Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny Review

Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny Review

The final journey of the legendary adventure series. How will an old school hero hold up in the age of superheroes?

Indy! Jonesy! Junior!

Harrison Ford loves this character and seems to have the best time talking about and playing him. Without Harrison Ford Indiana Jones lacks what makes him so darn appealing. He is not this super suave spy, or this gentle hero, instead he is simultaneously the luckiest and unluckiest archaeologist. His fighting style has always been brawling and that is one of the smartest things they could have done for the longevity of this character, I highly doubt Harrison Ford could do more than simple punches and kicks at his age. So even though Harrison is quite up there in age his portrayal of the character is still spot on even in regards to the physical aspects.

 This is a direct sequel to Kingdom of the Crystal Skull and that is one of the biggest issues, they had to find some way for Indy to be sad and alone so he could go on this adventure. So taking the happy and honestly pretty good ending to Crystal Skull and saying that actually Indy is alone and bitter, WHY? What narrative purpose does it serve? If you wanted to give us something different then give us a reason for Indy to come home safe. Why not have his Goddaughter beg for Indy to help her find the dial and make a promise To Marion, and tensions would increase throughout the film as Indy gets more and more tired through the adventure but Helena keeps pushing him. It's nothing revolutionary but these films are meant to be crowd pleasing blockbusters.

Side Characters

 My biggest issue is with Helena and Teddy, they aren't good. They have opposing issues, Helena had good acting but was poorly written, while Teddy had bad acting and with improvements to the script he could be an interesting character. For some reason Helena is written as this know it all young adventurer who feels like they know everything and don't need Indy, similar to Mutt from the Crystal Skull, however unlike Mutt she is proven right and does know what she is doing, is there a point to her being a thief and selling treasure? Not really, but it's cool right, she is so bad ass. They could have done so many other interesting things with Indy's Goddaughter whose dad was a former friend, she could have been a compelling villain, or like I previously stated, someone who is addicted to finishing her father's search. Instead she likes money, but she didn't grow up poor, so she is just greedy with no real redemption arc. It just makes me so confused why she was written like that.

 The boy character, Teddy, may have been salvageable narrative wise, as he could be the greedy character only along because of the chance at treasure. No, the big issue is that his delivery was lacking throughout the film, so much so that it makes me wonder how James Mangold was alright with the takes that they got. It was really quite baffling, as he was able to get good child performances in Logan, and Teddy had much less to do in regard to his performance. I don't know if he is just a bad actor who they decided they could accept, or if he is alright and they just didn't care about his deliveries. It really made the character feel out of place and he shouldn't have been in the film as long as he was.

Mortal Enemies

 The villains of the film are of course Nazis. In the final film of Indiana Jones there is no better people for Indy to beat up on then artifact thieves and book burners, the polar opposite of Indiana Jones and what he stands for. The villains in this film can also be interesting at certain points, their ability to shed blood freely adds intensity to the film. The history between the main villain and Indy is also something that I wish was explored more.

The Adventure is Over?

 I feel like this is the final adventure for Indy but I'm not convinced the movie feels this way. I don't mean that they have a sequel baiting end, but very little of this movie feels like a dramtic conclusion to this franchise. It is only really one aspect at the end of the movie in regard to Indy and the mystical artifact's power. That was interesting but as with most of this film could've been done better. Staying on topic with the artifact for this film, it is easily the most confusing artifact in any of the films, I don't completely understand its power or how they discovered so much about it before they found it. The power of it was awesome but it was not explained well enough for what the Dial actually did and how it is used.


 I still enjoyed this movie even with all of its flaws. The film was mismanaged evidently from the sky-high production budget, and several rewrites and reshoots that they had to do. All of this must be analyzed by Disney and Lucas Arts as they plan to make more Star Wars films. But, for the Indiana Jones Franchise I hope that Harrison Ford can feel at peace with the character and how Indy ended, I think that I'll stick with the ending from Kingdom of the Crystal Skull however.

I give this film a

6 out of 10 Whip Cracks