Movie Review: Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark

Indiana Jones and the lost ark

IMDb Top 250 Movies


Archaeologist Indiana Jones retrieves a golden idol by getting through an ancient booby trapped temple in Peru. As he escapes, he is surrounded by his rival, another archaeologist Renè Belloq(Paul Freeman) who seems to take great pleasure in stealing Indiana’s successes. Belloq has the indigenous Hovitos on his side and Indiana is forced to surrender the idol. He manages to escape death by boarding a waiting seaplane.

Indiana Jones returns to his teaching at Marshall College as an archaeology professor, and is visited by two Army intelligence agents. They tell him that the Nazis are searching for his old mentor, Abner Ravenwood, who is the leading expert on Tanis, an ancient Egyptian city. Abner also apparently possesses the headpiece of the Staff of Ra, and the Nazis desperately want it. Jones deduces that they are searching for the Tanis because it may be the location of the Ark of the Covenant, and the Nazis believe that if they acquire it they will become invincible. They are looking for the staff of Ra because it is the key to the finding of the Well of Souls, a secret chamber in which the Ark is buried. The agents want Jones to find the Ark before the Nazis does, because the ramifications of that would be troublesome.

Indiana Jones goes to Nepal to learn that Ravenwood is dead and that his daughter Marion (Karen Allen) has the headpiece. Marion and Jones had something between them before and she is still angry the way it ended. Marion tells Jones she doesn’t have the idol and he leaves and the tavern she owns is raided by a Nazi agent, Toht (Ronald Lacey) and some thugs. The tavern burns down after a big fight when Indiana shows up. Toht gets his hand burned by the headpiece when he tries to take it and Marion and Indiana escape with it. Toht has the emblem now seared into his hand. Marion says she will accompany him in his search for the Ark.

Marion and Jones land in Cairo and Sallah, a skilled excavator, tells them that Balloq and the Nazis are digging for the well of Souls. They are using a replica of the emblem that they cast from Toht’s hand. The Nazis tries to kidnap Marion and it looks like she dies. Jones and Sallah learn that the Nazis miscalculated the location of the Well of Souls. Jones and Sallah find the Staff of Ra and uncover the Well of Souls, which is filled with the one thing Jones hates, snakes. Jones retrieves the Ark but the Nazis and Belloq arrives, and tosses the alive Marion into the pit with Jones and seals them inside.

Marion and Jones escape and he manages to get the Ark back. They leave the next morning on a boat, but the boat is boarded by Belloq and the Nazis. The ark is once again stolen and Marion is taken captive, but Indiana follows them. He trails them to an isolated island in the Aegean Sea, where Belloq wants to test the power of the Ark before he gives it to Hitler. Indiana reveals himself and threatens to destroy the Ark, but Belloq knows he will never be able to destroy such an important historical object. Indiana and Marion are tied together and Belloq opens the Ark. Nothing seems to happen but suddenly ghost like beings emerge from the Ark, killing everyone except Marion and Jones, who kept their eyes closed because Jones realised its’ supernatural powers.

Back in DC, the Army takes the Ark to safety, ignoring Jones’ objections and stores it in a giant government warehouse alongside similar crates.

indy jones

Rating: 8.5/10        

IMDb gave Raiders of the Lost Ark 8.6/10, but I am a little anal about numbers so I will stick with 8.5/10. However, moving away from my obsessive nature, I really, really had a good time with this. I put it on to see if Zoë’s raging that it is awesome held credit (her requirements for something to be awesome is quite high, so I had a fair idea that it would be good) and IT WAS.

I didn’t expect to be so entertained. Indiana Jones and the raiders of the Lost Ark is action packed and fun with surprisingly good graphics. Who knew how looky Harrison Ford was?

I expected horrible 80’s acting and it was nothing like that. The lead actress, Karen Allen, had some exaggerating moments and it is obvious that women empowerment was a myth back then and Indie was saving her from everything but she had some ‘tude and wasn’t afraid to tell people shit.

The Lost Ark didn’t follow a generic storyline and it every time you thought the action was over they had something else in store. I loved the snakes and how Indiana doesn’t fear anything except them and I absolutely loved the ridiculous plastic German guy and the snooty French man. I laughed like a loon at the Love you written on the student’s eye lids and Indie’s disconcertment about it. I loved the archaeology bent and the different locations and how it was showed that Indie wasn’t immune to thieves who took his relics seconds after he found it. My favourite scene in here, and it may even make a favourite of all time, was when someone wanted to knife fight him in Cairo and he took out his gun and shot them. I don’t know why, but it was hilarious!

Indiana Jones is cocky and sure and really hot. His adventurous side appealed to me and I loved that they wrote him as a highly intelligent guy that loves exploring.

I feel a bit like a granny by saying this, but they just don’t make movies like this anymore!