Recensie Indiana Jones and the Dial of Fate

Director: James Mangold | Script: Jez Butterworth, John-Henry Butterworth, David Koepp, ea | Cast: Harrison Ford (Indiana Jones), Phoebe Waller-Bridge (Helena), Mads Mikkelson (Dr. Voller), Ethann Isidore (Teddy), Toby Jones (Basil Shaw), John Rhys-Davies (Sallah), Antonio Banderas (Renaldo), hey | Time to play: 154 minutes | Year: 2023

Often, it’s out of great love for a character or film series or just plain nostalgia that we fervently hope that sequels will succeed. Even if there are years in between. It was quite an experience fifteen years ago during a night premiere of the fourth Indiana Jonesfilm to see the American public go crazy. Each frame, whether it contained a character, a well-known tune, the title, or an attribute, brought a whoop of joy and applause from the audience.

But after critical review it turned out Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull despite the necessary innovations, a disappointing year. Indy and aliens turned out not to be a good combination. Shia LaBeouf, as a long-lost descendant of archaeologists, was not going to take charge, despite the many rumours. And the Russian villainess played by Cate Blanchett was one crazy appearance.

“Okay, one more then,” those involved in the action hero of the world’s most famous treasure hunter annex must have thought. We’ll leave the jokes about Harrison Ford’s age for a while; there are already enough. However, it was now or never, because Ford is already playing eighty. Spielberg really didn’t feel like directing after messing around with the previous part and left the job to James Mangold. Like George Lucas, the original director didn’t even interfere with the script. I hope it goes well.

And no, that’s not good. We meet a digitally younger Jones in the twilight of World War II in an overlong prologue. Object of Obsession is a mysterious artifact from ancient times of classical Greece. After many runs, flights and fights, Jones and his British colleague Basil Shaw manage to wrest half of the watch to which the title refers to the Nazi Jürgen Voller. Twenty-five years later, Shaw has gone to the eternal hunting grounds and his daughter Helena, Jones’s goddaughter, stands at the archaeologist’s doorstep.

It’s 1969 and Americans are eagerly following the first moon landing. Jones is forced to retire, but it doesn’t take long for him to take up the geraniums. Voller, who participated as a NASA scientist in the launch of Apollo 11, reappears on the battlefield under an assumed name. He has never been able to give up his search for the famous sphere and is determined to find the missing piece so he can take control of time. Jones and Helena have the exact same plan.

Et voilà, there we have the premise of this fifth and undoubtedly last convulsion of Indiana Jones. Because in reality it is neither more nor less than a game of cat and mouse in which two parties constantly step on each other’s heels and hardly a breather in the hunt for the clock of destiny. Morocco, among others, served as a backdrop for all of this. The vehicles are motorcycles, planes and tuk-tuks. And apparently, Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s character has the same archeology/action hero duo training as her godfather.

Indiana Jones and the dial of fate he regularly flies out of the corner, both literally and figuratively. It’s disappointingly little to the point. Mangold and his four-person writing team, including not the least, manage like a champ by completely relying on the cast, craving nostalgia and a few cameos. The simplicity of the classic trilogy is sought, but the filmmakers forget that the public has not only become more demanding, but also yearns to innovate within acceptable limits.

The latter is mainly due to the truly bizarre denouement. Mangold and his associates may accidentally wink at earlier parts, but their frantic attempts to win over the audience mostly work on laugh muscles. Waller-Bridge is a nice addition to the ever-solid Ford, but has to make do with such an unbalanced character that you really don’t know what’s in it. They pair up with a boyish sidekick they discover in Morocco, but can’t seem to get rid of him.

A nice extra is the presence of our own giant Olivier Richters. As a (neo)Nazi helper, you give him a bit more text, but even his throwaway job tastes like more. The Indiana Jones book had already gotten a bit dusty, but now it can be closed for good. Getting an entertaining adventure movie off the production line turns out to be quite a task. You love giving Indiana Jones a nice retirement. For the love of the character and pure nostalgia.

Varsha Rai

Hi, Varsha here. I am a very passionate writer with a knack for the art of words and I hope to share my stories and information in a way that is meaningful and inspiring. At, I write mostly on latest and upcoming movies, movie reviews and everything related to movies. Catch up with me on - [email protected]
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