Raiders of the Lost Ark
Scott Hardie: “It ruled.”
I've been putting off reviewing the Indiana Jones trilogy, which I recently saw for the almost-first time, because what would be the point? All three films are widely beloved, especially the classic "Raiders of the Lost Ark," which excelled far above its adventure-film predecessors in both quantity and quality of action scenes. There isn't a dull setpiece in the entire film, and yet there's much more to the film than the evocation of pulp adventure material: Even the minor characters are intelligent, and the film is as convincing a version of the old "Pandora's box" parable as has ever been made. If it has a weakness, it is the pseudo-childishness with which it treats its Nazi villains, like toy action figures to be smashed together; the Nazi torturer who stands out of the crowd comes across as a far more dangerous threat. "Raiders" set the bar high for action movies, and its appeal has rarely been exceeded.