This week is truly a time to rejoice as Indiana Jones’ first (and greatest) adventure returns to the biggest screen in town for one week only – and what a thoroughly rousing and nostalgic delight it is.
While collaborator and BFF George Lucas continues to pimp his dreadful prequels via an equally off-putting format, Steven Spielberg has thankfully spared us having a huge boulder hurtling towards us in shoddy 3D, and has instead provided us with a childhood favourite blown-up to epic proportions, sans any CG tinkering or scene recontextualising.
For the myriad of Raiders lovers out there, this is a big-screen presentation of a classic done right, and seeing it in this format is akin to hooking up with an old acquaintance for a trip down memory lane, except this time said friend has now grown to a gargantuan size, but is far from intimating and is just as welcoming as ever.
Seeing the film via IMAX, it becomes all the more apparent just what an expert grip Spielberg has on the material, which could have easily descended into schlock and cornball in lesser hands. Raiders looks far from dated, and is now part of that pantheon of timeless, escapist Hollywood cinema. The only moment of unintentional giggles stems from Indy’s nemesis Belloq swallowing a fly mid-sentence (now an unmistakable blooper).
Much care and attention has been paid in creating a close-to-flawless transfer, and it begs the question, why can’t more cherish childhood favourites receive a re-released in this format instead of being retrofitting for 3D? This is the kind of immersive experience those films were designed for.
An interesting side note, this huge presentation can’t help but draw attention to just how bloody and gory the film is at times. Aside from the infamous villain face-melting comeuppance (still as repulsively effective), this is a kids feature which see’s a Nepalese henchman shot (point blank) in the face, a disturbing sequence of mummified corpses groping the heroine, and variety of messy squib impacts. It’s hard to believe that the film would have been awarded a PG certificate in this puritanical age without receiving the kind of cuts which would have turned many of the action scenes into a jarring, nonsensical mess.
It’s time to dust off that fedora and reach for the bullwhip. A momentous cinema trip awaits you.