Indiana Jones and The Dial of Destiny (2023) Review

By Allison Rose   X Formly Known as Twitter
3 Min Read

Indiana Jones and The Dial of Destiny is a solid send-off for Indiana Jones and Harrison Ford, but while older audiences will probably enjoy the film, it may not resonate with younger viewers.

Fresh off the success of the first two Star Wars films, Harrison Ford once again teamed up with George Lucas for another epic adventure, Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark. Dr. Jones was a college professor and an archeologist who traveled the world looking for lost treasure.  Of course, along the way, Indiana and his team came across nefarious types who would stop at nothing to possess the artifacts Dr. Jones and his team were searching to find.  

After the success of Raiders, a sequel called Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom followed three years later.  Next was Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, and, after an almost twenty-year hiatus, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull debuted in 2008. Co-starring Shia LaBeouf (Transformers) and Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine), Crystal Skull was a disappointment at the box office, leaving the franchise with an uncertain future.  

Then, in 2016 it was announced that David Kopek (Mission: Impossible) was hired to write the script, with a release date in 2019 but, due to rewrites and the Covid-19 pandemic, it was delayed for a few years.  Finally, this summer, as its star, Ford, turns 81, Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny is set to open in theaters.

In 1969, Dr. Jones has been forced into retirement because of his opposition to the US using a  former Nazi scientist named Jürgen Voller (Mads Mikkelsen; Casino Royale) to help further their goal of being the first to land on the moon. Voller, however, has other plans as he is looking for Archimedes Dial, a device said to be able to allow people to travel back in time.  The last time Voller saw it was twenty-five years earlier when Indiana stole it from him - or at least half of it.  Suddenly, Indiana's goddaughter, Helena Shaw (Phoebe Waller-Bridge; Fleabag), shows up to inquire about the dial and when he removes it from its hiding place, Voller's henchmen show up but Helena beats them to the punch and steals it first.  Suddenly, Dr. Jones once again finds himself on an adventure around the world to stop the dial from falling into the wrong hands.

In the first twenty minutes of the movie, Ford is "de-aged" and we see him like we had seen him in the original Indiana Jones trilogy.  For those of us who remember those films, there was a sense of nostalgia watching a pseudo flashback reminiscent of Raiders.  Ford was made to play Indiana Jones and he continues to prove it forty-plus years after Jones' debut.  Waller-Bridge compliments Ford nicely and her character is well-suited to take over the reins.  

The story that starts off the tale is interesting enough and the concept of a time-traveling device is not new.  However, the first two hours can't make up for the last thirty minutes when the plot goes off the rails and the special effects look very cheesy and amateurish.  Up until that point, Dial of Destiny looked and felt just like the ones made back in the 1980s.

Indiana Jones is a beloved character in movie history and Ford has represented him probably better than any other actor.  While Dial of Destiny is better than Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (almost anything would be), it doesn't match Raiders, Temple of Doom, or The Last Crusade.  For the most part, it is a solid send-off for Indiana Jones and Harrison Ford but while older audiences will probably enjoy the film, it may not resonate with younger viewers.  Hopefully, parents can take their children to the film and they can enjoy a bonding experience while exposing teens and twenty-somethings to the wonders that is Indiana Jones.

Grade: B

Directed By:
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Running Time: 154 minutes
Distributed By: Paramount Pictures

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For more information about Indiana Jones and The Dial of Destiny visit the FlickDirect Movie Database. For more reviews by Allison Rose please click here.

Indiana Jones and The Dial of Destiny images are courtesy of Paramount Pictures. All Rights Reserved.

FlickDirect, Allison   Rose

Allison Rose, a Senior Correspondent and Critic at FlickDirect, is a dynamic presence in the entertainment industry with a communications degree from Hofstra University. She brings her film expertise to KRMS News/Talk 97.5 FM and broadcast television, and is recognized as a Tomatometer-Approved Critic. Her role as an adept event moderator in various entertainment industry forums underscores her versatility. Her affiliations with SEFCA, the Florida Film Critics Circle, and the Online Film Critics Society highlight her as an influential figure in film criticism and media.


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