I was totally going to see that movie where the old guy adopts the robot, but then Raiders of the Lost Ark was in IMAX so Robot & Frank will have to wait until I care more about old people and less about punching the shit out of Nazis. Which will be like…forever.
I know what you’re thinking. Reviewing Raiders of the Lost Ark, or rather Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark, as it is affectionately-branded now, is just too easy. Cult classic movie reviews can go two ways. One is where I tell you that an awesome movie is still awesome. This is the route to go if you want to get a lot of “Best movie ever!” comments, which is the Internet equivalent of talking about the weather.
Alternately, I could rip it apart, which could potentially spark a lively debate between fans and non-fans, but ultimately leaves me feeling dirty because pandering to trolls is the same as acting coy after you just paid a hooker.
So where does that leave Indiana Jones and the Extra Long Title That Wasn’t Necessary Before?
There is a punching sound in Indiana Jones movies that does not exist anywhere else in the universe besides in the heads of 12-year-old boys. They think whenever you punch someone it makes that meaty, thwocky, “thduish”sound. It doesn’t of course, but in Imax? Nothing could be thwockier. Also, I don’t know if maybe that was just the sound Nazis make when you punch them. Could be a regional thing. I’m not a historian.
On the other side of the coin, there is a less-than-strict adherence to the basic scientific processes of archaeology going on in this film. I doubt Louis Leakey, while examining the remains in the Olduvai, ever had to punch anyone into an airplane propeller to prove his findings upheld the tenants of Darwin’s evolutionary theory*. Where exactly is Indiana Jones’s degree from? Where did he do his post-doc work? Is he EVEN published?
Look, there really is nothing I can tell you about this movie that you don’t know, probably. Sure, the character of Indiana Jones, especially in this iteration, is less developed than he is in later films and the writing has some real Lucas-worthy dud exchanges, but by-and-large there are few movies that have come along in the last 30 years that are as entertaining as Raiders of the Lost Ark. Just think! You can take your kids and complain how when YOU saw it for the first time, the cost of the movies was like three cents, and then you can wait patiently for them to be all “Wow really?! That’s fascinating, Dad! Tell us more about when you were a kid!” while they text their friends about how lame and old you are.
*Louis Leakey did however solve many problems with his sarcasm and roguish charm according to noted historians I am making up right now.