Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny l Review by: Amanda Guarragi
The popularity of Indiana Jones has made Harrison Ford a household name. To have Indy and Han Solo under your belt is something special. Ford’s nonchalant attitude and dry sarcasm have made these characters beloved by all. There’s a magic that Steven Spielberg brought to Raiders of the Lost Ark that can’t be replicated. And that goes with many action films from the 80s/90s. So to carry out the story of Indiana Jones past the perfect ending in The Last Crusade almost felt like a disservice to the franchise. Kingdom of the Crystal Skull didn’t do well, and now Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny feels like a revival. The question is: Will the new generation care about Indiana Jones?
In this fifth instalment, director James Mangold opens in the middle of World War II with a de-aged Harrison Ford. They are trying to secure this artifact so it won’t land in the Nazi’s possession, but they find out it’s a fake. While taken hostage, Basil Shaw (Toby Jones) finds out about the Dial of Archimedes called the Antikythera. This dial is split in two, and no one knows the location of the other half. Dr. Voller (Mads Mikkelsen) is determined to find it because it can tell the future and manipulate time. In the present day, Indy is about to retire, and his goddaughter Helena (Phoebe Waller-Bridge) stops by his class. She discusses the whereabouts of the Antikythera, but Indy doesn’t want anything to do with it because it drove Shaw to his death.
Within seconds, Dr. Voller’s henchmen are at the school looking for Helena because they’ve been tracking her for some time. She has dragged Indy into one final adventure to track down a lost artifact her father knew everything about. You can tell that Indy has gotten older, and the action sequences reflect his age. He is still bold enough to do certain things because Mangold worked in the grumpy old man traits very well. However, it felt like Indy did take a backseat with Helena running the show. That worked well, not because it was a passing of the torch moment that they attempted in Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, but because this is how you can still include the character while crafting a story that has little to do with him. Waller-Bridge and Ford had strong chemistry and carried the film for the most part.
Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny overstays its welcome, but it is a solid addition to the franchise. James Mangold had a good sense of direction during action sequences, but the film overall felt disjointed. There were many characters involved, and they stretched out their adventure. It struggled to find its footing in the middle because they were focused on adding more obstacles for Indy to overcome. Many things set them off course, which didn’t make sense because they knew where to find the dial. It was easy to find the clues. Yet to get to the destination, it felt like an eternity. If you’re a fan of the franchise, then this will be an enjoyable experience for you. You get to see Indy back in action again, and he is still doing what he does best. If this is your first Indiana Jones film, it might be a rocky start for you.
Review by: Amanda Guarragi
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