Raiders Of The Lost Ark - Indy doesn't accomplish anything
I forget where I first heard this; maybe some female internet columnist. Tell me if you've heard this before.
Indy actually has no impact on the plot of ROTLA - at all. He could have stayed at home, and the same things would have happened. The Nazis recover the ark, open it on some remote island in the Mediterranean, and it kills everyone present who looks at it.
Maybe the only possible impact by Indy is that they open it sooner. Maybe if he hadn't shown up, it gets sent all the way to Berlin and it gets opened in the presence of Hitler and the top Nazis - killing them all as well.
World War II could have been prevented! Thanks, Indy.
By bringing it home to the USA, what does he accomplish? Nothing. The government sticks it in a warehouse and forgets about it!
"I'm not smart so much as I am not dumb." - Harlan Ellison
Sounds like an ultimate Hitchcockian plot. Why does he need to make a difference? It's a classic McGuffin plot: it's not WHAT it's about but that we can identify with Indy and take the trip with him, feeling what her feels etc. In a way very similar to Hitchcock's North by Northwest - which is about absolutely nothing, but what a great film.
So, when it comes down to ROTLA, I say: well done!