Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Raiders of the Lost Ark -- Indiana Jones -- 1981

Raiders of the Lost Ark

Rated PG for violence, language and innuendo
My Rating 3 Stars

Harrison Ford
Karen Allen
Paul Freeman
Ronald Lacey
John Rhys-Davies
Denholm Elliott

The Time: early 1940's; World War 2.
Dr. Jones is a dedicated professor of archaeologist. His classroom is filled with bored and somewhat starstruck students who don't take him very seriously, except to write “love”  “me” on their eyelids. But take off the scholarly glasses and the suit, replace them with clothes of the Aussie outback and a whip and Dr. Jones becomes a man of steel and action that his students would have never recognized.

To the rest of the world, the studious Dr. Jones doesn't exist. Only the whip cracking Indiana Jones who comes sweeping in to help if you're in trouble or happen to possess an archaic object that he thinks should be in a museum. Regardless, wherever he goes, the bad guys are never far behind!

The government comes to Dr. Jones and his associates with a riddle to solve. They have cracked a German code but they don't understand what the Nazis are talking about. However, they did know where to go for information on all things buried or ancient, and sure enough, Indiana Jones knew exactly what the German information was about and where to find it:

The Ark of the Covenant.

For many years, scientists and archaeologists alike had assumed the Ark was a myth. But Adolf Hitler was a man who thought all myths had some fact. If he could get his hands on the Ark and it's power, the war would no longer be an issue. And now, it seemed that his people had found evidence that the Ark existed and they were close to discovering it.

The United States representatives were grim after hearing the news. They looked at each other and back at Dr. Jones. They were not unfamiliar with his escapades since he always worked for the good guys (in most cases, the US government had claimed that particular title). Dr. Jones took off his glasses slowly and looked back at them.

Within hours, Indiana Jones was on a plane, headed straight into into the middle of the fray. First stop? A hard-bitten Marian and a blizzard.

What I Liked:
1: Indiana Jones. I love the fact that he loves books and teaching and wears owlish glasses. And I love it when he discards his tame occupation for a whip and dusty fedora and real archaeology. Harrison Ford is an excellent actor.
2: John Rhys-Davies. He adds such a nice flavor to the film: happy family man... but quite willing to take risks for Indy's sake.
3: The monkey.
4: I love how the bad guys give me the creeps. Not many movies have really good bad guys.
5: The way they overlay plane with map/destination. It's one of my favorite things about the movies.
6: The snakes. They looked very real.
7: How nothing on the movie seems like a set or unreal. You do forget you're watching a movie.
8: The massive feeling you get when he's down with the snakes. The statues are huge and impressive.
9: I love the part where they kidnap Marian.
10: My favorite part of the movie is after Indy kills all of his attackers with a sword/whip, etc, and the last swordsman leaps into the open, brandishing his sword so expertly that the audience is left asking, “How will he ever defeat him!” because not even Indiana Jones is that good. Indy sighs, pulls out his gun and blows the guy away. It always cracks me up.

What I Didn't Like:
1: Messed up theology. It's really bad. Lol!
2: Marian was too tough and too seductive.
3: Please tell me that every ship captain on the seven seas has a Vera Wong evening gown in his locker.
4: The almost bed scenes. Didn't help the story.
5: The language. Not too much but enough to be offensive to some.
6: How stupid Indy is at times. I suppose every hero has some down time but it seemed extreme at times.

I am still debating on whether to give this movie a 4 Star rating or keep it at a three. There are certain aspects about about this film that aren't that well done but there is a certain magic about Indiana Jones that I love, regardless of how well, or not, the film is done. :-) I understand why people flocked to the theaters whenever a new Indiana Jones movie came out.

And if it hadn't been for Harrison Ford...


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