Indiana Jones: The Complete Adventures REVIEW
Release Date: 8 October 2012
1981-2008 | 12 | 483 minutes | £64.99
Distributor: Paramount Home Media Distribution
Director: Steven Spielberg
Cast: Harrison Ford, Karen Allen, Kate Capshaw, Sean Connery, Alison Doody, Cate Blanchett, John Rhys-Davies, Denholm Elliott
Steven Spielberg always wanted to make a James Bond movie, but never got the call. The loss is entirely 007’s, for Indiana Jones is an action-adventure hero to match (and even surpass) Her Majesty’s finest.
Raiders Of The Ark introduces the globetrotting archaeologist in timeless style. Effortlessly fun, 100% slack-free and with setpieces to die for, it’s the blueprint all summer blockbusters should aspire to.
While darker prequel Temple Of Doom (here in its uncut version) can’t quite match Raiders, it deserves plaudits for daring to take a younger Indy seeking “fortune and glory” off on a very different kind of adventure.
The Last Crusade fixes Temple Of Doom’s biggest flaw (Kate Capshaw’s Willie Scott) by providing Jones with a more effective foil – his old man. The movie is essentially a Raiders retread, but the chemistry between Harrison Ford and screen dad Sean Connery makes it the most entertaining entry in the series.
It felt like the perfect ending, until Indy returned 18 years later in The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull. Ford recaptures plenty of the old magic, but is let down by some questionable story choices and the impossible weight of expectation.
If you own the Indiana Jones DVD releases, you’ll already have most of the material here. The excellent “Making The Trilogy” docs from the 2003 box set are still the definitive guide to the movies; they’re joined by a Crystal Skull doc made up of material reassembled from its DVD. There’s also the quartet of shorter featurettes from the aforementioned box set, and a selection from the 2008 special editions.
The newcomers are a 1981-vintage Making Of on Raiders and the new “On Set With Raiders Of The Lost Ark”. The old-school doc is a fun addition (not least for the chance to seeing the filmmakers talk about the movie without the benefit of hindsight), but it’s the hour-long, narration-free “On Set…” doc that’s most exciting for fans. Nestled amongst loads of fun behind-the-scenes footage are plenty of deleted scenes and outtakes. While it’s frustrating that there’s no option to watch them in isolation – and just plain bizarre that the doc ends with a montage of unused scenes from the other three movies – it’s great seeing how Indy’s infamous fight with the swordsman was meant to play out, and how exactly he hitched a ride on that submarine.
Richard Edwards twitter.com/RichDEdwards
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