Raiders of the Lost Ark

Raiders of the Lost Ark ★★★★★

Amazingly perfect in practically every way. Especially impressive is Karen Allen’s role as Marion, which in spite of her being literally sidelined, feminized, and put in damsel in distress situations, is still a strong role, a charismatic co-lead and also with great chemistry with Ford’s Indy. The film’s biggest weakness is that she ought to be the expert on most of the progressions with the Ark mythology, not Indy, but instead the script reserves all the mansplaining for Ford. Particularly egregious is Ford’s line at the end to “close your eyes” that should be Marion who knows that trick, not Indy.

So the film isn’t perfect, but it is perfectly entertaining, brilliantly balanced and paced throughout with wit, action, adventure and it’s generally flawless.

I did notice for the first time just how much heavy lifting the travel map sections do to erase continuity problems, a useful device. And I also noticed that the famous car chase is really geographically bizarre in how it is edited (where did those desert cliffs come from for that one spectacular car crash? they were just racing between nothing like that). But these are just small technical observations, the film holds up brilliantly in spite of being loose and relaxed with the rules of reality.