I watched Raiders of the Lost Ark at a re-release screening, a year after its initial release. It was an adventure movie that blew my senses away. I was completely entertained. That was in the early 1980s, but in the late 80s, when The Adventures of Milo and Otis and The Adventures of Baron Munchausen came to theaters, I was less enthralled by those adventures films of a stripe, but could adventure films, like Raiders of the Lost Ark and the latter two movies, inspire our lives?

Can life be inspired by adventures on the screen?

Though that thought sounds amusing. The 9-5 kind of life may be not as thrilling as an adventure movie, but if we look at scene by scene nitty gritty—the mechanics of action scenes—isn’t that like nutting out the daily grind in life?

I hear you say that adventure movies are just entertainment so audiences can escape the daily grind. Aren’t all sorts of outlandish adventures and tales, just stories?

For example, aren’t the legendary Baron Munchausen’s adventures just fanciful tales from the Age of Reason, in The Adventures of Baron Munchausen (1988, UK)?

Aren’t the adventures of a pug and a cat, in The Adventures of Milo and Otis (1989, Japan, English language version), and an archaeologist defying the forces of evil (in Indiana Jones), just stories?

However, isn’t life worthy of an adventure story? We may groan, no, it’s not! That headache is coming on, but lunch is on the way…

If I may say, think about what we are escaping into. Adventure stories are so much more. They can contain themes of transcendence from real problems, having a sense of self, and having hope. The Adventures of Baron Munchausen may have fun with those ideas, but adventure stories seem to be more than blank pages or action packed visual feasts. Adventure stories can compel.

I recall a friend at a cinema with me, without anyone else present, going fake martial artist on me, by letting the soundtrack of the movie energize him in a series of moves down the aisle . One wouldn’t do that in front of anybody else but a friend. Remember the thrill of watching an adventure or action film? Remember the visceral energy that goes through our body watching one? They tap into our lives.

The blood, sweat and tears of persevering through a task to its eventual completion, even against the odds, has its glorification at the movies. The ‘adventure’ of life is about the daily grind finding completion and realizing the goal. That may simply mean to get the job done and to get there we must grind it out.

In Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981, USA), Indiana Jones’s workers are digging through the surface of a hill to find the Ark (the sacred chest that carried the Ten Commandments).

Below is an underground chamber and Indiana Jones, an archaeologist adventurer, must get inside, to get to the Ark. But the chamber is filled with asps that are “very dangerous”.

Indiana Jones fears snakes, but must grit his teeth and bear it. He has to take a path of no return. Taking the next part of the adventure means going down the pit filled with snakes and to fend them off. Life for him, and others, would go downhill if he did not. But Indiana Jones took the adventure.

Not that we would risk our lives to fend off snakes, but the point is that life’s hard and gritty and grinds. And it comes with moments of glory, just like the hero preparing the way for a victory.

Adventurer Indiana Jones (Pictured) nuts out the daily grind. Image sourced via google images (chukgert.deviantart. com)
Adventurer Indiana Jones (Pictured) nuts out the daily grind. Image sourced via google images (chukgert.deviantart.
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