Film Review: Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny (Walt Disney Pictures/Lucasfilm Ltd.)

By: Jesse Striewski

For as long as I’ve been around, the Indiana Jones franchise has been there throughout my formative years (we were both established in 1981, so I’ve always felt a connection there of sorts). I can recall Raiders of the Lost Ark and The Temple of Doom being an occasion each and every time they were shown on TV, and even remember going to rent The Last Crusade at the video store when it was the “new” release at the time.

And of course, who can forget 2008’s The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, a sequel so laughable it no doubt has gone down in history as the worst entry in the series, and of course had to be the first time I ever went to see Harrison Ford portray Dr. Jones on the big screen myself. Thankfully the days of “nuking the fridge” are long gone and simply a memory in The Dial of Destiny.

In his fifth and final outing as Jones, Ford pulls out all the stops instantly, beginning the non-stop action abroad a Nazi train in Europe circa 1944, where Jones and fellow colleague Basil Shaw (Toby Jones) are attempting to retrieve the Lance of Longinus, but instead end up finding Archimedes Dial, an astronomical calculator with the power to lead to time travel.

Fast forward over twenty years to the late ’60s, where we find Dr. Jones on the verge of retirement from teaching college when Shaw’s daughter (and Indy’s Goddaughter) and archaeologist Helena Shaw (played by Phoebe Waller-Bridge) suddenly appears and catapults him back into action when they retrieve the Dial, and quickly find out the hard way there’s numerous sources also after it, including Jurgen Voller (Mads Mikkelsen), a former Nazi turned NASA expert hell-bent on retrieving the Dial for his own personal gain.

I’ve seen some negative reactions to The Dial of Destiny so far (predictably), but for my money, it’s a relentless action-adventure that never lets up (I found myself really wanting to go horse back riding again after Indy’s trot through the New York subways on one), and serves as a fitting swan song for a beloved character with over four decades worth of history (brief appearances from series regulars Karen Allen and John Rhys-Davies was a nice touch, too). If this truly is to be Indy’s last journey, I’m glad I took the trip with him.

Rating: 3.5/5 Stars