This year is the 31st anniversary of the release of Steven Spielberg’s seminal adventure classic, Raiders of the Lost Ark, which introduced the whole wide world to Indiana Jones and his high-flying, rip-roaring historical antics. To commemorate the release of the entire Indiana Jones saga on Blu-ray, they’ve re-released Raiders in theaters on IMAX screens. I saw this recently and it’s amazing. It really cemented the Indiana Jones movies as one of my very favorite film trilogies ever. Boy, I sure am glad they didn’t make a fourth one, which would have been a decade too late and lack all the punch and greatness of the first three. These movies taught me a great deal of important life lessons, which number conveniently 20. And here they are!
1) Never underestimate the tensile strength of a bullwhip.
2) Fedoras will never come off your head, no matter how fast you ride a horse.
3) Nazis have the meltiest faces.
4) Even if you’ve seen the actual wrath of God, rest assured it’s still “hocus pocus” and “mumbo jumbo.”
5) Only take an American cabaret performer into the Indian jungle if she’s a mute. Similarly, only take a little kid into the jungle if he doesn’t think anything is ever funny.
6) If you don’t like your first name, steal the dog’s.
7) Everything cool belongs in a museum, regardless of how much it might be worth.
8) Always bring a gun to a sword fight.
9) Monkeys are not to be trusted.
10) Tearing out somebody’s heart is fucked up.
11) Nazi women are the hottest, even if they get it on with your dad also.
12) Airplanes only ever fly in straight lines and jetlag is nonexistent.
13) If you take Archaeology in college, your professor will be gone a whole lot.
14) Punches to the face will knock you on your ass and might give you a split lip or swollen cheek, but will never result in any lasting effects to one’s brain, nose, or oculars.
15) Every third person you meet will betray you in some way, but they’ll always end up dead.
16) Snakes are terrifying, but will never, ever bite you.
17) If you’re going to fight somebody much larger than you, make sure you do it near some piece of large, heavy machinery that will crush, flay, or otherwise dispose of them horribly.
18) Sex ain’t good unless there’s a lot of yelling first.
19) Nothing brings families together like having to ride a motorcycle out of an occupied nation while enemy combatants shoot at and chase after you.
20) Golden idols have a greater weight in sand than you might think.
And so, friends, Indiana Jones taught me all I really need to know about life and is responsible for my using a bungee cord as a whip until I was 10. It taught a whole generation of kids that brawn and brains were equal and that history was cool. So, thanks for that, Mr. Ford, Mr. Spielberg, and yes, even Mr. Lucas. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to reset all the booby traps in my apartment before my roommate gets home. The giant ball in his room will be particularly surprising.