The movie begins with a heavily-armed group of Russian soldiers attacking an American military base. That seems like the kind of thing that could touch off a war. Can we at least agree that it’s probably something the Russians wouldn’t risk without good reason?
Actually, they’re after an alien carcass that turns out to be useless. But that’s not my issue.
The Russians don’t know where it is in the warehouse. Apparently they went through the trouble of infiltrating the United States, assembling a fake military convoy, and mowing down American soldiers… all without any clue where the box is.
But it’s okay, because they’ve got Indy. Not that Indy knows where it is. Not that he’s ever been to the warehouse at all. The Russians figure that because he took a look at the contents of the box a decade ago, he will be able to locate it.
This is the crux of their entire plan.
Does this strike anyone else as remarkably stupid? It would be like if you showed me a giant mountain of mail, pointed a gun at me, and demanded I find the birthday card I sent to my mom. I could look through every letter and hope I recognize it, but there’s no reason for you to believe I can magically pick that needle out of the haystack.
Sure, Indy manages to do it, because of the magnetism. But the Russians clearly didn’t know about that – if they had, they wouldn’t have needed to drag poor Indy up from Mexico in the first place. Here’s how it should have gone:
“You will find box for us, Dr. Jones.”
“Just find it.”
“Let’s see… is this place arranged alphabetically?”
“Um. Okay, everyone look around for a map, clipboard, or three ring binder.”
Indy had a great plan, too, once:
“Great! I found out where the Ark of the Covenant REALLY is! It’s smack in the middle of a huge Nazi excavation effort! No big deal…I’ll just round up a bunch of guys, dig for hours, haul a huge box out of the ground, and take it a way. No one will EVER notice. And we’ll definitely finish before dawn the next day.”
Next day: everyone notices.
This has always bothered me.
Maybe the US government killed the people with the inventory. You know, to keep everything secret and safe. Like the Ring.