Now this is one movie that is clearly one of the most legendary films ever made. You will be hard pressed even in this day and age to find a young person that has not seen or at least heard of this movie and it’s legendary character Indiana Jones. many kids get into archaeology just because of the exploits of the character that made Harrison Ford one of the greatest actors of all time. I am not overreacting even, this is one of the most popular and seen movies in the world apart from The Wizard of Oz and Titanic.

Released in 1981, a decade where special effects driven action movies were more common than sand this one started it off right and really set the standard for pretty much every movie that cam after it. You have some of the biggest names in movie business involved with this movie and even today the special effects amaze and wow audiences.

-This is just some concept art, thought it was neat

Story: A

The story opens with one of the greatest character introductions the world has ever seen. for the first 5 minutes or so there are no words except for some guides talking about Jovitos, and a few screams from another. With a crack of a whip and a dramatic step from the shadows we are introduced to the character of Indiana Jones, an archaeologist, adventurer and college professor? I know it sounds like an odd combination, but it really does work as far as the acting goes.

The real action starts when Indy is put onto the scent of the Holy Ark of the Covenant, being excavated in Cairo by the Nazis who wish to use it’s powers to create an invincible army to conquer the world. The story takes us all over the world, from the good old USA, to Nepal, Cairo and then even Greece. Each location adding something new to the story.

After playing tricks on Nazis left and right and even getting locked into a stone chamber with thousands of poisonous snakes, the most memorable scene of the movie is when Indy take son a 7 foot tall Nazi who looks like he could knock out a horse with one punch. Not only does he fight the behemoth around an airplane that is going in circles with a gas truck about to explode in a fireball, he has his woman, Marion, stuck inside the airplane shooting up Nazi trucks with the machine gun. Oh and the behemoth gets sliced and diced by the propellers on the plane.

As Indy fights to keep the Ark out of the Fuhrer’s hands, explosions and fist fights are common, and in an explosion of irony and amazing special effects, every villain in the entire movie is taken out by the swift hand of God in one fell swoop. And then the US government repossesses the Ark and is placed underground with hundreds of other secrets in one of the most memorable and spoofed scenes in the movie.

The story is a classic take on the Hero’s Journey, as Indy goes from a single batelour to literally finding the love of his life.

Effects/Cinematography: A+

As I said earlier, this is an effects based movie, with many explosions that look and feel real as well as fight scenes choreographed the way that a real man would fight. The ending of the movie special effects still look more real than many of the blue screen special effects that are produced and dominate Hollywood today. They actually made these explosions, which is something that many people can appreciate and it just looks better!

The poetry that is conveyed in the amazing opening of the film is amazing. Everything that you need to know is told by the actions of the character on screen as well as the setting. Even the two sentences exchanged during this time are incredibly superfluous. throughout the movie, the twirling camera and close ups make the film feel real. Not to mention that the locations are incredible, from the snake pit to the jungle to Cairo, the movie was actually shot in many beautiful locations all over the world.

Music: A+

The music was scored by the amazing John Williams, probably the best movie composer EVER. He had 41 Oscar nominations and won 5 including Schindler’s List, ET The Extra Terrestrial, Star Wars Episode IV A New Hope, Jaws and being nominated for Harry Potter movies, more Star Wars and all the Indiana Jones movies.

The music is dynamic, epic and instantly fills you with dread, awe or fighting spirit depending on the scene. It is what takes the movie over the top to be honest. Since John Williams has an instinctive knowledge of what makes people feel and connect with a film, and it is this that makes us connect with Indiana and Marion so much.

There is not much more to say about the music in the film as everyone that I have met knows the theme song, and at the risk of sounding stupid, it is probably one of the best theme songs ever made. It is amazing to even think that such a song came form the mind of the same man who was the genius behind the Jaws theme song.

Acting: B+

The acting in the movie is superb, as both Harrison Ford and Karen Allen provide believable characters that the audience can connect with. They are human, make mistakes and bleed and are completely believable as real people. They have a banter and love/hate for each other that makes the romance feel alive as opposed to other movies where the romance is so contrived. This movie instead produces two obviously kindred souls put into a race against time to keep evil from ruling the world.

John Rhys Davies also makes an appearance as Sala, Indy’s friend and contact in Cairo. This man is jolly to the core, and loyal to a fault. He not only helps Indy, but puts his own standing and family at risk to do so. Sala comes across as a character like Santa Claus that only wants good for his friends, and for the evil of the Nazis to not be unstoppable.

Harrison Ford in this movie proves beyond a shadow of a doubt one of the greatest actors of all time as he takes up the mantle of Indiana Jones. Men want to be him and women want him. This rough and tumble archaeologist endears himself to us with his ironic and rather funny action sequences as he stops the Nazi menace. His wit and physical prowess notwithstanding, it is his interaction with Karen Allen that brings out his inner side. Harrison Ford made this character come alive and makes him into the James Bond of American culture.

Overall: A

This is truly an amazing film. There is no doubt about that. It is one of my favourites of all time and almost received an A+ rating. The only reason is that the movie did not get an A+ is that there were some snags in the storyline, but the drama never stops and even during the down time in the film we uncover more and more about the characters and the situation that they are in. Every action film wishes that it was either Raiders of the Lost Ark, Predator or Rambo.

I love this film and so should you, and if you have not seen it, I suggest you do.