Movies: Raiders!: The Story of the Greatest Fan Film Ever Made

I was obsessed with Indiana Jones as a kid. Raiders of the Lost Ark is the first movie I can remember seeing in the cinema (my parents insist it was Bambi at a drive-in, but I don't remember that at all). I was five when Raiders came out, and I mistaken thought his name was Petey instead of Indy, and I thought he was a cowboy because he wore a hat. But that didn't dent my fascination. Later, after having gotten my facts straight, I would talk my best friend into playing Indiana Jones frequently, though we often had to fold in Star Wars to keep her happy. Han and Indy were distant cousins or something. It was terrific.

All this is to say, a fan film version of Raiders is the kind of thing we would have done if we'd had a camera. (We did make fan films of other kinds when we were older, but that's another story.) So I thought I'd be all over this documentary about two kids who did just that—made a shot-for-shot fan film of Raiders, all except the airplane scene. And so a big part of this documentary is about them attempting to complete the project so many years later.

And yet . . . It didn't hold my interest.

Despite my love for Raiders, I wasn't invested in seeing these guys finish it out. And the lack of organization in the documentary made it difficult to follow. There were hints of fallings out, hard times, but it was told so haphazardly I could only glean the story as one who skims scum off a pond. The one real bit of drama, and they don't plunge into it. I was left thinking, "Wait, what?"

I think I was meant to focus on the possibility the airplane scene wouldn't get made. Behind schedule, out of money, bad weather, blah blah blah. But since they hadn't really made me care . . . I didn't.

Good on them for getting attention for their crazy childhood fixation, I guess. But this documentary needed a stronger thru line. As it stands, it was putting me to sleep.

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