INDIANA JONES AND THE DIAL OF DESTINY -or- THE OVERLONG GERITOL COMMERCIAL *AKA* Disney: Now that we got those old bastards out of the way we can get to f#ckin'!
Release Date 30Jun2023
This movie exists.
DIAL OF DESTINY is the fifth in the INDIANA JONES series of pulp-action films, themselves modeled after the chapter serials and pulp adventures of the 1940s and 50s. Beginning in 1981 with RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK, followed by TEMPLE OF DOOM in 1984, and THE LAST CRUSADE in 1989, the series seemed to have resolved not only neatly - but satisfyingly, with Dr. Jones riding off into the sunset.
Then, as usually happens, people wanted more money so they raided the vault to look for recognizable intellectual properties to bukkakke. In 2008 we got the execrable KINGDOM OF THE CRYSTAL SKULL and some of STEVEN SPIELBERG's most questionable decision making. Seriously, he should have NEVER said yes to any of GEORGE LUCAS's injudicious sh!tf#ckery, gone with FRANK DARABONT's script, and given us a better 4th movie.
Which brings us to Dial of Destiny…
The prologue begins in 1944 with a deep-faked Indy and colleague Basil Shaw (Toby Jones) looking for the Lance of Longinus on a Nazi train leaving from Nuremberg with loot. Also on-board is Jürgen Voller (Mads Mikkelsen), a Nazi scientist with part of the ANTIKYTHERA MECHANISM, a historical ancient Greek hand powered Orrery, here a device capable of F#ckery. The thingy is passed back and forth during fisticuffs and 'splosions... then the prologue ends. Ginchy.
It's 1969 in NYC, Indy has turned into 80 year old Harrison ford, and those kids need to turn that damn noise down! Dr. Jones is retiring to a life that kind of sucks, when Helena Shaw (Phoebe Waller-Bridge, also playing herself) arrives to introduce the plot, involving the device that makes f#ckery.
The movie isn't horrible, but Steven Spielberg's absence is noticeable, having created the look and feel of an Indy movie. As such, this movie can't help but feel like an imitation that has tons of (overlong) action, but little in the way of excitement.
Harrison Ford IS Indiana Jones. He is the most familiar thing about this movie and the most watchable actor in it, making good use of a few effective emotional beats that pay off for his character. That's about it.
The story is so "Meh", the movie should have been called DIAL OF PASSABLENESS - it just wasn't that engaging to me. Phoebe Waller-Bridge added very little to this film, and her character could have literally been anybody (should have been Short Round). John Williams is retiring, and his last score should have been memorable. Here better than half the movie score is reused from previous films. A shame really as every film has had it's own sound. In terms of visual effects, an over reliance on CGI kills the old school charm of the best 3. Those movies never really relied on more than a few matte paintings and composite shots in the first place. There are a few more nits to pick, but what has been said should suffice.
If you are an Indiana Jones and John Williams completist with some time to kill. Otherwise, STREAM HO!!!
DON'T SEE IT:
If you like me are good with 1-3, don't care to incentive the mouse's planned continued exploitation of this property, and are too busy revolutionizing the Merkin industry.