The big day has finally arrived for Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny. It’s been 15 years since his last theatrical release and
Audiences have high hopes for Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny because it’s the last movie in the series, with Harrison Ford playing Indiana Jones for one last time, and James Mangold directing the movie instead of Steven Spielberg. We went to see the movie during its Thursday night premiere, so we’ll share our non-spoiler review of the new cinematic adventure!
First, the opening act is incredible and feels like a classic sequence similar to what viewers experienced in “The Last Crusade.” It opens in 1944 while Indiana is pursuing another historical artifact. It’s all set up for Dial of Destiny’s main story concerning the recovered Antikythera from the film’s opening adventure.
I must say the de-aging technique used on Ford is maybe the most impressive use of the technology yet. It’s amazing how they made it seem as if they plucked Ford out of the early 90’s to film this sequence.
After the explosive first act, the movie then jumps 25 years later to show us Indiana Jones in 1969. After showcasing a day in his current civilian life, Indy finds his usual fast-paced groove with familiar friends, foes, narrative beats and action-flick clichés.
At first it feels uncharacteristic to see the aging archeologist in New York during the swinging 1960’s, but it quickly reverts to tradition once Indy begins his new global adventure.
Everything old is new again in director James Mangold’s vision of the classic action-adventure. For instance, the reappearance of much-loved characters like John Rhys-Davies as Sallah and even the new characters, like Helena, played by Phoebe Waller-Bridge, feel like a throwback to the characters invented by Steven Spielberg and George Lucas.
However, the third act felt a bit disjointed to us. It seemed like they had a few conflicting ideas merged together on how to wrap up the iconic film franchise. Without giving spoilers, let’s summarize it by saying the last 30 minutes of the movie felt rushed for story telling, which is our biggest criticism of the movie.
If you liked Indy’s previous adventures, then the good news is that you’ll enjoy watching The Dial of Destiny! Overall, it’s much better than “Crystal Skull” for quality and gives a better conclusion to Ford’s character. It’s tough to beat the original trilogy, so we’re putting this 4th on our list for ranking the five Indiana Jones movies. I know I’ll be rewatching this film again!
Harrison Ford is joined by a rich cast, including Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Antonio Banderas, John Rhys-Davies, Shaunette Renee Wilson, Thomas Kretschmann, Toby Jones, Boyd Holbrook, Olivier Richters, Ethann Isidore, and Mads Mikkelsen.
Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny is directed by James Mangold, with Kathleen Kennedy, Frank Marshall and Simon Emanuel producing. Steven Spielberg and George Lucas serve as executive producers. John Williams, who has scored each Indy adventure since the original “Raiders of the Lost Ark” in 1981, is once again composing the score.
Photo Credit: Lucasfilm