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  • Writer's pictureRob Ervin

Don Reviews "Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny"


One of my favorite films when I was a teenager was Raiders of the Lost Ark. I loved the action and visual effects even though I did not understand the plot. With everything going on in that film, the coolest thing was Indy’s whip, and first time I ever went to Mexico when I was 17 I had to try my hand at using one (which did NOT go well… that is not as easy as it looks). With Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny, the fifth instalment is here, and the question is: should the film be cherished like finding King Tut’s tomb or be buried so it will not be found for another 2,000 years.


James Mangold (Logan) directs the only one of the films not done by Steven Spielberg, but he gets to work with Harrison Ford, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Antonio Banderas, John Rhys-Davies, Toby Jones, and Mads Mikkelsen. The majority of the story takes place in 1969 with Indiana Jones (Ford) feeling the effects of aging as he retires from teaching and dealing with his family falling apart. Indy is visited by his goddaughter Helena (Waller-Bridge), who is in search for part of an artifact that she thinks Indy has called the Antikythera. Designed by Archimedes, it is half of a device that when used properly can change history, and as they look for the other half they are trying to stay ahead of the evil Dr. Voller (Mikkelsen), who wants it for himself.


So, let's just get into it: has this franchise “Ice Age-d Out”? Raiders is iconic, Temple of Doom was a pretty good sequel, The Last Crusade was OK, and Kingdom of the Crystal Skull was a horrible piece of trash. This film is not as bad as Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, but it is very far from mind-blowing. It’s way too long at over two and a half hours, and I REALLY felt the run time here. The four prior films were all very near the two-hour mark, and this one could have been as well as there were a lot of scenes that could have been cut which would barely (if at all) change anything. The chase scene in Tangiers alone took up over fifteen minutes that just seemed to be there to be there. The story overall is very predictable, and with a franchise that is built on the suspension of disbelief, the last twenty minutes seem to take that to a new level, even for a film of its type.


What I saw in Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny was there was an attempt in making a new type of Indy film but with the core points for past films, with a fresh coat of paint with advances in visual technology. The acting is on par with the others with Ford always having that Indy persona (Jones being Jones) in him alongside great effects and action. There were some positive points like great CGI, visuals, and action. If Kingdom of the Crystal Skull was not such a clunker, I could have forgiven this film a bit more, but because of that, I am scared to say (and trust me this truly does hurt) that maybe this series needs to end like some of the civilizations Jones looked through in his career. If you are an Indiana Jones fan, go in prepared to possibly be let down, but I will recommend this film to be watched at home in some form of cable service.

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