Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny

Harrison Ford is a legend. While it must be admitted that he is not the greatest dramatic actor to have come out of Hollywood, he seems to have the knack for winning roles as one-dimensional men of action in popular media franchises.

After an unimpressive early acting career, he gained worldwide recognition for his starring role as Han Solo in the film Star Wars (1977), and its four sequels. This epic space opera became a cultural phenomenon that gave Ford worldwide attention.  

His fame was further enhanced when he played Indiana Jones in the action-adventure Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981). The four sequels of this movie further advanced his career. Then, in 1982 he starred as Rick Deckard, the replicant hunting police officer in the cult science fiction film Blade Runner, and then its sequel Blade Runner 2049 (2017). He portrayed Jack Ryan in the spy thriller Patriot Games (1992) and Clear and Present Danger (1994). His film credits include an Academy Award nomination for best actor for his role in Witness (1985).

Indiana (Henry) Jones was the brainchild of George Lucas, the creator of Star Wars, who wanted to create a character based on the pulp serials he grew up with. The character was first brought to the big screen by Steven Spielberg in 1981. Originally to be played by Tom Selleck, Jones was an adventuring archeologist who got out of extremely dangerous situations by the skin of his teeth and had a profound phobia of snakes. He also was one of the few Hollywood action heroes in the 80s who was allowed to feel pain. Given all that, I have to say that I have a massive soft spot for Indiana and his numerous quests to uncover enchanted artifacts because I enjoy the character so much.

It therefore hurt to watch Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny. It is, in my opinion the second worst Indiana Jones film ever made after Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom

Set in 1969, after his retirement, it deals with Jones trying to find the Dial of Destiny, an ancient time machine. Pursued by a Nazi scientist played by Mads Mikkelsen (Hannibal, Casino Royale) and assisted by his goddaughter played by Phoebe Waller-Bridge (Fleabag, Solo: A Star Wars Story), Indiana must overcome obstacles and death traps in order to obtain the Dial.

All the ingredients for an excellent Indiana Jones adventure exist in the film, however, it somehow fails to deliver, mainly because the film portrays Jones as sad and broken, someone who is filled with regret. It doesn’t help that at this point, Harrison Ford is 80 years old and does not seem capable of playing an action hero. Add that to the fact that the CGI is awful, and the result is a film that is profoundly disappointing.  

I am actually shocked that it is so terrible, given that James Mangold, director of such excellent films as Logan, Walk the Line and Ford V. Ferrari is helming the movie.  

Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny bombed at the box office due in large part to its inflated budget of 300 million dollars. Receipts barely covered its expenses. 

I unfortunately cannot recommend this film. Go back and rewatch Raiders of the Lost Arc or Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade if you want to get your Indy fix. 

This film is a gigantic waste of your time.