Welcome back to our “Beer and A Movie” series with Craft Beer Tasters, along with our pals Cody Thompson and Eugene Abano. You can check them out at Three B Zine and Reviews Galore
The premise, pair an approachable beer (in Eugene’s case a soda) with a classic movie. By “approachable” I mean get-able. By “classic” I mean “classic.” This way you can easily recreate the experience and join in the fun.
This week we close out the Indiana Jones movie *trilogy with Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade. In this movie we learn that titular character, Indiana Jones, isn’t quite the lone gun hero we thought. He is Henry Jones, Jr. a man who has been chasing adventure his whole life, just to gain the affection, or, at least, attention, of his father Henry Jones, Sr.
I’m able to surmise most of these assertions by virtue of watching the first 14 minutes. In fact, much like “Temple of Doom” the first 14 minutes of this film gives us the best Indiana Jones movie never made. A young Indiana Jones, played by Viper Room enthusiast River Phoenix. That’s not entirely true, the first 14 minutes did inspire the creation of the (mostly) great television series “The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles.” It would’ve been cool to see River Phoenix play Indiana for a whole 2 hours, but the 10 minutes we got were pretty sweet.
Young Indy and his chubby friend look to be purposefully going off course from the rest of their Eagle Scout Troop, unknowingly, in pursuit of some grave robbers. Now. How he knows what these baddies are up to isn’t explicitly stated, but I have an idea as to what lead young Indiana to the deserts of Utah.
(What follows is pure speculation)
His father Professor Henry Jones (Sean Connery, his name is given via opening credits) is in a lifelong pursuit of The Holy Grail, you know, the cup of Christ. So he takes a post in the Theology Department at Brigham Young University in 1912. Makes sense, The Church of Latter Day Saints does quite a bit of theological archaeology, categorizing of relics, and documenting of such artifacts. We later find out, from the mouth of Indiana, that these assumptions I just made about his father make sense as “Grail lore is his hobby, he’s a teacher of medieval literature…”
While undoubtedly under the tutelage of his cerebral father our here, Young Indiana Jones, must have heard of the likelihood of artifacts belonging to Coronado being in the deserts of Utah. Young Indiana asserts that the cross is “..the cross of Coronado, Cortez gave it to him in 1520. That cross is an artifact, it belongs in a museum.” Though not explicitly mentioned in the movie, the Cross of Coronado was a jewel-encrusted golden crucifix with a chain; named for Spanish explorer Francisco Vásquez de Coronado who was gifted the cross from Spanish Conquistador Cortez. It was believed to contain a piece of the cross Jesus was crucified on. This item would be something Henry Jones Sr. would be interested in as it may be bundled with other items associated with Jesus, like say, the holy grail!
So, the young Indiana Jones quickly orders a fellow trooper to get the Sheriff while he quickly concocts a plan to retrieve the cross. That plan? Why it’s the old “climb down the rope into a pit within a cave and steal the cross while the bad guys have their backs turned” trick.
Just when Indy is about to make it out he makes a false step, breaking a wooden beam, alerting the grave robbers to his presence. Oh, one strange thing, the main bad guy is dressed like and even looks like our hero, more on this later.
This starts one of the all-time best chases in cinematic history.
A foot chase through the beautiful Utah desert. A horse (and car chase) through the planes. Leading us to our hero fighting the baddies on a moving train and box cars filled with perilous circus animals. Animals such as rhinos, snakes, and lions. The snake box car shows the inception of Indiana’s fear of snakes. The lion box car shows the origin of Indiana’s whip and scar. Fun stuff! Fighting the baddies off throughout the entire train ride Indiana strongly asserts to the baddies, when confronted to hand over the cross that “It belongs in a museum.”
Henry Jones, Jr. makes it home, bruised and bloodied, but cross in hand. He excitedly charges into his father’s office, high off of victory with a world-class bona fide artifact in hand! …just to get brushed off by his faceless father. I think the narrative benefits from the lack of reveal of Henry Jones, Sr. because the faceless father figure shows just how distant these two were and continued to be.
As he is brushed off we hear the bugle charge in the distance. As it gets louder we see that Indiana’s fellow trooper fulfilled his obligation of getting the Sheriff, only problem is the Sheriff is, seemingly, in league with, or at least on the side of the baddies who turn the cross over to a man in a cream suit and Panama hat.
Beaten, Indiana is confronted by the gang’s leader, the one who looks and dresses just like his future self. The man in the fedora gently reminds Indiana “You lost today, kid, but that doesn’t mean you gotta like it.”
With those Fatherly words of advice our hero is given his iconic fedora by the man who just bested him. With eyes pointed down in defeat, the crown is passed to Indiana as the fedora is placed upon Indiana’s head. Just then our young hero begins to lift his head and…
Flash to 1938 where we are on a ship off the coast of Portugal and see a soaked and smiling Indiana Jones who (no doubt was dreaming of his past, a past we just witnessed) lifts his fedora adorned head, and wakes from a haymaker induced daze – just to receive another. The man in the cream colored suit and fedora steps into the moonlight, waves crashing on the deck, to scold Indiana “This is the second time I’ve had to retrieve my property from you.” To which Indiana asserts “It belongs in a museum.”
The movie could have ended after the heroic fight scene and exploding ship leave our hero as last man standing, or floating as it were.
There is about 2 more hours of an amazing film, to be certain, but lets talk about some serious daddy issues hinted at in the first 14 minutes of the film.
Our hero chose to be called Indiana Jones and not Henry Jones, Jr. Why? Why choose to take the name of your dog, over that of your father. Because you were treated like a dog by a man you would rather not be named after. A little dark, but no more than the rest of the film… Nazis, Knights Templar, rats. Also, why emulate the look of a man who bested you when you were on the cusp of archeological greatness? Because he beat you, he was better than you, and still had the time to teach you a lesson in graceful defeat and a never say die attitude. An attitude that undoubtedly carried Indiana to greatness.
Speaking of greatness, how about that beer?
New Belgium’s 2014 La Folie. Boy oh boy, what a lovely beer. I chose this beer because the bottle reminded me of Indiana Jones and how he can magically travel by map. The beer itself is an old style forged through years of aging, a truly artisan ale, craft beer at it’s finest. According to the good folks at Colorado based New Belgium “La Folie Wood-Aged Biere, is our original wood-conditioned beer, resting in French Oak barrels between one and three years before being bottled. Brewmaster, Peter Bouckaert, came to us from Rodenbach – home of the fabled sour red. Our La Folie emulates the spontaneous fermentation beers of Peter’s beloved Flanders with sour apple notes, a dry effervescence, and earthy undertones.”
This movie takes place during World War II and deals with subject material ranging from the days of Christ, to The Crusades and beyond. The beer fits perfectly into that feel of days gone by, something I enjoy immensely about these films.
Back to the movie…
The Good: The father and son dynamic and on screen chemistry of Ford and Connery.
The Bad: I honestly don’t cringe at a single thing in this movie. It’s perfect.
(Spoiler Alert) When the Nazi bad guy drinks from the wrong cup and ages 100 years in a matter of seconds, yeesh.
Obviously there’s a whole lot I left out about the film, but I chose to.focus on the film’s prologue as it sets the stage for what is, essentially, a two hour story about the bond and complex relationship between father and son. In the end, that’s when movies are at their best, when they tell universal stories in grand ways. Watch it through this lense on your next viewing, bring beer.
*There are technically 4 Indiana Jones films, but we’re only going to review the one’s filmed in the 1900’s.