Written by / 7/01/2023 / No comments / , , , , , , , , , ,

HARRISON FORD AS 'INDIANA JONES AND THE DIAL OF DESTINY'

Title: INDIANA JONES AND THE DIAL OF DESTINY Year: 2023 Grade: C

For diehard defenders of the entire INDIANA JONES franchise (not just those who feel that RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK stands alone since it was never called INDIANA JONES AND THE RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK), they'll throw the titular Ark of the Covenant coming alive with floating spirits whenever the later episodes go too far into the fantasy or, for the last two ventures, science-fiction and/or science-fantasy realm... but had RAIDERS ended up with Indy in Jerusalem B.C. or seated at The Last Supper for THE LAST CRUSADE, well, then...

To give one small thing away with DIAL OF DESTINY would blow the entire cover, but basically new helmer James Mangold deliberately makes the Steven Spielberg action-directing-playbook a helluva lot noisier and way more needlessly violent: anyone helping-out the now extremely-aged and initially grouchy Jones will wind up quickly dead, making those random map-scattered characters not matter much beyond moving the bombastic adventure from one point to another — in itself an important action-packed aspect which is often done decently enough...

From INDIANA JONES AND THE DIAL OF DESTINY

But the worst fan reviews have gone to the newest sidekick in Indiana's goddaughter played by the extremely tall and cocky Phoebe Waller-Bridge, actually more an attempted female version of the selfishly-driven RAIDERS French archeologist/middleman-heavy, Belloq, wanting fast cash for what's pricelessly meant as a museum artifact...

Which is what Harrison Ford is at this point... an artifact... and the movie plays the old gruff sore-boned fella not only too much at times, but the randomly rejuvenated "I've been doing this stuff all along" hero doesn't seem very natural while, during various pockets of chase sequence escapades, the plot gets dizzy in a tiresome and complicated balancing act...

From INDIANA JONES AND THE DIAL OF DESTINY

Following the too-often-separated goals of Jones, the goddaughter Helena (with her own spry child sidekick, basically a sidekick's sidekick), and the central German Nazi, here played by Mads Mikkelsen, donning an omnipresent dull frown despite the usual Indy-villain obsession of obtaining the impossible by any means possible i.e. shadowing Jones since he always gets there first...

Making DIAL ultimately feel more like a high-priced, multi-level video game (in particular the de-aged young Harrison Ford prologue) but that often feels maneuvered by a true franchise fan, trying their best to present a sky's-the-limit finale that ironically only works when it's not trying so hard to be... an INDIANA JONES movie. 

Mads Mikkelsen's Indiana Jones villain and producer Roger Corman are the same person


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