& the Dial of Destiny
In 1981 I was a small girl of 10 years old and taken to the cinema to see Raiders of the Lost Ark. A tale of a handsome professor/archaeologist trying to locate the Ark of the Covenant. Now, 42 years later I have just left the cinema after seeing Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny. I’d read some reviews of it prior to going, something I don’t usually do, and seen some negative ones. But me being me, it didn’t put me off. After all, Indy is part of my childhood and I’m a great lover of a good action flick
The movie started in only the way an Indy film can. Indiana Jones (digitally de-aged magnificently) is trying to recover priceless relics from the Nazis. During his escape, he comes across half of Archimedes dial as well as adding a new enemy to his vault, ably played by Mads Mikkelsen. The other half of it is waiting to be found and of course Indy has to locate it before it falls into the wrong hands.
The film jumps forward a few years to Indy coming to the end of his professor days. This film doesn’t think twice about addressing Fords age and I think it is much better for it. We see him an old man sitting in his apartment and complaining about the music from next door. We see him commenting to Helena about “I’ve dealt with voodoo, drank the blood of Kali” and all the other adventures he’s had. We see him struggle to do things and comment about “dodgy shoulders and knees”.
Cue, Phoebe Waller-Bridge. Meet Helena. Indy’s goddaughter and newly minted archaeologist herself. Phoebe cements her place in the film with no trouble at all. No cheesy one liners. No feminine squeals. No “I can’t do that, I’m a girl”. Helena dives straight in and stays the course. Phoebe Waller-Bridge has a normality about her, but one that is all action. In one moment, she is elegant in a casino, holding court with some of the world’s dodgiest dealers. In the next, she is hanging off the back of a car. If you think that’s good, wait til you see her on a motorbike!
It’s not the best Indy movie, that is reserved for Raiders, but it is certainly not the worst (sorry Crystal Skull – that’s you!) I would rank it joint second with Last Crusade. If you’re looking for my opinion, here it is. This is Indy-Gold! Packed full of outrageous action sequences, trains of nazis, cars, planes and so much more. That’s without the great stunts and locations.
The movie ties up Indy’s journey nicely. The line shared between Indy and Marian Ravenwood at the end gives a nice full circle to the franchise. Indy fans will pick up on that.
The film ticks all the boxes. It’s a story about ‘moving on’ and it allows Indy to do just that.