There are few franchises from the early eighties that invoke
There are few
franchises from the early eighties that invoke such a giddy sense of youth as
that of Indiana Jones. The empowerment created from a pulled-down hat that
would frankly look ridiculous on anyone else that tried to make it their
“thing” paired with the infamous whip is so thrilling that within the first few
minutes of Raiders of the Lost Ark stances have hunched forward in their seats
and nostalgia hangs thick in the air. Of course this is wasted on the new
generation of fans, whose own franchise connections are moulded on everything
from Middle Earth to Andy’s bedroom, but the infectious sense of adventure and
timeless heroism that Harrison Ford
embodies is enough to win you over.
For those treading unfamiliar territory, Jones (Harrison
Ford), a renegade lecturer with a thirst for seemingly mythical artefacts is
hired by the US government to obtain the Ark of Covenant before it falls into
Nazi hands. In this, the first of the original Indiana Jones movies, the iconic
archaeologist is accompanied by Karen
Allen’s scrappy Marion Ravenwood as he travels to Cairo to fool the Nazis
and claim his treasure but not without a decent helping of reptiles, skeletons
and a good dose of the heebie jeebies.
Re-released in IMAX for a short time to mark the first three
film’s release on Blu-ray, the first Indiana Jones film still boasts some
pretty gaping plot holes that even the most appreciative new fan can’t ignore.
Given the calibre of contemporary superhero, the idea of breaching enemy lines
to dig up hidden treasure with a barely visible disguise is unspeakable today,
no matter how becoming the protagonist proves to be. Escape routes are far more
complex than a series of fisticuffs and well-timed coincidences and long gone
are the days when a well-planned punch sends the recipient spilling comically
head over heels.
The comic value of the enemy shot down with a single bullet
after an impressive display of combat or the allure of Ford’s undeniable charm
offer a timeless quality that will outlast the sombre efficiency of Jason Bourne or the rigid coolness of a
more modern Bond. Jones has no
complex inner turmoil or secret conspiracy to uncover; he’s too busy fighting
for survival, beating up Nazis and outsmarting demons while exercising a
fruitful knowledge of religion and history. Bar the temporary abandonment of
his girlfriend there’s nothing unheroic about Jones.
The release of the first movie for IMAX doesn’t offer much
else other than a magnified version of events but it serves well to refresh
audiences on what it means to be an original screen icon.