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Owtkast's Movie Reviews (32)

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Raiders of the Lost Ark 
Grimdiana Bones
3.5/4 stars

Raiders of the Lost Ark is, in my opinion, not only the finest film in the Indiana Jones trilogy but also the greatest pure adventure film ever made. This unadulterated thrill ride first exploded onto the big screen in 1981 and remains unsurpassed, despite many good and not-so-good imitators. Combining the immense talents of George Lucas as writer and producer, and Steven Spielberg as director, this film echoes the great cliffhanger serials of Hollywood yesteryear but also outshines them by a long way. Set in the 1930s, Harrison Ford is perfectly cast as Indiana Jones. Jones is essentially a grave robber, a mercenary archaeologist who has hair-raising adventures uncovering rare artefacts. He gets hired by the US government to uncover the Ark of the Covenant before the Nazis, and is propelled into a thrilling globetrotting adventure. Along the way he is helped by old flame Marion (the superb Karen Allen) and friend Sallah (the equally superb John Rhys Davis) Ultimately, what really makes this film so interesting, is how Indy is just as obsessed with finding the Ark as the villain Belloq (the wonderfully slimy Paul Freeman). Twice he chooses to abandon Marion because of his obsession. As Belloq observes `you are a shadowy reflection of me', the cliché for once rings true. In subsequent Indiana Jones films, he is far a more straightforward hero, here he is a much darker and more interesting character. Needless to say, the special effects, sound, music (the peerless John Williams), production design, editing, cinematography etc are well up to scratch. It's impossible to find a more rattling good yarn than this film.


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