Despite being a victim of its time, I found myself absolutely falling in love with Jason and the Argonauts. Just like other movies of older decades, if you can keep things in perspective and remind yourself that this was made in 1963 and not 2013, you might find yourself enjoying it just as much as I did. Some of the things that I found wrong with the film end up being another selling point. For example, the special effects are extremely cheesy, however they are great for the time. If I was watching this in 1963, I would have been the guy asking, “How in the world did that guy just transform into Hermes like that? How did they make Jason just disappear in smoke?”
The movie doesn’t overdo itself as it ends about twenty minutes earlier than where it could have stopped. You see what you need to see while other things are merely implied. Just like in The Dark Knight Rises where you know Christian Bale ends up happily ever after with Anne Hathaway, you know exactly what’s going to happen when Jason gets his hands on that golden fleece. The film takes you on a good ride then drops you off at just the right place.
Jason and the Argonauts does a great job of taking itself seriously which can be hard to do when dealing in the fantasy genre at times. As much as I thoroughly enjoyed it, I do have to address one scene that made me roll my eyes a bit however. Towards the end of the movie, King Aeetes is chasing Jason and his remaining Argonauts as they are fleeing. They come to a cliff-side where King Aeetes does this long speech then releases demons from the underworld or something of that nature. There was a long pause, maybe like ten or fifteen seconds, where Jason is just standing there watching things unfold and I’m thinking, “Seriously? You’ve run from all the other dangers up to this point and NOW you want to sit around and wait?” Pretty small in the grand scheme of the movie but it annoyed me nonetheless.
Jason and the Argonauts is the story of a man who goes on a great adventure for a powerful artifact so he can get revenge for the murder of his father and take his rightful place as king. A great movie to cut your teeth on if you are trying to expand your movie culture beyond the last three decades. I give it a well-deserved 99.