Director: Steven Spielberg
Cast: Harrison Ford, Karen Allen, Paul Freeman, John Rhys-Davies
Have I Seen it Before: Come on…
Did I Like It: What’s not to love?
Is this the greatest action movie of all time? Probably. Now, inevitably when something is unassailably great, somebody somewhere will try to take a shot at it out of nowhere.
Cut to these early years of the twenty-first century, and every goon with a blog will want to inform you of the Blessed Good News about how Indiana Jones (Ford) has absolutely no impact on the plot of the film that made him famous.
They would say that regardless of Jones’ presence, the Nazis would have found the Ark and would have
Except that they wouldn’t be right. Never mind that the criticism seems to stem from an episode of The Big Bang Theory. Ironic that negating one of the most proactive characters in cinematic history comes from a show stubbornly committed to keeping it’s casual sketches of characters in permanent stasis, but I digress.
I maintain that—as de Führer is an impatient man—the Nazi expedition at Tanis would have been scrapped after Belloq (Freeman) and company were puttering around with no results. Now, you might say that the Toht (Ronald Lacey) would have been able to recover the headpiece to the Staff of Ra from Marion (Allen) without burning his hand in the process, allowing the Nazis to correctly construct the staff and get the accurate location to the Well of Souls. But I tend to think that Marion wasn’t about to let the only item of value/connection to her dead father out of her hands, or to some damn dirty nazi, and the film supports that she had the wherewithal to resist effectively.
So, Indiana ensures that he delays the Nazis don’t find the Ark timely, and no one may have found it at all. Had the Ark not been found, Toht, Belloq, and Dietrich (Wolf Kahler) would have continued to be a scourge on the Earth. Indiana Jones ensured that the Ark is locked away in anonymity for all time, and ensured that the world had a few fewer Nazis in the process. Show some goddam respect.
I might take a deeper dive into the collective mentality that leads a society to shit all over the few great things in existence, but that would be giving more credit to the people who would pass being persnickety for criticism. They don’t need me validating them, apparently they need Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008).