installment of the Indiana Jones series. Not wanting to become too depressed, I quickly pointed out that Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade is in my top five movies of all time, and likely my hands down pick for favorite movie ever (I have a set of criteria for “favorite movie of all time” one being that comedies are not allowed to be in the top five, they have their own category). To this Josh retorted with something along the lines of “You are wrong, Raiders is the best, and it isn’t even close.” I could hear my worldview shattering into pieces and falling to my feet amongst the Black and Mild ashes (if you bought more stuff from Huckberry we could put more money into the cigar budget).
He couldn’t be serious right? There is no way that Raiders is better than Last Crusade. Everybody agrees with me on this one, don’t they? I later went to see if Josh’s claim checks out and consulted the infallible source of the internet, more specifically Metacritic. So it turns out that not only was I wrong, but I was indeed way wrong. According to the internet Raiders is better than The Last Crusade by a score of 90 to 65. I did not know where to turn, I felt like Indy himself had let me down to some degree. When I dressed as Indiana Jones for Halloween, no less than three times to be exact, I was not emulating the man who fell into a pit of snakes, the man who was saved from certain death by gunmen at the hands of Belloch by a bunch of children, I was emulating the man who blew up a ship in order to obtain Coronado’s cross, punched a Scottish butler in the face, and motorcycle jousted a Nazi. No, no it is impossible, I could not have been wrong all of these years, so I came up with a list of reasons why The Last Crusade is without a doubt better than Raiders.
#1 Sean Connery- I shouldn’t even have to explain myself. Sean Connery is in this movie. He calls a guy a “goose-snipping moron,” he slaps Indy for irreverence to God, and he quotes Charlemagne while taking an airplane down with an umbrella. Yes he does actually shoot down his own plane as well, but we all have our shortcomings.
#2 Cheesy Sermon Analogies- Without the leap of faith scene in The Last Crusade millions of pastors around the world would be without material for their sermons. I have seen this clip used in a church setting more times than I can count, yet I have never seen a clip from Raiders. I am pretty comfortable in saying that Harrison Ford has brought more middle school boys to Christianity than Paul.
#3 Chases- Motorcycles, boats, camels, planes, horses, trucks, and tanks. All of these things are driven/ridden in the movie during some intense action scene. Without the boat scene in The Last Crusade yelling “you said go between them” with a German accent would just be ridiculous.
#4 The opening scene- This is actually a close one. The opening scene for Raiders is one of the most famous movie scenes of all time (the boulder). The opening scene in The Last Crusade however fills many voids in the Indiana Jones saga. We learn the basis for his fear of snakes, where he got his hat, how he learned to use a whip, the strict home he grew up in, and also his overall love for antiquities. Add River Phoenix as a young Indiana Jones and a fistfight on a boat with absurdly loud punching noises, and the scales tip in favor of The Last Crusade.
#5 The bad Guys are better- The evil German woman, the American traitor, Hitler, the Nazi general. The bas guys are more numerous and complex in the third edition of the Indiana Jones series.
#6 We all know that through Jesus we are now under the new covenant. We are no longer under the law of the Jews but the law of neighbor love through Jesus. All this to say that according to Paul and the book of Romans the New Testament artifact, the holy grail, is more important than the Old Testament artifact, the Ark. So it is a safe assumption that Paul would have liked The Last Crusade more than Raiders (please understand the sarcasm here).
#7 The brothers of the crucifon sword- These guys are some bad dudes, excellent at the art of boat pursuit, well versed in Scripture, skilled in guerilla warfare.
#8 The tank scene- When the German tank falls off the cliff the viewer becomes witness to some of the finest special effects to ever take place in a biblical archaeology themed movie.
#9- The back story- As I mentioned in the fourth point we learn what makes Indiana tick in The Last Crusade. We learn of his fears, his family life, his nickname etc. The Last Crusade offers us a more rounded character than any of the other films.
#10- The cup that holds eternal life > a box with dust in it.
Allow me to note that I do enjoy Raiders, a lot, and that I also count the Temple of Doom as one of my favorite movies, but they simply cannot compare to The Last Crusade. It has and always will be my favorite. I wonder if the order of the movies were switched if Raiders would continue to be the favored of the three movies. I am by no means a movie critic but if there are two facts that I am absolutely certain about they are these, that the fourth Indiana Jones was the worst and most disappointing thing to happen to me since I realized I would not be a professional baseball player, and that Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade is not only the best of the series but one of the best movies ever.
(credits rolling as I ride away from Petra on a horse.)