Film Review: “Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny” (Review #2)


  • Starring: Harrison Ford and Mads Mikkelsen
  • Directed by: James Mangold
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Running Time: 2 hrs 34 mins
  • Walt Disney Studios


Sometimes things should be just left alone. Like a hornets nest or steaming pile of dog poop. This is also applicable to the entire “Indiana Jones” franchise after “Raiders of the Lost Ark” made its mark. Sure, 1989’s “Last Crusade” was fun with the late Sean Connery as Indy’s father, but the rest of the films have been forgettable to say the least. They are akin to staring at the sun because in an instant you realize it was a mistake to look. I wish I could say “Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny” was some superb sendoff to Harrison Ford’s iconic character. Unfortunately, it contains retread villains, a lackluster storyline, and a bow at the end that is too neatly tied.


With special effects to make Harrison Ford look young again, “Dial of Destiny” takes us back to 1944 during the Allied liberation of Europe. One more time Indiana has been captured by Nazis who are desperate to get away with their loot before the Allies take it from them. One Nazi officer has a fascination with the holy Lance of Longinus artifact, which he believes Hitler will use to turn the war around. Jones, aided by Oxford archeologist Basil Shaw (Toby Jones, “Captain America: The First Avenger”), is also in pursuit of it. However, the real prize as it turns out is half of Archimedes Dial, a mechanical, astronomical calculator designed to find fissures in time. Something that is highly prized by Nazi astrophysicist Dr. Jurgen Voller (Mads Mikkelsen).


Fast forward to 1969 New York City where we find a much older and depressed Indiana getting ready to retire from his professorship. His marriage to Marion is in tatters and no mention of his son, Mutt is made initially. Enter Helena Shaw (Phoebe Waller-Bridge, “Fleabag”), the daughter of his late friend Basil who pulls a reluctant Indiana into a race to complete the Archimedes Dial before Dr. Voller, who helped the United States develop its space program, can find it, and rewrite the history of World War II.


That’s all you will get of out yours truly. What I can say is that while it’s fun to watch Ford don the Indiana fedora again, the story is about as tired as his character. The initial 30 minutes or so is fun-filled popcorn entertainment, but it becomes boring. Unlike finding the Holy Grail, the so called “Dial of Destiny” is less exciting than finding what the prize is in a box of Crackerjacks. There are multiple characters from Indiana’s past who make what are glorified cameos, but these do little to improve the story. Mikkelsen, who has a unique skill to bounce between good and bad guys, is perhaps the lone bright spot with a truly villainous performance. Other than that, the remaining performances are either lackluster or annoying.


Overall, “Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny” should have destined for the straight-to-dvd bin at your local convenience store.


“Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny” receives two-and-a-half stars out of five.


Speak Your Mind

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *