Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark is one of those movies I had always been familiar with, but never watched. Bits and pieces looked familiar, but I’m betting that’s thanks to the Indiana Jones ride at Disneyland. It’s a fun ride, and the movie proved to be the same.
Harrison Ford, for me, has always been Han Solo. And it’s funny because I was late to the game on Star Wars, too. But they drew me in so quickly that every time I debated whether or not I should start Indiana Jones, I decided not to. It’s safe to say that was a poor choice.
Raiders of the Lost Ark shows you two sides of Indiana Jones. At first, he’s a man of adventure, but soon enough you see him as a professor who goes by Dr. Jones. It’s hard to believe that the charming Harrison Ford could be flustered, but he was when he taught a class full of women who appeared to adore him. It’s a complete contrast to later, when he’s with Marion (Karen Allen). With her, there’s clearly tension between the two that gets to blossom by the end of the film. From the start, you can tell there’s some sort of history between the two, so their relationship never feels forced.
Despite the out-of-date special effects, this movie brought me nothing but joy when watching it. In fact, the effects made things more comical at times. However, for the 80s, this was absolutely a top-notch film. Even though Indy’s end goal was to find the lost ark, he accomplished so much more than that. On his journey, he gets to beat up some Nazi’s and come out an even bigger hero than he would have if all he did was go find the ark without any interference. Not to mention he also gets the girl, which while it isn’t much of a surprise, gives him a happier ending.
Dr. René Belloq (Paul Freeman) isn’t so much a villain in this film, but Indy’s competitor. This movie wouldn’t work quite as well without that competition aspect. Belloq is always right there when Indy comes out with whatever he finds and snatches it away from him. There’s not a ton of banter between them, but when there is, it is well done. Plus, he’s also charming and pretty much Indy’s equal in many aspects. This just gives the movie one more positive aspect to it.
The action scenes alone made the movie entertaining, but there were some other stand out moments. Namely, we realize we’re all just a bit like Indiana Jones in the moment when he says, “Snakes, why did it have to be snakes?” It wasn’t necessarily the line, but the way that he delivered it. We’ve all had those “Oh, c’mon!” or “Are you kidding me?” moments in life, and it’s nice to see the hero of a story have them, too. Simply put, Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark is action-packed, fun, and even campy at times, which makes it even more enjoyable.