All three of Steven Spielberg's films featuring the exploits of adventurer Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford) are collected together in a box set. In 'Raiders of the Lost Ark', Indy goes in search of the original Commandment tablets, while in 'The Temple of Doom' it is the sacred Sankara stone he seeks. 'The Last Crusade' sees Indy off once again, this time to find his father (Sean Connery), who has vanished while looking for the Holy Grail.
As with George Lucas' other movie franchise, there's a vein of mysticism running through Indiana Jones' big-screen adventures. Watching the trilogy back to back in this box set it's possible to unravel the chronology and chart the spiritual journey of our hero: the idealistic Young Indy ("It belongs in a museum", implores River Phoenix in the opening escapade of The Last Crusade
) grows up to become a cynical fortune-hunter seen trading archaeological treasures with Chinese gangsters at club "Obi-Wan" in The Temple of Doom
. From there we follow his path to redemption via three mystical religious objects: respectively Hindu (the Shankara stones in Temple of Doom
), Jewish (the Ark of the Covenant in Raiders
), and Christian (the Holy Grail itself in Last Crusade
But that's just the subtext. Along the way, this knight-errant archaeologist undertakes improbable adventures (featuring spiders, snakes, rats, insects and Nazis galore), rescues damsels in distress (even when they don't want to be rescued, like Kate Capshaw in Temple of Doom) and still finds time to bond with his dad (Sean Connery, in one of cinema's great cameo roles as Dr Jones Sr.). Steven Spielberg revels in Lucas' recreation of 1930s cliffhanger serials, infusing every scene with kinetic energy and infectious enthusiasm, and creating any number of iconic sequences that have become touchstones of cinematic history (the opening of Raiders has been parodied innumerable times in everything from chocolate commercials to The Simpsons). Director and producer are more than ably assisted by regular composer John Williams, whose swashbuckling Korngold-inspired "Raiders" theme casts Harrison Ford as a modern-day Errol Flynn. Although a fourth movie has long been promised, this trilogy plays like a self-contained whole that leaves nothing wanting: from the witty dialogue and breathtaking action choreography to the near-perfect casting and lovingly detailed period production design, this is popular movie-making at its very peak. --Mark Walker