Tuesday, 14 September 2010

(500) Films of Empire - Day 364

2 - Raiders Of The Lost Ark - 5 stars
"Asps, very dangerous, you go first"
Is this the perfect film?
Back in 2003, some film geeks and mathematicians worked out a formula for the 'perfect film' and decided that Toy Story 2 was the ultimate film (based on films released in the nineties).
The perfect film would be made up of: action 30%, comedy 17%, good v evil 13%, love/sex/romance 12%, special effects 10%, plot 10% and music 8%, suggested Sue Clayton, a director and screenwriting lecturer for the University of London and the British Film Council.
I would argue that Raiders is probably the most perfect film ever made. Plenty of action (the truck chase is outstanding, Ford's fist fight with Pat Roach and a aeroplane propeller, and all achieved without CGI), some comedy (Nazi monkeys, Indy's dry sense of humour), good vs evil (Indy vs Nazis), love/sex/romance (Indy and Marion, with the highlight being the scene where she tends to his wounds. "where doesn't it hurt?", "here" pointing to his elbow so he gets a kiss), special effects (melting Nazis for crying out loud), plot (a story that zips along with never a wasted moment), and finally music (you can't go wrong when you have John Williams doing the score).
"It ain't the years honey, it's the mileage".
Thankfully 19 years on, Raiders is still as enjoyable as it was back in 1981. There is probably not a more purely enjoyable film anywhere on this list.
This is Harrison Ford's best performance, totally nailing the charming rogue who single handedly makes archaeology cool. He has an old school movie charm andbalances the tough guy action with a dry sense of humour and the ability to woo the women.
Indiana Jones is up there with Bond as cinema's greatest action hero. Similar to a Bond film, it even has an opening scene with Indy on a different adventure. That iconic scene with the idol and the boulder perfectly sets the tone for the film and provides more thrills in 10 minutes than most modern Hollywood films.
Spielberg and Lucas triumphed with their salute to the B Movies of the 30's and I'm happy to see that this film still remains untouched by their hands and turned into a CGI special edition. The reason that it works so well is that it feels real. All the stunts are performed in the camera and when Ford takes a punch it looks like it hurts.
We screened it here at The Belmont a couple of years ago and it was the first time I had seen the full uncut film with full melting nazis and Indy swearing. Those bits never made it onto the BBC Sunday afternoon versions I was used to. It was one of the best screenings I've ever been to.

Days remaining - 1 Films remaining - 1

1 comment:

  1. I remember going to see that. Did you not do a double bill with Last Crusade? I just remember a lot of people in the cinema laughing at the jokes as it they had never seen it before. I didn't think that was possible!