Movie Review: Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)

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Most movies I review are ones that I have never seen before, but on occasion it happens that I do one that I have seen before. This is such a movie. The backstory to why I chose to review this movie was that I caught it on TV this evening with my parents and thought “Hey… let’s review it since my thoughts may have changed since last I saw it”. So, let’s review us some adventure stuff.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Raiders of the Lost Ark”.

The movie follows history teacher and archeologist Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford) as he is sent by some US government people to go and find the Ark of the Covenant before the Nazis do. On the way he meets up with his former lover Marion (Karen Allen) abd it’s up to them and some other people to find the Ark before the Nazis get their terrible hands on it. While not having the most original of plots since it’s been done in old adventure serials, it still delivers a lot better than most movies of the same genre. It’s intriguing, interesting, fast-paced, fun and just overall very well told. There are so many tiny nuances that gives the plot of the movie the edge over most movies in the action-adventure genre. *Dun du dun dun, dun du duuun*.

The characters in the movie are all just a load of fun to watch do things… yes, even the nazis. Harrison Ford had already proven himself with “Star Wars” and “Empire Strikes Back” that he was a really good actor with tons of charisma, but then he did this role and proved he isn’t just a pretty face in a spaceship. He showed that can be a tough badass with tons of intelligence and charm as well. Seriously, his performance in this movie is great… he is also one sexy motherfucker. Karen Allen gives a great performance as Marion, a tough-as-nails woman who still shows that she is vulnerable, which makes her character a lot more compelling than your typical damsel in distress. We also get some great supporting performances from John Rhys-Davies, Paul Freeman and Ronald Lacey. If you want good acting, look no further.

The score for “Raiders” was composed by the legendary John WIlliams and it’s definitely one of his finest, being able to ramp up the tension and excitement in the different scenes of the movie. It’s also jsut overall really fun to lsiten to and would definitely be something I could listen to in the car… if I had a car, that is. And I will just briefly mention the main theme which is simply one of the greatest main themes to anything ever.

This movie was the result of directors Steven Spielberg and George Lucas bumping their heads together to create something interesting and entertaining. And that they did, with George doing some writing/story for it and Steven doing the directing. And that was a great decision because this is one of the most well directed action movies I have ever seen. The shots look terrific, with Spielberg showing that he is one of the best directors ever. And the action scenes are so great to watch as well, with everything clearly visible, with no dumb editing or unnecessary shaky-cam… or CGI. Sure, there is a scene with some sub-par green screen effects, but that part doesn’t really take away from the overall experience for me. The fights are also really brutal and hard-hitting. Combine that with some overall disturbing imagery and a scene featuring a shit-ton of snakes, I am almost a bit surprised that this movie is rated PG and not R. There is also a bit of really funny humor that is surprisingly low-key for this type of film.

This movie has been very well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 96% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 90/100. Roger Ebert gave it 4/4 stars and put it on his “Great Movies” list. And on imdb.com it has a score of 8,5/10 and is ranked #36 on the “Top 250” list. It also won 4 Oscars in the categories of Best set decoration, Best sound, Best film editing and Best visual effects. The movie also got an additional 4 nominations in the categories of Best picture, best director, best cinematography and best original score. 

“Raiders of the Lost Ark” is a classic within the action-adventure genre. It features a great plot, great characters & acting, fantastic music, great directing, great action and some really good humor. Time for my final score. *Dun du dun dun, dun du duuun*. My final score for “Raiders of the Lost Ark” is a 9,88/10. It gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.
Seal of Approval

My review of “Raiders of the Lost Ark” is now completed.

So, yeah… look forward to reviews coming soon for the rest of the series…

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3 thoughts on “Movie Review: Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)

  1. Really great review Marcko, I enjoyed it alot 🙂 Indiana Jones was my childhood favourite movie, I always got so excited trying to jump around like Indy did, I’d even set up the pillows and cushions in a way that felt like a booby trap,and try to crawl my way through it 🙂 Thanks for helping me to relive that memory.

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