Thursday, January 23, 2014

Raiders of the Lost Ark (Steven Spielberg, 1981) Review

With my top ten films of 2013 list out of the way, I can get back to reviewing any random film I feel like and also back to reviewing whole franchises. One of my favourite film franchises is Indiana Jones so let's take a look at the legendary quadrilogy...yes quadrilogy. I will also be taking a look at the infamous Kingdom of the Crystal Skull to see if it is deserving of the hate it receives. Let's take a look at Raiders of the Lost Ark

In 1936, an archaeologist named Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford) ventures to the South American jungles in search of a golden statue but inadvertently sets of a trap in the process. After escaping, he is confroted by a German man named Belloq (Paul Freeman) who steals the statue and Jones returns to the university he works at empty handed. Indy's friend, Marcus Brody (Denhelm Elliot), tells him about the fabled Ark of the Covenant that Belloq and his group of Nazis is trying to get hold of. Indy sets off to places such as Nepal and Egypt to beat Belloq to the Ark.

This is definitely one of the best examples of a 'classic' film. Everything about it sticks in your head. The scenes, the characters, the quotes, the music, EVERYTHING! There is a 99% chance that you have probably seen this film (and if you haven't, what the hell are you playing at?). Harrison Ford is perfect as Indiana Jones as he conveys both badassery and suave yet also being rugged at the same time. Indy is one of my favourite film characters since everything about him is perfect. Other characters also are memorable such as Karen Allen as Marion and John Rhys-Davies as Sallah. John William's amazing score also captures the mood and characterization perfectly. 

I think what the most impressive thing about this film is it's use of special effects. This was before CGI was overblown so it makes things look more realistic such as the famous boulder chase or when the Ark is opened. It looks great. Speaking of looks, everything you see sticks to your mind. You won't forget Indy's iconic outfit, the design of the Ark, the locations. It's all good. The Indiana Jones films are unique for having violent action yet it keeps its light-hearted approach. It's funny yet freaky at the same time.

Raiders of the Lost Ark is a bona fide classic. Everything about it is excellent and paved the way for one of the most beloved film franchises. Harrison Ford is excellent, John William's music sticks in your head (mostly thanks to the LEGO game, I'll be honest), memorable moments take up most of the film and is directed by a genius mind. Join me next time as we continue the legendary series with...a not so legendary iteration...oohhh I'm going to get a lot of hate for this...

Everything about this film is perfect. A true classic.

I find it funny that it's harder to talk about a good film than it is a bad one.

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