Review By Liam O Brien, 5 out of 5 THE ADVENTURES OF INDIANA JONES ?ou call this archaeology??
As voiceover man intones in the TEMPLE OF DOOM trailer, ?f adventure has a name, it must be Indiana Jones.?Its all true of course. Everything anyone has told you about these three movies, RAIDERS, TEMPLE and CRUSADE are all classics on their own, but spruced up, finally arriving on dvd with an Ark full of extras, Dolby surround sound, digitally re-mastered pictures and an overall ring of quality, this is an incredible find. The films have finally found their true home here, with every whip crack, gun shot or fist fight coming across so clear its impossible to see how much better this could all get. But on an individual basis, how do these classics shape up? To many, RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK was never bettered. In my opinion this is the weakest of the trilogy- the heroine is uninvolving and much of it feels like a huge excuse for some action (which it is, and that? fine) I just felt it lacked a little something- but compared to today? crop of blockbusters this is still worthy of top marks. The action and fight sequences are something that seem to be long gone- as good as it is, THE MATRIX trilogy relies on CGI and illusions to create their battles and punches. Not on these three- yes there is use of computer graphics, but only where it is needed. The art of a stuntman seems to be dying out- and that makes the carefully planned, critically timed stunts from these three all the more exciting.
TEMPLE OF DOOM is the entry that takes the most flak, and, again im going against popular opinion when I write that I think it? the best of the three. Its dark, exciting- you feel that Indy and co really might not make it out alive this time, but when they do, its all the better. Its one big roller-coaster of a movie, wonderfully shot and directed by Spielberg, with the trademark tongue in cheek humour still working well. It? the most rounded film too- the triumvirate of Indy, Willie and Shorty giving a family feel to this epic film. Indeed, this is the most involving, emotionally of the series. The stunts are brilliant- from the opening club brawl, to the plane crash to the boat crash from the plane to the chamber of spikes to the mine carts- its rip roaring fun that will easily while away two hours. Finally, THE LAST CRUSADE is RAIDERS mk II, and it? a better film, thanks largely to the pairing of Sean Connery with Harrison Ford. It? the funniest of the Indy movies, and, in Doctor Henry Jones, we have the single greatest cameo ever put on celluloid. Overall though, judged as a whole, these are films more than deserving of their legendary status. The vein of mysticism running through all three, the action, Fords gruff but loveable hero, this is what cinema is all about, exciting fun movies, pitch perfect action adventures that, thanks to the Spielberg/Lucas/Ford team, succeed in bringing back the spirit of those lost ?oys own?adventure serials whilst keeping it all modern and fresh. Glorious stuff.
THE EXTRAS: With this set, the films come extra free on their own discs, but the bonus fourth disc more than makes up the numbers. Featurettes taking you through the making of the three movies to the creation of the sound effects, music and stunts are but a small part of this exhaustive dvd. Showing a craftsmanship and commitment rarely seen in moviemaking today, we see the creation of this saga from its very birth, to the opening of its third instalment. An extras disc that pulls off the rare trick of covering everything it needs to in one neat and rich package. It seems almost redundant to make Indy IV, but if it? as good as that which has come before, then cinema could get a wake up call.
FIVE OUT OF FIVE