“Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny” Review

Story posted July 17, 2023 in

Grab your hat and your whip for one last adventure with action’s most notable hero.

Harrison Ford reprised his beloved character, Indiana Jones, one last time in “Indiana Jones and The Dial of Destiny,” which hit theaters on June 30.

This is the fifth and final installment in the Indiana Jones franchise, which started with the classic “Raiders of the Lost Ark” in 1981.

The film starts off in 1939 when Jones and his companion, Basil Shaw (Toby Jones), escape a Nazi stronghold in hopes of recovering an old Catholic artifact but end up with half of the Antikythera, Archimedes’ ancient dial that can manipulate time.

In doing so, they steal the dial from Jürgen Voller (Mads Mikkelson), who doesn’t let the incident be forgotten.

Spoilers ahead, so go forward if you’re willing to drink the blood of Kali.

Almost thirty years later, Jones is set to retire from academia when he comes across his goddaughter, Helena Shaw (Phoebe Waller-Bridge), who claims to want to know more about the dial for graduate research. However, she deceives him, steals the artifact and travels to Egypt to sell it in an auction.

Jones receives help from his old friend, Sallah (John Rhys-Davies), and heads off toward the dial.

Both Jones and Voller’s team head to Egypt, where Shaw and her companion, Teddy (Ethann Isidore), run the auction until Voller’s squad ends up with it. In order for the dial to end up in good hands again, Jones, Shaw and Teddy all team up.

The trio finds out where the graphikos to the other half of the dial is located and with the help of Renaldo (Antonio Banderas), deep-sea dive for it. However, Voller shows up on board, shoots Renaldo and forces Helena to read the map for him.

Helena doesn’t fall for it though and blows up the ship while she, Indy and Teddy escape.

They then travel to Sicily, where Indy and Helena hike to the Ear of Dionysius to find Archimedes’ tomb. However, they lose Teddy on the way, who is kidnapped by Voller’s goons.

Inside the tomb, Indy and Helena unearth the other half, as well as a clock, which wouldn’t have been invented for another thousand years. Voller follows their trail, shoots Indy, takes the full dial and reveals his big plan: go back in time to 1939, assassinate Adolf Hitler and win the war for Germany.

Voller brings Jones on board to witness his victory, while Helena sneaks on and stows away. However, Indy notices that while Archimedes could’ve worked through time travel, he wouldn’t have known about continental drift causing planes to shift, and so the plane ended up at the Siege of Syracuse in 212 BC.

Indy and Helena parachute out of Voller’s plane as Archimedes shoots it down, killing the Germans. The two discover that Archimedes created the dial to bring travelers from the future to Italy.

Indy wants to stay in Syracuse, feeling as if he’s failed everyone else in life, and Helena knocks him out to bring him back on board. He then wakes up in his apartment in 1969 and reconciles with his ex-wife, Marion Ravenwood (Karen Allen), who comes to check on him.

“Dial of Destiny” was perfect for Jones’s trip into the sunset.

While “Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” was widely regarded as the last film, Ford felt like his character didn’t get the send-off he deserved, thus prompting Lucasfilm and Disney to get to work.

Disney used the same de-aging technology that they used on Mark Hamill in “The Mandalorian,” and viewers felt as if they were getting an authentic 1980s-esque Harrison Ford for the first half-hour of the movie.

It’s always been hard to tell if Ford tries hard while acting as Jones or if their personalities are just so similar: steadfast characters with strong opinions who always try to do the right thing.

As Ford has gotten humorously grouchier with age, so has Jones, and Ford takes his portrayal of the character to the next level once again with line delivery and even more action than viewers would’ve expected.

For example, when Voller and Indy meet in Egypt, Voller tells Jones that he “should’ve stayed in New York,” to which Indy looks him dead in the eyes and says that Voller “should’ve stayed out of Poland,” which will become one of, if not the most, iconic lines from the movie.

Jones even comments at one point how he’s climbing a wall with a bad back and knees and even after all of the times he’s been shot, “once by [his] own father.”

Waller-Bridge plays an excellent heroine alongside Ford, second-best to Allen’s loveable Marion. Additionally, Mikkelson delivers the same cunning, manipulative villain he’s been known for and gives viewers the most mentally sinister Indy antagonist yet.

However, the run time is two hours and 34 minutes, the longest film in the franchise, and some scenes were drawn out just enough to make viewers wish they could’ve been cut down by a few.

While Davies and Allen make cameos, a lot of fans were hoping for Ke Huy Quan, who played the adorable Short Round in “Temple of Doom.” Even after the Oscars buildup and D23 Reunion, Quan announced that he would not be in the film.

A lot of fans were worried that the first Disney-produced Indy movie would “go woke” (as if Indiana Jones hasn’t been fighting Nazis since 1981), but despite people literally boycotting the movie, the film broke even at the box office on July 16.

There are some film franchises that try to appeal to the next generation and fall flat on their faces, but Indiana Jones has kept people on the edges of their seats since the 80s, and “Dial of Destiny” proves that when done right, everything gets better as time goes on.

Rating: 4/5

Adrianna Gallucci is a rising sophomore majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact her, please email amg7989@psu.edu