Top positive review
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Almost perfect except for that pesky submarine!
on 3 December 2014
Following on from the misjudged and underrated failure of 1941, Stephen Spielberg and George Lucas needed at hit. Raiders was that hit.
Harking back to 40's and 50's TV and Movie serials, where the main character always wore a hat (so the stuntman could hide his face) and managed to save the world on a regular basis, Spielberg's unabashed action adventure story focusing on the adventures of Archaeologist Professor Indiana Jones is a welcome relief from the slavish fashion for realism that was often served to us by Hollywood in the 60's and 70's.
Focusing on action and adventure, an exciting story, outstanding performances, especially from Ford, Rhys Davies and Paul Freeman, a witty script, and pitch perfect direction from Spielberg, we are presented with an almost flawless film (forget that maddening submarine paradox if you can) from the terrifically exciting opener set deep in the Jungle to the stunning finale with that pleasing nod to Wells's Citizen Kane. The villains are wonderfully menacing, especially Ronald Lacey as a sinister and threatening Nazi henchman. Their search for the Ark of the Covenant, obstructed by Indie all the way, is a master class in efficient filmmaking.
Spawning 3 sequels of varying quality, Raiders has aged well and is still the best of the four by some margin, however that doesn't mean Doom or Last Crusade are not good because they are. However Crystal Skull is a big disappointment, even with that huge budget.
Wrapped up efficiently in 111 minutes, Raiders is superb entertainment for all.