Mix theoretical physics, rock’n’roll, neurosurgery, Orson Welles and Rastafarian aliens from another dimension and you get this goofily eccentric genre-bending science-fiction action comedy. This is definitely one of those “love-it-or-hate-it” movies that you recommend to friends with caution. After watching this, they will either thank you profusely or recommend you for civil commitment.
As a standalone movie, judged apart from its lesser sequels, Raiders of the Lost Ark is a pure, unfiltered dose of joyful escapism. Rarely has the medium of film been so successfully used for the purpose of pure entertainment. Free from director Steven Spielberg’s tendency for suburban navel-gazing, cute kids and distant parents, as well as producer George Lucas’s later bloated mythic pretensions, Raiders tosses overboard every piece of narrative flab as the story hums along like a well-tuned V-8 engine.