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REVIEW: “Raiders of the Lost Ark” - The Quintessential Adventure Movie

By Santiago Brion | October 9, 2023

The year is 1936, a time when a group led by a mysterious guy in a fedora leads them to a temple where an artifact called “the idol” sits. One member of the group pulls out a pistol in an attempt to deceive the fedora man. He pulls out the whip and uses it to strike. He steps into the light and the cinema icon, Indiana Jones, an archaeologist, was born.

Following that, Indy goes into the temple and retrieves the idol. That specific scene of Indy looking at the idol before he switches it with a bag of sand is movie magic. Indy stares at the idol in fascination, looking at it as if the idol is staring back at him. This perfectly sets up the story of cinema’s greatest original hero.

“Raiders of the Lost Ark” is about Indiana Jones being sent on an expedition to find the Lost Ark before the Nazi Party and his rival, French archaeologist René Belloq, can get to it. To get the Ark, Dr. Jones gets help from his mentor’s daughter, Marion, and one of his closest friends, Sallah.

Raiders’ greatest strengths include John Williams’ iconic score, Harrison Ford’s performance which gives off his cocky way of adventuring, awesome lines like “if you want to talk to God, let’s go see him together, I got nothing better to do,” as well as the makeup and practical effects – all leading to the film’s massive impact on pop culture.

“Raiders of the Lost Ark” is the quintessential adventure film. Steven Spielberg was influenced by the films he grew up watching as a kid, such as John Huston’s adventure movies “The Treasure of the Sierra Madre” and “Key Largo.” The “Indiana Jones” movies have all of the qualities of an adventure movie, including a cool protagonist, 1930s setting, and villains who want the artifacts for greedy purposes. The series was also a part of a new period in Hollywood in which Spielberg was re-defining Hollywood with his movies. Speaking of villains, the films have a recurring theme of the villains dying from their own greed.

The film has also influenced other media, including “Uncharted,” an action-adventure video game franchise about treasure hunters who discover historical mysteries. The games have stories involving finding lost cities or artifacts, have villains that also die from their own greed, and a strong female supporting character.

“Raiders of the Lost Ark” is the perfect adventure film to sink your teeth into good old-fashioned white-knuckle goodness.


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