RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK [1981] review

May 24, 2008 · Print This Article

RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK -- Indy stares into the eyes of a cobra

One realizes when watching a movie like RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK just how digital and overdone today’s action-adventure movies are.  RAIDERS was so organic, so believable.  Sure there are spectacular stunts and set pieces, but none that really made me think they were ludicrous and totally implausible.  It felt like I was watching a world that was entirely possible, if I only knew where to look. Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones seemed bold and tough, not like he was just waltzing across bluescreens.  

I couldn’t say when the last time I saw RAIDERS was.  Maybe I’ve only ever seen it once in my life sometime back in the 80′s.  I can’t remember if I saw it in a theater when it was released.  So my fandom of the series is more just out of respect and faint memories of the films.  On this viewing the original-ness of the series really takes hold.  Yes Indy has a gun, but he more often uses and gets out of jams with his whip.  He needs his book knowledge as much as his physical skills to solve the various mysteries.  

And as I have written in the past, for a film series to truly be iconic, it must have an iconic score. And RAIDERS most definitely does.  Humming the theme song after the credits roll happens naturally.  And it’s a theme that is instantly recognizable years later.  This is what modern franchises like SPIDER-MAN lack and why I don’t view them as classics.  

Just think how awesome it was the first time you saw Indy put sand into that small bag at the beginning of RAIDERS, and you thought to yourself, “why in the world did he do that?”  And then the payoff.  That’s why RAIDERS is great and will endure long after CG movies look dated.  

Comments

5 Responses to “RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK [1981] review”

  1. on June 21st, 2008 2:33 PM

    [...] established a format in RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK that we’d later see again in INDIANA JONES AND THE LAST CRUSADE, one realizes just how large [...]

  2. on June 21st, 2008 2:49 PM

    [...] in RAIDERS, we find Indy uses his book knowledge and adventure skills to their utmost, a return to form of [...]

  3. on June 22nd, 2008 1:28 AM

    [...] and it definitely lessoned my liking of CRYSTAL SKULL.  As compared to the analog action glory of RAIDERS, the CG ants and groundhogs and monkeys and human characters brought me out of the [...]

  4. on August 1st, 2008 11:47 PM

    [...] photos), in the basement we found samples and records dating back many years.  It was quite an Indiana Jones moment.  We went from the basement all the way up to the observation deck which offered a sweeping [...]

  5. on December 13th, 2009 12:41 AM

    [...] THE STONE is definitely a fun romp, no doubt greenlit because of the success of RAIDERS.  The story is simple enough to not get in the way of the characters, so when Kathleen Turner goes [...]

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