Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark
In 1936, archaeologist and adventurer Indiana Jones is hired by the U.S. government to find the Ark of the Covenant before Adolf Hitler's Nazis can obtain its awesome powers.In 1936, archaeologist and adventurer Indiana Jones is hired by the U.S. government to find the Ark of the Covenant before Adolf Hitler's Nazis can obtain its awesome powers.In 1936, archaeologist and adventurer Indiana Jones is hired by the U.S. government to find the Ark of the Covenant before Adolf Hitler's Nazis can obtain its awesome powers.
The Life and Times of Harrison Ford
Whhhoooooo!! I'm left breathless just describing that opening. But is there a better beginning of a movie ever? Absolutely not. Does the beginning have anything to do with the rest of the film. No. It is all decoration for what the movie is going to put you through in the 90 minutes to come.
Indiana Jones is the best character to ever hit the screens. And he better be. He is created by George, Steven and played by Harrison Ford. That may seem normal now that we have lived with him for 20 years, but can you imagine what that must have been like back in 1981. That would be like Tom Hanks or Will Smith joining forces with James Cameron and Steven Spielberg for a completely original idea in today's terms.
Raiders took a simple idea and maybe an idea that the guys had from watching Saturday afternoon movies and made it larger than life. This film never stops for you to take your breath. It is filled with rich characters from Indy himself to Marion to Belloq and even to Marcus Brody. Each has their own personality that shines through in certain scenes. Some of my faves were when we first meet Marion having a shot contest in her bar in Nepal. Then there is her scene with Belloq and they get drunk together and she tries to leave using only a butter knife. And of course who can forget Indy's battle with the swordsman and his unrivaled determination to get the ark. " Indy, there is not time. If you still want the truck it is being loaded on a truck for Cairo. " ( a battered and bloody Indy ) " Truck? What truck?" ( and then later ) "Get some transport back to England, boat, plane, anything. Meet me at Omar's. I'm going after that truck. "
Sola ) " How? " ( Indy ) I don't know I'm making this up as I go."
Raiders has more energy than three action films. And that is what makes it the classic that it is. If you like movies, then Raiders is a movie that will not let you down. It is pure entertainment and that is indisputable. It finds the youngster in all of us and bombards us with this silly, whip-cracking, average, incredibly determined archaeologist and only asks us to have fun. And that we do. And to me, the only reason that Chariots of Fire won best picture that year is because it is a serious film. Raiders was heads and shoulders above Chariots and it should have cleaned up at the Oscars in 81. But more politics with the academy.
Raiders of the Lost Ark is the epitome of entertainment. What more can be said about it. If you haven't seen this movie in a while or if you haven't seen it at all ( gasp ) then do yourself a favour and rent it tonight. It is awesome.
- Jul 9, 1999