Saturday, January 29, 2011

Professor of Archeology, expert on the occult, and how does one say it... obtainer of rare antiquities

No 2 - Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark
Director - Steven Spielberg

A hand brushes through the jungle. The brim of a fedora throws a strong jaw into shadow. A leather jacket is seen through the dense foliage. A gun is produced and then WHIP CRACK we see our hero...
Much like the introduction of James Bond (something I know a lot about now thanks to BlogalongaBond) - Spielberg teases the audience before finally unveiling his hero. It is that subtle and masterful presentation (and a fucking cool crack of the whip) that makes a star. And Indy is a star. And... lets be honest... Harrison Ford is the kind of awesome that means you can fully imagine his classrooms filled with dreamy eyed girls going all gooey over him and his brainy tweed and spectacles. - I also like the Superman-esque imagery of it all. How by donning glasses, he can put on a disguise of academia and mask the fact that he is a globe trotting bad ass.

And yet a bad ass who is prone to mistakes (which is important - Ford's matinee heroes are never perfect... look at Han Solo) - after all if he hadn't removed that handful of sand, he may never have triggered the sensors in the opening temple, and subsequently we wouldn't get this amazing and oft parodied action scene.


So, the opening gambit show that Indiana is a hero... and we can therefore believe that federal agents would rope him into finding a seemingly impossible artifact. The Ark of the Covenant. Because... apparently Hitler was an obsessive of the Paranormal (as I've been told in both this and Hellboy... so it must be true).
However... it is here that there is a problem. People have been searching for the Ark for 3,000 years... Now, even though the Nazis have made a lot of necessary headway, Indy finds the thing in 20 minutes! How hard have they been looking for the last 3,000 bloody years?! The rest of the film is just Nazis stealing it and him stealing it back.... like a slapstick back and forth.

SLAPSTICK BACK AND FORTH:

But this might be because of his handy gang of awesome awesome friends. Firstly Sallah knows everyone and has an amazing voice which appears to have inspired Peter Serafinowicz in Running Wilde.
And then we have Marion.... ah Marion. She is just the most fabulous foil to Indy. Because she is even more reckless, even more temperamental, even more.... drunk... than Indy will ever be - their relationship is brilliant built around bickering and petty one up manship - so when we finally get the romance element, it turns out that a simple kissing scene becomes very steamy indeed...

Really... this is a film that has everything, even a Nazi monkey. It has action, adventure, romance and quite a lot of real horror.

The Indiana franchise is quite keen on littering sets with corpses.... but the real horror here comes from the shocking face melting finale...


How is that PG?