Raiders Of The Lost Ark ****

 

Harrison For is Indiana Jones in "Raiders Of The Lost Ark"

Harrison For is Indiana Jones in “Raiders Of The Lost Ark”

“Raiders Of The Lost Ark” is one of the great adventure films.  A movie that combines everything that we love about the movies.  Adventure, romance, foreign locations, swashbuckling heroes, evil villains, and the search for things with great power.  Steven Spielberg sets the bar for all action movies to come.  Frankly I think that this film will never be topped in terms of sheer escapist entertainment.  It is a classic that has stood the test of time.

Is there anybody would could handle this role better then Harrison Ford?  I would be insulted if anybody even attempted to answer that question.  He is pitch perfect as the dry witted, in over his head, archaeologist, Dr. Indiana Jones.  His goal is the find the Ark of the Covenant before the Nazi’s can.  Inside it is said to possess the power of god.  In the hands of the Nazi’s it could provide them with a serious advantage in the looming war.  Jones wants to find it and put it in a museum. 

During his quest, he will fight the Nazi’s in a series of gun battles, chases, fights, and the ultimate show down, high on a mountain top.  All of this is brought to life with incredible stunts and special effects.  This movie was shot during a time when visual effects were not really an option.  Everything that takes place on screen is really happening in one way or another.  Now a days, most films add in the stunts and action via computers, and visual effects.  Most of the time the illusion is lost, as we can tell that the image is being manipulated.  Special effects will always be where the heart of cinema should really be.

“Raiders” comes from a time when cinema truly contained magic.  The stuff of dreams.  Since then we have had few adventure movies that seem inspired and thrilling.  Most are a rehash of the “Jones” movies.   As much as I loved the latest entry in to the series, part of me wished that they had relied less on visual effects and stuck with special effects, stunts and sets.  But that time has come and gone.  But it will never be forgotten.

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