Raiders of the Lost Ark ★★★★½

Although Steven Spielberg's Jaws gets the distinction of being the very first blockbuster in cinema history, the blueprint of modern blockbuster filmmaking was penned down by none other than Spielberg's early 1980s action-adventure, Raiders of the Lost Ark, which didn't just become one of the finest examples of its genre but even today remains one of the most enjoyable & entertaining works of this esteemed director's extensive career.

Set in the year of 1936, Raiders of the Lost Ark concerns an archaeologist & adventurer named Indiana Jones who is hired by the US government to find the Ark of the Covenant after learning that the Führer is after the same biblical artifact which, according to him, would make his army an invincible force. Indiana's job is to find the artifact before the Nazis get their hand on it but between him & the ark stand his old foe & bands of Nazis.

Opening with an explosive sequence that introduces us to our protagonist & also sets the tone for the rest of the picture, Steven Spielberg's kinetic direction provides a zestful energy to the whole plot & it never really settles down until the end credits start rolling. The pacing is fierce, the action is non-stop, the VFX look slightly dated but doesn't take away much from the film & I have nothing but praise for its superb use of humour.

Coming to the acting department, the performances by every cast member is very good but it's Harrison Ford who ends up stealing the show as his stylish, charismatic & brilliant rendition of Indiana Jones turned his character into one of cinema's most iconic figures. Cinematography also deserves applause for its dynamic energy while John Williams' memorable score is full of adventurous tracks that keeps the film fresh throughout the runtime.

On an overall scale, Raiders of the Lost Ark is a wildly entertaining & ridiculously fun action-adventure which with its amazing set pieces, relentless pace, sly humour, superb visual effects, terrific music & excellent performances delivers a cinema that ingeniously balances its filmmaking aspects on the quality vs quantity graph. Offering a joyous & incredibly satisfying cinematic ride, Raiders of the Lost Ark defines the way blockbusters should be made.