‘Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny’ Review Harrison Ford’s Last Crack Of The Whip Is A Treat

Harrison Ford can still pack a punch…in last adventure.

In archaeological fashion, Disney have dug up and dusted off one of their own relics as Indiana Jones returns to the big screen after 15 years. It’s an improvement on Kingdom of the Crystal Skull which introduced aliens and sci-fi, much to audiences despair. Now Dial of Destiny does lean into sci-fi, but it’s not overarching.

The film opens with a great WWII action sequence, where we are introduced to the films antagonist Nazi Jurgen Voller (Mads Mikkelsen). Mikkelsen is a regular Hollywood bad guy, but he does it so well and this is no exception. We also see a de-aged Harrison Ford, this is actually done particularly well and was enjoyable to watch, nothing like the horrific and distracting de-aging in films like The Irishman.

That does not mean the film ignores Harrison’s age, it’s actually a big part of it, as we jump forward to the late 60’s. Indy is elderly, living alone and on the verge of retirement. The plot plays on the cranky, injured and tired Jones as he’s dragged back into an adventure by his god daughter Helena (Phoebe Waller-Bridge).

Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny
Walt Disney Studios

Helena is conflicted, obsessed with her father Basil Shaw’s work on Archimedes and his invention of the Dial. She’s intellectual and exciting, but manipulative, a mercenary interested in financial gain from their adventures rather than being motivated by the love of history like Indy.

This is where the pair face conflict on many occasions as they chase down the two halves of the dial across the world. There is a nice bit of nostalgia as we see the two solving puzzles in caves crawling with insects, jumping from a plane and a multitude of chases, in what feels like classic Indiana Jones.

Indiana Jones
Walt Disney Studios

Mads Mikkelsen is formidable as Jurgen Voller, his presence is as menacing as ever. He and his team, which includes Boyd Holbrook’s Klaber, Voller’s right hand man track down Helena. Only to be reintroduced to Indy, 20 years after their last encounter in WWII Europe.

Where the story is strongest is the back and forth battle between Indy & Voller. Voller is hell bent on taking Germany to power, regularly referencing Hitler as inept, the war is not over for him and he will do anything in his means to change that.

Walt Disney Studios

Where it does wander slightly is the sci-fi aspect, now through most of the film we understand there’s mystical power to the dial, regardless of how much that is debated by Jones. But it’s actually inconsequential because the film is the adventure, the chase, the camaraderie.

It has all the high notes of classic Indiana Jones, so when the film moves into this aspect it doesn’t feel quite right, but it’s brief and doesn’t stain the overall tone.

Indiana jones
Walt Disney Studios

In what is likely to be Harrison Ford’s last appearance as Indy, he can leave with his head held high he hasn’t lost his wit, he plays him with as much conviction as ever.

He doesn’t shy away from his age, he mentions his laundry list of injuries as he scales rock faces and caves. It’s great to see him in character again, in what is an entertaining adventure and if they do stop it here, they will have gone out on a win.

You can watch Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny in theaters now.

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