To be honest, to put Indiana Jones in another rousing live-action adventure means using CGI. I know of one fuddy duddy decrying this latest movie for various reasons. He’s impossible to please, and while I’ll agree too much digital use can be detracting, it’s too late! That’s how movies are made today. Even Moulin Rouge was rich with digital enhancements to make gay Paris come alive. The same was done in Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny to make his last hurrah look good!
The extended opening act presented a younger Indy, and the technology to render him has improved by massive leaps. I’m sold by this illusion, and even the action had everything I recall from the original films and a lot more! That is, all the fights happening inside and out of the train is reminiscent of James Mangold‘s directorial work in The Wolverine.
After all, this finale is most likely it. Nobody can replace Harrison Ford. To transition it to another character is an insult to the franchise, and I don’t even want a Disney-produced spinoff series. It’s best to enjoy all the past productions, warts and all. To be bitter about the directorial passing of the torch and advancements in filmmaking today is simply moot.
This movie also has bits which reminded me of Jackie Chan’s sunset film, Ride On. The themes are similar, and it’s tough not to shed a tear at the end. In regards to realism on the set, I’m happy actual archaeological locations like the Temple of Segesta and the Ear of Dionysius were used. It’s tough to put this adventurer into new dangers since all fans want is nostalgia.
And as for the magic, I’m glad the pitch for this film is better than Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. It went the wrong way with the ancient alien approach, even though the idea is in line with some pulp tales. Because it had been conceived by George Lucas with Jeff Nathanson, and directed by Spielberg, they thought they had gold. But after the fan outcry, maybe this powerhouse duo decided in not to be fully involved in this latest outing.
To give Indy a true adventure without sci-fi is tough, since that’s what defined the pulp movies of the latter decades. With the moon landing as a story point, I understand why Jones is bitter. That’s because he knows ex-Nazis were involved in helping America reach for the stars, and he can’t let go of that fact.
Although he’s not quite the old man as seen in the Young Indiana Jones series, which I consider canon, he’s getting there! This archeologist has some life left. Although the Dean gave him a retirement party, Jones despised it. When his god-daughter, Helena Shaw (Phoebe Waller-Bridge) shows up to motivate him, unfortunately that isn’t enough until she gets kidnapped! Apparently, since her dad’s passing—who was a colleague of Jones—she’s been a loose cannon, and when she asks about the mysterious Dial of Destiny pops and Jones recovers, that sets in motion a merry chase around Indy’s most favourite two continents–Africa and Western Europe (the Mediterranean).
When a person from the past reveals himself, life gets bad. Jürgen Voller (Mads Mikkelsen) wants it to change the tide of World War II; his plans are more nefarious than Hitler’s. Although he replaces Wernher von Braun in this universe (it’s implied he’s the father of rocketry), that’s okay! The difference between the two is clear. One wishes to continue the regime and the other never believed in it. Investigations from the FBI conclude Braun stayed on the job for academic reasons rather than party belief. When the Allied Forces offered him a better position, he did not hesitate to jump ship! All he wanted was to build a rocket to reach Mars.
In Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny, nearly everyone wants to forge a promising future for themselves. I laughed when he’s no longer showing the skills of an intrepid adventurer. He’s past his prime, and he’ll one day morph to that grandfather-like figure that the television series extolled. And as for whether his relationship with others has improved, what’s presented suggests he won’t change by much. It’s tough to sunset a franchise, and in what this team created is bittersweet and honestly, needed. He’s not going to be that scruffy nerf herder we all love forever and ever.
4 Stars out of 5