Anthony's Film Review
Jason and the Argonauts (1963)
An exciting Greek mythology action adventure, enhanced by cool special effects...
Jason and the Argonauts could arguably be considered a classic if the term "classic" includes relatively simple movies that are visually memorable. It's a pretty fun movie about a group of adventurers facing danger as they try to seek the Golden Fleece, which could bring healing, wealth, and other great things to those who possess it. All other film elements are there just to provide support for the action. The plot is thin and only serves to provide a reason for the quest. The actors portray characters with almost cardboard personalities, but are still likable. And the dialogue isn't anything profound, but at least it propels the adventure.
Let me mention some things I liked about Jason and the Argonauts. First off, there are two sets of characters. Besides the title characters, there are also the gods on Mount Olympus, including Zeus (Niall MacGinnis) and his wife Hera (Honor Blackman). What's interesting is that they appear human like the mortals down below, yet their actions influence the world. In fact, some events in Jason's quest are the result of Zeus and Hera making specific moves in a strategy board game they're playing together.
Also, I liked the various elements of Greek mythology that are featured in Jason and the Argonauts. It's interesting to see moments where the mortal characters are praying to the gods or acknowledging the importance of not angering those on Olympus. I also enjoyed seeing Harpies, a hydra, and the god of the sea Triton. These elements require special effects to bring them to life, and I have to say that the stop-motion animation done here is pretty impressive.
Now I talk about the meat of the film. If you love action, you'll love Jason and the Argonauts. The movie is really nothing more than a series of action sequences, all of which are cool and really stick in one's mind. One of my favorite moments involves a giant statue of the god Talos coming to life and terrorizing our heroes. It's stunning to see the tiny men up against this colossal monster. And of course, who can forget the scene with reanimated swordfighting skeletons? It's perhaps the one scene that people remember this movie for, and I can also attest to that.
So there you have it. Jason and the Argonauts is nothing more than an entertaining visual spectacle and a pretty good adventure flick. Its purpose is simple: provide an easy distraction for an hour and forty minutes. For you movie connoisseurs who like to explore film aspects in detail, you might not see much in the story, characters, script, and even production design, but I'm sure you can appreciate how the visual effects were quite remarkable for their time. Even if that's the only major thing about Jason and the Argonauts, it's still enough for the movie to be an entertaining one. Not to mention a "classic" among movies with special effects.
For more information about Jason and the Argonauts, visit the Internet Movie Database.