The year is 1936. A handsome archeology professor named Indiana Jones is venturing in the jungles of South America searching for a golden statue. Right at the beginning of the film, he sets off a trap that stands to kill him,but escapes in the most miraculous way.
Jones, or ‘Indy’ as he is referred in the movie, then hears from a museum curator named Marcus Brody. He mentions an artifact called The Ark of the Covenant, which can hold the key to human existence. For this artifact, Indy must venture to places like Nepal and Egypt. However, he must fight many enemies, including a band of Nazis if he is serious about reaching it.
The Nazis weren’t very present in Egypt in 1936. Many people are also confused as to how Indy survived the submarine. However, there are lots of great action scenes and the story is so good that you forget these things. The way Indy escapes from danger is exciting and close to being implausible, but never quite crosses the threshold – and for that, many fans are grateful.
Editing and Sound Design
The editing and sound design stand out against other action movies. The gunfire and punching seem to have a sort of ‘Indy’ signature sound to them, and if you listen carefully you’ll see that they are unique to other similar films.
“John Williams’ score is classic and something almost everybody in the world knows.” according Scott J. Cooper, “It’s one of the best movie themes ever, and some believe it is better than Star Wars.”
The set pieces are incredible, only a few crazy end sequences seem dated now, but many have not lost their excitement. The movie is wonderfully crafted with no distraction when moving from location to location. There’s a reason for all.
Harrison Ford is amazing in the role and was perfectly cast. There’s hot debate over whether he is more Indy or more Solo (Star Wars) – and of course this is down to personal preference. One thing remains clear; this role was made for him. He is a dynamic, adventurous, and strong lead.
Unfortunately, the supporting cast isn’t as up to par. Paul Freeman makes a decent villain, although he is not all that menacing as Belloq. They could have chosen a more dynamic lead to star opposite Ford. Karen Allen is also a little annoying as the love interest of Jones, but there are a few characters who make up for it. Denholm Elliot playing Marcus Brody is one such character, as well as John Rhys-Davies as Sallah. Luckily, The Last Crusade gave these characters even more screen time!
These are superb, the only let down being the bar shootout scene. This scene doesn’t quite match up to the excitement of similar scenes. The following street chase luckily helps to keep up momentum for the film. There are many standout sequences to note, such as Indy’s battle with an impervious Nazi mechanic.
The finale comes a little close to horror, with a climax that is as frightening as it is memorable. Most Indiana Jones films have scenes that can scare the living daylights out of kids, even today.
Watching this film again might give you the fear,but worry not. It’ll be everything you remembered in your youth. It’s fun, exciting, and full of wise cracks. There’s a little romance too, but not so much that it stops it from being an action movie. It captures the feeling of adventure stories and comic books just perfectly. Some tend to believe that there’s a little seriousness to the story, but you don’t need to think too much about that.
Raiders of the Lost Ark was revolutionary cinema and is the favorite film of many people still to this day. The work paved the way for films that wanted to emulate a similar style – thrills and humour, all wrapped up in a pretty package.
This funny, exciting, thrilling, and slightly romantic masterpiece blockbuster should be at the top of every wannabe film buff’s list.
- Directed by: Steven Spielberg
- Run time: 1 hr 55 min
- Release date: 12th June 1981
- PG certificate
- Starring: Harrison Ford, Karen Allen, Paul Freeman