Sunday, December 4, 2011

Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)

Cinema Sweetheart's Rating: 8 out of 10
Director: Steven Spielberg
Starring: Harrison Ford, Karen Allen, Paul Freeman
Rated: PG
Genre: Action, Adventure
Runtime: 115 minutes
Sequels: Temple of Doom (1984), The Last Crusade (1989), Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008)

Indiana Jones (Ford), college professor and archaeologist will go to great lengths to obtain rare archaeological finds for museums.  Word of his dedication and bravery has come to the notice of the United States government, who have an important mission for him: to find the legendary Ark of the Covenant, the sacred box claimed to contain the Ten Commandments that God gave to Moses.  But this is no ordinary mission.  It's a race against time as Indy struggles to get to the Ark before his rival Dr. Belloq (Freeman) and the Nazis can get their hands on it.  The legends say that if an army carries the Ark into battle, they will be unstoppable.  And Hitler is greatly desirous to obtain such a powerful weapon.

The Indiana Jones movies have been on my "to watch" list for the longest time (just like Star Wars).  I've always been meaning to watch them, but I never got around to doing so.  Now, I'm sure that half of you out there are thinking that I must have spent my childhood living in a cave or something (and the other half really don't care either way).  But, I finally got around to watching Raiders of the Lost Ark, and I'll be honest; I'm really glad I did!  The movie was not only fun, exciting, and engaging, but it had a colorful cast of characters who balanced off each other perfectly.  Personally, my favorite had to be the villain, Dr. Belloq, but of course, our hero Indy came in a very close second.

Harrison Ford was perfect for Indiana Jones.  And I thought that his character was not only amazing, but amusing as well.  I love that Indy is this great, fearless explorer, but when he's back on campus, teaching a class of college students, he becomes meek, awkward, and easily rattled.  It's a very striking contrast.  I especially loved his reaction to one rather amorous young lady who writes "LOVE YOU" on her eyelids.

Dr. Belloq was a very interesting villian.  When we are first introduced to him, he seems to be quite a threat; commanding, calm and collected, and very calculating.  As the film progresses, you start to hate him (after all, he's working for HITLER!) and later, he actually becomes rather amusing.  One of my favorite scenes had to be when he gets totally drunk in his tent in Egypt.  Personally, I thought it was really amusing. :)

The action scenes were gripping and exciting.  I loved all the creative ideas for booby traps set up in all the rooms of the temples Indiana explores.  Of course, the classic giant rock cannot be overlooked, although I did think it was a bit cheesy and rather wtf (what the fudge).  Personally, I really liked the whole booby trap setup in the first temple-- when Indy tries to get the golden relic.  I also loved the fight scenes.  They were exciting, fast-paced, and just the right length.  I was on the edge of my seat for the epic showdown in Marion's (Allen) pub.

One last thing I would like to add....I know this film is only rated PG, but I would like to remind everyone that there is some things that might be a bit frightening for children, namely the unveiling of the ark toward the end.  If you don't know what happens, I don't want to spoil it for you, but it would most likely be a bit too intense for younger viewers.


  1. I'm glad you liked it. Your comment about the PG rated content was interesting. Did you know that when this film was made the PG-13 rating didn't exist? In fact, The rating was instituted after the second Indiana Jones movie came out, the Temple of Doom, because so many people thought that it was too violent and scary to be PG, but not graphic enough to be R. So you can thank Indiana Jones for the PG-13 rating option.

  2. Robby, I knew that PG-13 is a newer rating, but I had no idea that it came around because of the Indiana Jones franchise; that's really interesting! Thank you for the trivia :)

  3. E,
    I wouldn't worry about spoiling the ending... you are so, like, the last human on the planet to see this movie ;)

    They all rock. Looks like there's a new one coming out, too.


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