How it took me 20 years to see Raiders of the Lost Ark, I will never know. Honestly, I tried a few years back and it couldn’t keep my attention and stopped maybe half-way into it. After watching it in full now, I think I understand why I didn’t enjoy it my first time through. The film has a pretty old school feel to it; the travel sequence is straight out of Casablanca, not to mention the use of shadows to show people’s entrances and their deaths. When I was younger I got no enjoyment out of old movies, so it makes sense I wouldn’t enjoy Raiders. But as I’ve come to like and appreciate the classics, I can finally appreciate the classic, if not a little cheesy, feel to this film.
What really cracked me up is the whole Clark Kent thing Indiana Jones seems to have going on. In class we began to discuss how the lighting in the opening sequence shows Jones as having two sides to his character; his costumes say the same thing. As a professor, Jones dresses in a nice suit, wears a bow tie, styles his hair all slick, and (my personal favorite) wears large glasses. With the exception of his stubble, there’s not much adventurous about this guy.
Somehow, when he’s out treasure hunting, jumping over large ditches and spotting booby traps, he suddenly has no need for his glasses. There is a clear dichotomy to his character, though we only see Clark Kent for a couple of scenes. Superman is the one selling the tickets after all.
The movie turned out to be exactly what I figured it would: a big budget popcorn flick, full of action and lacking in depth. And, while I’ve never been a huge fan of Spielberg or Lucas, I did enjoy Raiders, and I’ll definitely have to check out the other films in the series.
…Well, maybe not Crystal Skull…