On Friday, September 7th, “Raiders of the Lost Ark” will be getting the IMAX treatment to support the upcoming Blu-ray release of this Spielberg/Lucas classic. Luckily no FX have been added, but the sound has been restored and remastered for surround sound quality.
I will not rehash the plot of RAIDERS. If you have not seen the film, you’re doing yourself a great disservice. Raiders is one of the best action films ever made, and is perhaps the best adventure movie you’ll ever see. There is a charm that even Temple of Doom and The Last Crusade cannot manage to duplicate, a brash arrogance perfectly embodied by Indie himself, a contender for greatest movie hero of all time.
Still, it’s hard shelling out money for a movie you’ve seen a hundred times and probably own, but Raiders is a movie you must see on a big screen if given the chance.
It’s one legendary set piece after another in this first Indiana Jones entry, from the infamous boulder-dash intro to the face melting conclusion. Like all brilliant works of art, Raiders boldly toes the line between success and failure, settling between cartoonish buffoonery and gory detail; we are left with an imaginative, brilliantly colored trek through jungles and deserts, in the air and on sea, combating cannibalistic natives, saber-wielding assassins and machine gun-toting Nazis.
Harrison Ford is one of the most likable screen presences you’ll ever come across and is perfectly cast as the smart savvy, Bond-like adventurer (whose actual job occupation is professor/paleontologist, really?). Hopping all over the globe, looking for mystical treasures with Indie is a pure joy. It’s impossible not to root for Indie, despite never worrying that his life is actually in danger. Action films today burn giant mushroom clouds of flame into your eye, one explosion at a time, while Raiders leaves you with a smile plastered to your face.
Once the Germans are introduced, however, things take a turn for the worse (Germans always seem to ruin things in action movies).
Don’t forget the snakes, either. Recovering the lost covenant is not all fun and games!
But Raiders never takes itself too seriously, a key to its success. A particularly playful scene involves Indie being challenged to what will no doubt be a long and bloody duel. He’s got a girl to save though, and decides a pistol will do just fine.
In the end Raiders scores a near perfect 9.4/10, one of my favorite films and the model all action and adventure films should look to. If the IMAX price tag is too much for you, at least rent this all-American classic on Netflix. If you’ve never seen it before you are in for a treat, and if you have, this walk down memory lane will not disappoint.