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'Dial of Destiny' Results in Mixed Reactions for Indiana Jones Fans

Image courtesy of Disney

By Jaimz Dillman

This weekend, I had the opportunity to watch INDIANA JONES AND THE DIAL OF DESTINY, the presumed final installment of the beloved Indiana Jones franchise. As I ventured into the theater, I quickly realized that I wasn't alone in my mixed feelings about the film.

Detractors of the movie have argued that Harrison Ford has aged out of the role he originated almost 40 years ago. After all, Indiana Jones is a character known for his adventurous spirit and daring stunts. The question on everyone's mind was whether Ford could still deliver the iconic portrayal of the beloved archaeologist we've known and loved for all those years.

The answer to that question is...kinda? At the beginning of the film, it becomes evident that de-aging technology has been employed, and it's done quite well. However, when the present-day Indy graces the screen, it feels a little jarring. The wise-cracking, lady-catching rascal has been replaced by a grumpy old man, scolding kids to "turn that loud music down!" It's a stark reminder that our heroes inevitably age and fade away, and director James Mangold wastes no time in emphasizing this point.

Image courtesy of Disney

The central plot of this installment is introduced swiftly, with Phoebe Waller-Bridge stepping into the role of Indiana's goddaughter, Helena. After graduating, she reenters Indiana's life in search of her father's (played by Toby Jones) life-long obsession, the Antikythera. And who else but Indiana Jones can help her on this quest? With that, the adventure begins.

The film is packed with exhilarating chases, clever quips, and the timeless John Williams score that punctuates all the action. However, there's an intangible element that seems to be missing. Were our expectations for a series we hold dear, particularly those of us from the Gen X generation, set too high? Some of my friends who have seen the film share the same sentiment—it's hard to pinpoint exactly what's lacking.

Image courtesy of Disney

Was the movie enjoyable? Absolutely. Especially with the delightful appearances of well-loved characters from different chapters. The iconic whip and hat. Snarky one-liners. It’s all there. But INDIANA JONES AND THE DIAL OF DESTINY still didn’t scratch the itch. There just seems to be a piece missing that keeps this final film from completing a whole pie.

INDIANA JONES AND THE DIAL OF DESTINY is now playing in theaters everywhere.

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