22
May 04

FT Top 100 Films 98: RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK

Do You See • 755 views

You will notice that due to the methodology of the list, you will often get pairs or even runs of associated movies. This may well be due to half of the assorted drunk contributors not actually seeing many films. And good for them, there are much better tunings to do with ones time. Such as go on ludicrous archeology expeditions where those little brushes are much less useful than a bullwhip and a cool hat.

The hat is explained in a later film. The origin of a whip as a number one archeology tool is less clear. Dr Jones does make remarkably good use of it under the circumstances, but you wonder what he would do with it if he was just digging a two by ten observation trench in a field outside of Canterbury. There is a reason the college student gives him an apple at the end of the class, and it is probably not just the fussy bow tie.

What is great about Raiders Of The Lost Ark is that it plays as an homage to a kind of film that never really existed. More importantly it plays really well to people who would never have seen those films even if they existed. Sure we saw King Of The Rocket Men, and Flash Gordon – but black and white archeology serials were never high on the list. Indiana Jones is just really just a slightly less conceited Han Solo, probably the kind of guy that Han Solo wants to be and occasionally thinks he is. Luckily with no pesky Luke Skywalkers or princesses in the way, Harrison Ford can fill the screen with his sheepish charm. It also helps that in this installment the love interest is hard drinking Karen Allen, who wants none of this raffish, tomb robbing cad (who she almost accuses of paedophilia!). And of course, the bad guys are Nazi’s.

Raiders is just a bundle of stupid fun, much more fun than the overly focus grouped and kiddie aimed later films. What kid is not going to love a film where the bad guys literally get their souls sucked out of them at the end. The only question said kids usually had when they walked out was ‘how did Noah survive the flood in such a small ark?’

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