Trilogy Thursday: Indiana Jones
Max: Raiders of the Lost Ark is the perfect Summer Action movie. Released in 1981, Indiana Jones and his quest for the Ark of Covenant set the bar for action-adventure movies. The film has countless classic set pieces including the intro in the cave to the Desert chase scene, Raiders disappoints few. Harrison Ford shows the world that he is more than just Han Solo, creating a new hero for the ages. The love interest, Marion, is also the best female in the entire franchise, so that helps quite a bit. Pitch perfect pacing, great comedy segments, and memorable action scenes make this not only the best Indiana Jones film, but one of the best action movies of all time.
Claire: If I could come back to life as a film character I’d definitely choose Indiana Jones. If I had to stay female then I would probably choose an equally sexy archaeologist, Lara Croft. Raiders of the Lost Ark opens with Indy (Harrison Ford) exploring a Peruvian temple deep in the rainforest trying to retrieve a golden idol. He’s not alone, however, and it is then that we see the first of his many fantastic escapes. The scene then cuts to an American college where he teaches archaeology. In just a few minutes Indy has made quite an impression and has made archaeology look very, very cool. What follows is an epic adventure that takes Indy to Nepal and Egypt where he encounters an ex-lover, Nazis and a helluva lotta fighting as he races to recover the mysterious Ark of the Covenant, a biblical chest built by the Israelites to contain the fragments of the Ten Commandments.
Max: George Lucas decided he’d go dark with the script for The Temple of Doom. It worked for Star Wars, why wouldn’t it work here? He couldn’t be more wrong. Where there was once a good balance between humor and action, all of that has been sucked out of this entry in the franchise. Other than Harrison Ford, the entire cast disappoints. The new love interest complains for the entire feature and then the kid is irritating to say the least. There are two scenes I’ll always remember from this film though. The raft survival at the beginning and the mine cart escape towards the finale. Wonderfully captured action sequences. The other claim to fame The Temple of Doom has is the movie that made PG-13 become a reality. Too bad those things do not make a good movie.
Claire: If you want an adventure film where the hero takes on black magic, nearly eats monkey brains and has to avoid being a human sacrifice, then this is the film for you. Undoubtedly the scariest of the three, Temple of Doom takes Indy to India where he must take on a cult and free the children of a local village that it has captured and is using as child slaves. The events take place before Raiders of the Lost Ark, and Indy is accompanied by his young sidekick, the fantastic Short Round, and by a nightclub singer called Willie Scott. Temple of Doom is a fantastic adventure film but it isn’t as enjoyable as Raiders of the Lost Ark. Well, not for me anyway. Raiders explores Indy’s personality more, and we find out what motivates him and what other people think about him – he has quite a few devoted students! Temple gets straight to the action: it’s an adrenaline-fuelled ride set against a very sinister backdrop.