Probably the best adventure films around, the Indiana Jones franchise provided some of the coolest action films in the history of cinema. Harrison Ford is iconic in the title role, and Steven Spielberg’s direction solidified it’s place in cinema history; but how would I rank the 4 films in the franchise?
I explain my ranking system in this list:
Don’t forget your hat, it’s time for the list …
4 – Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
The latest of the franchise, “Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” was a massive disappointment upon it’s release.
Harrison Ford and Steven Spielberg return, but they do little to save this movie. Any movie that invents an alternative to “Jumping The Shark” (Nuking The Fridge) is probably not a good movie.
Maybe it’s just nostalgia from watching this film plenty of times in my youth, but I don’t think this movie is that bad. There are definitely some dumb moments, like the aforementioned fridge and an annoying Shia LaBeouf in a supporting role, but there are some great moments as well.
The blow-dart scene is hella intense, John Hurt is great in this movie, and the chase scenes – the opening one with Ford and LaBeouf as well as the one with the jeeps in the jungle at the end – are good pieces of action. Still, this movie is definitely sub-par by Indiana Jones’s standards.
3 – Temple of Doom
This movie is so much fun. The opening scene sets the tone, and it only gets sillier and crazier from there.
A decent follow-up to its predecessor, Temple of Doom still has all the fun adventure you want from an Indiana Jones film – just not enough of it.
There are some great scenes, like the finale on the bridge and the escape from the spiked-roof chamber. What probably lets the film down is the fact its simply not as good as the previous film in the series. Also, Willie Scott is incredibly annoying at points (but at least her actress Kate Capshaw got married to Spielberg, so I’m glad they found a reason to look back on this film fondly).
2 – The Last Crusade
The inclusion of Sean Connery in this movie was a masterstroke from the film makers.
Maybe the second greatest adventure film of all time, this movie has everything: witty dialogue, heart-pounding action and an interesting Archaeological adventure.
The real heart of this movie is the connection between Indie and his dad, both played to perfection by Ford and Connery respectively. Some of the action scenes here are the best in the franchise, like the boat chase at the start as well as the bike chase. This movie is amazing, but I think it just misses out on being an all-time great. Speaking of which …
1 – Raiders of the Lost Ark
And now we have the single greatest adventure film of all time.
You can tell this movie is going to be iconic from the get go, with the incredible scenes leading up to Indie taking the treasure, and it all culminating in that famous boulder chase sequence.
I can’t really find any faults here, this really is a perfect action / adventure movie. Every scene has gone down in movie history, whether its the fight on the convoy of vehicles, or the fight in the marketplace that leads to Indie hilariously shooting the swordsman (they had a whole fight planned, but Ford got ill so they had to improvise). Sensational cinema.