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Thursday, August 6, 2015

Raiders of the Lost Ark

Based on a story by George Lucas and Philip Kaufman and from a screenplay by Lawrence Kasdan, Raiders of the Lost Ark is a nostalgic and action packed homage to the adventure movies of yesteryear, which further cemented the sheer star power of its director Steven Spielberg, who could do no wrong from the early seventies to early eighties, and its star Harrison Ford, coming straight of The Empire Strikes Back.
Dr. Indiana Jones (Ford) might be a lecturer in archeology on regular days but it's his extra-curricular adventures that make the man stand out. After the audience is introduced to his hero persona, with his fedora and a whip, in a spectacular introduction in which he manages to steal an old Peruvian artifact, only to have it stolen from him by rival archeologist Belloq (Paul Freeman). Back in England he is then approached by Marcus Brody (Denholm Elliott) to go hunt for the Ark of the Covenant as the Nazis are trying to obtain it too because of its supposed mystical powers. And from there starts a worldwide quest and race against the Germans for the Ark as Indy hooks up with a woman from his past (Karen Allen) and an old friend (John Rhys-Davies) as they make their way through various continents and set pieces, one more spectacular than the other.
Bringing old adventure serials back in a big way, Raiders of the Lost Ark is arguably the ultimate Saturday Matinee/B-movie adventure ever committed to celluloid. With a fun script, pitch perfect casting and killer performances, a roaring John Williams soundtrack, fantastic direction by Spielberg and a never ending roller coaster ride of action adventure and special effects, Raiders of the Lost Ark proved to be a giant hit, ultimately spawning three sequels as well as a prequel television series. The film was nominated for nine Academy Awards, winning five for technical ones, as well as nine Saturn Awards, winning seven including Best Fantasy Film, Director, Screenplay, Actor and Actress. One of the best popcorn movies ever made, Raiders of the Lost Ark almost instantaneously achieved iconic status and remains the very best the genre has ever had on offer. A true classic.