Justin Peterson’s review published on Letterboxd:
Among the true masterpieces of the action adventure genre.
Put this in perspective, Harrison was fine with stepping away from being Hon Solo in Star Wars, because he was and will always be Indiana Jones.
I remember clearly playing t-ball with my dad in the back yard around the age of 6 and him telling me that we had a special movie to watch that night called Raiders of the Lost Arc, which then sparked my desire to be an archaeologist for several years to come.
There have been many attempts to duplicate its brilliance over the years including National Treasure, and even one of its own late sequels 'Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull', which was fine in my eye until the stupid flying saucer had to come up at the end.
Raiders of the Lost Arc fells like one of the shortest 2 hour movies I have ever seen simply based on how well paced it is. Spielberg is able to effortlessly bring this amazing story of buried treasure to life with a perfect hero, and great side characters. Especially Ronald Lacey as that bizarre and creepy little business suited Nazi.
So many great sequences to note but I will try:
- The opening temple scene, perfectly shows what Indy is all about
- Indy in the classroom setting and explaining the legend of the arc to the Government guys
- Setting up Marion with the drinking contest and the bar fire leading to the head piece branding Toht's hand
- The map travel sequences
- The map room, that shot on the hill were Indy puts on his hat while the crew digs for the chamber
- "Snakes, why did it have to be snakes"
- The big Nazi getting cut up in the plane's propeller blades really shocked me as a kid
- That chase scene where Indy is trying to get the arc back by having to take out each truck is among the best in all of cinema
- The arc melting the bad guys faces
- And the final shot of the arc getting tucked away in a Government warehouse after the mission is covered up with bureaucratic red tape as the closing credits roll
All the lush wonderful themes by John Williams makes this among the finest film scores ever.
I decided to pop in Raiders of the Lost Arc as a part of a movie marathon for my kids this Thanksgiving since they have not seen them. I could not help but smile during a snack break during raiders when I heard my 5 year old already humming the main Indiana Jones theme.
Indiana Jones is one of the best movie heroes of all time and everyone should experience his adventures. I would recommend showing them to kids because they really capture the imagination and get better each time you revisit them.
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Happy movie watching... SKOL!