Another Harrison Ford movie, and another game changer. Built around the 1930s serial adventures that director Stephen Spielberg grew up with, the entire movie has a delightful feeling of aged leather. It's hard to think of a movie with a protagonist both born for action and highly intellectual. A perfect melding of Captain Kirk's punch first, ask questions later attitude and Captain Picard's tendency to attempt education and rational thinking above all else, and Indy isn't even in Star Trek! The movie has a ride in Disneyland that for my money is the best ride in the park, the music is so overwhelmingly adventurous that hearing it makes you want to jump on a chair and start whipping things, and a protagonist so charismatic even his weaknesses seem cool. I'm afraid of snakes because of Indy! This film is truly the grandfather of modern adventure movies, and all future adventurers will forever be compared to Indy. Why do you think Chris Pratt is being considered for the next Indy film? It's because he was an adventurer in Jurassic World and people started the comparisons early.
Indiana Jones part 1 is also sad, notably the Ark being put away at the end of the film. Everyone can quote the "top men" line, but the McGuffin of the film being hidden away after Indy worked so hard to get it is a huge blow to Indy. Then couple that with all the other boxes in that warehouse, we are left to assume there's countless wonders and marvels the world could benefit from...all locked away due to fear. Sure, probably not best to open the Ark again, but couldn't we at least display it to prove a few lingering questions about the meaning of life and all that? So sad.
Remember when this franchise was good? Pepperidge Farm remembers, but also everyone who's watched the original lately. Any film released about a killer robot from now until eternity will be compared to this original film. Every time travel film trying to explain it's time rules to the audience will have to either say it's Terminator rules, or not Terminator rules. Anyone who is named Sarah or John Conner will have to be willing to put up with quotes from this film...or you know...just don't name your kids after a movie. Hiring an Austrian bodybuilder to be a time-traveling mech was brilliant, especially with his tentative grasp on pronunciation. The music which was little more than a beat, the color scheme of blue cold darkness, and the simple plot that left much to the imagination in a good way...so good.
The movie actually doesn't hide the sad part, but rather makes it front and center. Poor Kyle Reese lived in a Terminator-filled hellscape his entire life, only lifted out of it by a picture of a woman. He fell in love with that woman, and then finally got the chance to meet her. What followed was being constantly chased, and eventually murdered. Sure he got to sleep with her once, but his PTSD was kinda ruining the whole thing. His life is very depressing, and a leap to the past really didn't help at all.