One of the greatest action movie characters ever created finally gets a proper goodbye in Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny.
Directed by James Mangold and starring Harrison Ford and Phoebe Waller-Bridge in the main roles, the newest and last Indiana Jones offering is a time capsule to what made the forerunners so good.
Henry ‘Indiana’ Jones Jr, played by the eponymous Harrison Ford, has been entertaining film-lovers since 1981. And, since then, has had its own ups-and-downs when it comes to quality of entertainment.
But nevertheless, the newest addition to the franchise follows Indiana Jones and Helena Shaw (played by Waller-Bridge) going up against Nazis once again to recover the newest McGuffin in the franchise, an Archimedes’ Antichethyra (old clock to the uninitiated).
This is the fifth movie in the franchise, and the fourth one in which Indy tackles the fascists, so there isn’t exactly anything new or surprising that our hero has to deal with. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t anything enjoyable in the movie. Mangold, of Logan fame, succeeds in making the audience yearn for the nostalgia they know is about to come.
The old school graphics that depicts Indy travelling from one country to another was a nice throwback to the early days. It was also great to see some of the classic characters from the franchise receive a nice welcome back. Toby Jones, John Rhys Davies and Karen Allen all reprise their roles.
It’s not all fields of flower, however. The movie in its attempt to recreate the feeling of what made the original Indiana Jones movies so special, completely ignores some important facets of film-making. For instance, Mads Mikkelsen as the apparent ‘big bad’ of the film, has no effect on the audience. He doesn’t come across as a truly evil person, nor does he give off the vibe of a calculating mastermind. He’s just a run-of-the-mill Nazi.
The action in the initial 15 minutes of the movie is also the worst unfortunately. In an attempt to hide the star’s age, the entire sequence is done in ‘shaky-cam’, leaving the audience more nauseous than excited.
But the action does get better from that point onwards. Seeing Ford as Indiana Jones riding a horse is truly one of the most iconic scenes in the movie. The other being the first time he wields the classic fedora and whip.
But the climax is quite possibly one of the most convoluted endings ever put to cinema, and that’s including all of the other Indiana Jones movies too.
Despite all of these issues, Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny succeeds in giving audience an old-fashioned adventure film. Which, in an age full of sci-fi superhero films, might just be what we need.
Plus, we get to see Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones for one last time … and that makes up for any shortcomings.
Verdict: It’s an old-fashioned fun romp at the theatres but don’t expect anything more.
– Deviprasad Nair