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My favourite Indiana Jones film.
on 13 March 2016
A film that gave us a story packed full of action, amazing stunt work, a really imaginative production design, a fantastic score and lastly one of the greatest heros in cinema, Indiana Jones, an archaeologist/adventurer. The film released in 1981 took inspiration from the swashbuckling 1940s/1950s era of Hollywood, in that respect the premise is simple, our hero must find the treasure, rescue the girl and save the world. The film was largely shot on location in North Africa and this adds a touch of grit and realism which really benefits the film, you see the little flies landing on the actors faces during a few close ups and see the sweat rolling off their brows. The film largely takes place in one location Egypt, with the very early part set in South and North America.
The Blu Ray transfer looks really great, with lots of rich earthy colours, reds, browns, sandy yellows, greys & dark leathery brown, these tend to make up most of the costume design. The picture aspect ratio is 2.40:1 (Wide screen) with a 5.1 audio sound.
The supporting cast are also very well written and good fun too, from the heroes to the villains. The tone of the film is adventurous and the pacing certainly gives the whole thing a massive injection of energy. There's a slight theme of magic v rationality, as the initially skeptical Indiana Jones is confronted with the dangerous reality of the power held within the lost ark he is seeking.
There is not much in the way of character development, though the relationship between Dr Jones and the feisty and rather attractive Marion Ravenwood changes over the course of the film. The movies hail from the decade that was the 1980s and so we're given a slightly stronger female love interest than audiences were used to in the 1960s and 1970s, Marion's character shares similarities with Princess Leia in the Empire Strikes Back or Charlie Blackwood in Topgun, beautiful and alluring but also a tough-minded woman who takes no nonsense and will stand up for herself. You could certainly get away with more too in the 1980s cinema than you can today, the film features quite a lot of violence, blood and swearing for something that children were allowed to watch, I doubt a PG film today could get away with anything like this.
The film's logic is not intended to be taken as 100% realistic, a main character in a realistic action film would probably die after the first 10 minutes. For this reason it's possible to overlook the numerous injuries Jones picks up which would put most people into hospital. The fact the German's had no presence in Egypt is also something you have to overlook in the film, the British in fact were in control of Egypt in 1936, it would have made more sense if the Fascists were working from Libya, but then Libya doesn't feel as Biblical as Egypt does, so I suppose the location was switched. You'd have to be pretty picky though to let things like this stop you from enjoying the film, the whole thing is about a search for a magic chest.