Raiders Of The Lost Ark: The IMAX Experience (Flack’s Review)

Posted on | September 18, 2012 | 2 Comments

Raiders Of The Lost SArk5 Stars

In Raiders Of The Lost Ark Indiana Jones, everyone’s favorite archeologist with a fedora and a whip, goes on adventures to bring back treasured ancient artifacts for the museum at the school where he teaches. His latest mission? To bring back the Ark of the Covenant despite the fact the fact that evil Nazis are racing him to the prize. With the help of his old love interest Marion, good friend Sallah, and long time pal Marcus Brody who works at the same school as Indy he has to try to survive snakes, a shirtless bald German, eye popping terrors, and more.

The first of a four film series, Raiders of the Lost Ark is a treasured classic filled with adventure, comedy, romance, and of course tons of action. Nowadays one of the best ways studios can try to ensure that they’ll make box office gold with their latest projects is to bring together multiple Hollywood heavyweights to work together. But there will never be an A list paring more prestigious than Raider’s: Steven Spielberg and George Lucas. Since then they’ve worked on almost every type of film imaginable but back then they were known for two films; Jaws and Star Wars, respectively. While those movies were just the beginning of their careers they were still the two highest grossing films of the time. As expected Raiders didn’t, doesn’t, and will simply never disappoint.

Raiders Of The Lost ArkOne of the main reasons the film works is Harrison Ford’s title performance. Not only does he deliver the action man requirements better than most actors, if not all, he’s also hilarious and witty. That said, the rest of the cast delivers well rounded performances. Karen Allen, Paul Freeman, John Rhys Davies, Denholm Elliot, and Alfred Molina, the eventual Doc-Oc, take stereotypical characters (i.e. the sidekick, love interest, super bad guy, doomed untrustworthy companion, eetc.) and flesh them out, adding vigour, comedy, and fun.

As for the now classic Spielberg and Lucas pairing, it plays out magneficentley. Both have a knack for action set-pieces that really work and that talent is brilliantly showcased here. The classic opening, the truck chase, the scene where Indy and Marion are trapped with a bunch of snakes, and the creepy yet cool climax are all thrilling sequences.  it might not be as great as some of Spielberg’s other works but it is certainly as thrilling, quotable, and all out entertaining as anything he has ever worked on.

This movie is so good it would even be fun to watch on a tiny T.V. But seeing it on an IMAX screen is astonishing. When you go to an IMAX movie you’re not just seeing a film on the big screen you’re seeing it on the biggest screen. For anyone who has never been to IMAX head on over to the Providence Place Mall, despite the very expensive costs it’s worth it at least once. Pick a film like this one that is thoroughly entertaining and has action sequences that are massive and epic in scope. But how does this movie work with the format? The restoration of Indy isn’t perfect: the wide shots are at times seemingly blurrier than ever although maybe I just noticed that on the big screen. When polishing up an  older film for release you have to be careful, after all fans expect it to be perfect. But when doing it for this big a screen it needs to be dazzling. And, aside from the already mentioned occasional glitches, it is. When I walked into the theater I felt absolutely astonished. 6 stories high and featuring a great sound system it is undoubtedly one of my favorite moviegoing experiences in my life so far. While it’s left Providence (for now) I heard it might be expanding it’s originally one week long run so try to track it down at all costs.

But is this masterpiece flawless? Not quite. During the climax SPOILER ALERT! (though let’s face it, who hasn’t seen this movie?) all the bad guys’ faces melt. And what does Indy and Marion do? Close their eyes and wait. There could have been a little battle scene between Belloq and Indy which concludes with Belloq being thrown to the ground by Indy straight into the Ark. Then he would forget to close his eyes along with the other bad guys that perhaps Marion and Sallah could have been fighting. However the heroes would close their eyes and survive. The real ending doesn’t ruin the picture but if they just wanted to clean it up a bit that wouldn’t have hurt.

My favorite character is obviously Indiana Jones. Never has a leading man injected an action hero with so much humor and life. Harrison Ford, a wonder in the title role, is above all what makes this movie a classic.

My favorite scene is the opening because it is incredibly thrilling and gives you a lick of the meal to come. Plus you really can’t beat a glistening golden idol, a failing sand bag, speared skeletons, and one massive boulder.

The film is rated PG by the MPAA. There was no PG-13 back then because it was invented because of the second Indiana Jones film. Nowadays I would rate it PG-13 for some romance, lots of action violence, occasional glimpses of blood, and one very gory climax.

Note: If you want to hear a great disscussion about the Raiders of the Lost Ark IMAX re-release head on over to the Filmspotting website to listen.

Raiders of the Lost Ark has never been better nor bigger. Massive in scope and epic in scale, here is a film that could be called the Citizen Kane of action movies. As thrilling as it is fun, as pulse-pounding as it is laugh out loud hilarious this is (plain and simple) a classic. It’s a master collaboration between Spielberg and Lucas even though it certainly doesn’t have the heart of E.T. and maybe not the everlasting appeal of the original Star Wars (though no doubt, Raiders will never be forgotten) it’s still a great time at the movies. If you haven’t already or even if you have see it on the biggest screen: IMAX. Just when you thought Raiders couldn’t get any better it……..did.


2 Responses to “Raiders Of The Lost Ark: The IMAX Experience (Flack’s Review)”

  1. Andrea Itkin
    September 23rd, 2012 @ 10:03 am

    I gather you liked the film, Mr. Flack. Harrison Ford would be pleased with your review, I suspect. Makes me wish we had an IMAX theater in town.

  2. Joshua Relyea
    September 26th, 2012 @ 8:15 pm

    Hi Dylan, this is josh, great review!

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