The first introduction of Indiana Jones in the 1981 adventure film ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’, directed by visionary filmmaker Steven Spielberg. Can you believe it that this is my first time watching this movie, having never seen an ‘Indiana Jones’ picture ever? Well, that’s the truth, and as requested to review, I get to visit this world of ‘Indiana Jones’ for the first time.
The film explores archaeologist Professor Jones who loves to hunt down rare and valuable artifacts, hidden in remote places. However, two Army Intelligence agents confront Jones about the lost ark and the whereabouts of the top headpiece of the staff of Ra. Jones accepts, and is off on an adventure to find the missing piece and the discovery of the lost ark.
The film has plenty of exciting action set pieces, including the iconic, but well directed, opening sequence which includes swiping the golden idol, leading Indy being chased by a large ball spiraling behind him. Most of the action scenes are exciting to watch, however can lead to scenes like Marion being chased into a house, knocking out the bad guy inside, and off-screen, leaving the bad guy to fall outside of the house, then being dragged by Marion back inside – It’s scenes like these that come across as “seen this” vibe that I’ve seen in comedies before. Although, there are scenes that I liked and were very well directed, such as the conversation between René and Indy, which Indy being out of focus, all in one static shot which works out very well, and isn’t your usual close up over-the-shoulder shot of the villain, only to reverse the said shot with Indy.
The characters are for the most part interesting, with the lead characters of Indy and Marion that you care for and are on this adventure with them, trying to find the lost ark and beat Dr. René Belloq to it. Although, characters like Major Arnold Toht come across as a flat villain without any real motif or layer of character, unlike Dr. René Belloq who wants to find this rare and priceless artifact that comes across as a business deals-man who seeks power, and is a far more interesting nemesis to Indy.
‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’ is an entertaining adventure movie, packed with action, humour, a memorable score by the fantastic John Williams, and, for the most part, interesting and developed characters.