Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)

Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) is most of all an enjoyable action-adventure that leaves quite an impression.

However, Raiders may present problems for some and opportunities for others. The Ark of the Covenant, a beloved feature of the Old Testament, is sort of dangerous according to this film, a twist on the Old Testament story and history which may cause believers to think twice. Others may find it a warning about God’s judgment on the “unworthy”, the unrighteous unbelievers in this movie are the Nazi’s from around the time of World War II.

For me, Raiders was an exciting, cool adventure and only when I started reviewing, did I think about those “spiritual” issues. I realized, though, that the film is more an adventure than telling me something directly religious, but if I was in an overt religious or spiritual mood I may have though differently, but just or a moment.

Imitators have tried to emulate this film (aka 1999’s The Mummy), but Raiders of the Lost Ark is the definitive action adventure classic and set a high standard for its prequel and sequel to follow, which both fell short of Raiders’ cinematic enjoyment. Include Ronald Lacey as a great contributor to the film’s enjoyment level, as the Nazi pest who is always on Jones’s case must be the most likeable villain in ages, but perhaps not rivalling Richard Kiel from James Bond; Lacey may be second best.

The story goes that Hitler is in search of the Ark that’s recorded in the Old Testament of the Bible. It’s believed to be hidden in Egypt, but where? The Nazi’s on behalf of Hitler want to find out, but Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford), beloved archaeologist and lecturer, may find out before them. An army with the ark is, according to the film, “invincible”.

Always with a taste for power and lust, artefact collector Baloque (Paul Freeman) wants a taste of the “power” of the ark before Hitler gets at it. Jones’ old flame Marion and some trusty sidekicks help the man with bullwhip, scholarly intellect and ruggedly charm to find the historic piece before Baloque, who, after he’s done with it, will hand it over to Hitler presumably.

Kids, and adults, can kick back and enjoy its memorable beginning right through to the climatic action. This is one of the stories of Indiana Jones, maverick adventurer. One quibble: See this too many times, and like other films you may see again and again, you will begin to get bogged under. But thankfully the last time I saw this, it was like seeing it the first time.

10/10


Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) Starring: Harrison Ford, Karen Allen, Denholm Elliott, Paul Freeman, Wolf Kahler. Director: Steven Spielberg.

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