Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny Movie Review: A Controversial Entry in the Iconic Franchise

Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny – Indiana Jones returns for a thrilling adventure alongside his goddaughter Helena Shaw. Their mission is to locate the scattered fragments of the Archimedes Dial, a powerful artifact capable of manipulating time, all while preventing it from falling into the hands of nefarious Nazis.

Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny
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Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny Characters/ Roast

Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford) is the seasoned adventurer who had set aside his hat and whip until a visit from his goddaughter stirred up his dormant spirit and propelled him back into action, even encountering an old Nazi foe whom he believed to be deceased. Despite his age, Indiana Jones continues to perform daring stunts, fight villains, and deliver witty one-liners, defying the expectations of his advanced years. While I’m surprised dementia hasn’t set in yet, the de-aging effect used to portray a younger Indiana Jones was passable in some scenes, although upon closer inspection, it made him appear somewhat bobble-headed.

It’s quite remarkable that it takes a woman, Helena, to outshine him in acts of bravery, as she fearlessly charges into danger while Indiana Jones struggles to keep up, often complaining at times. There’s a scene where he sustains a gunshot, which initially appears to be fatal, but is later revealed to be a shoulder wound. Indiana Jones has always been known for his toughness, but this demonstrates a new level of mystery.

In a twist of events, the villain activates the Dial, sending Indiana Jones and his companions back in time, where he meets one of his personal heroes. Despite his desire to stay, Helena punches him in the face, knocking him out and returning them to their present time. It’s worth noting that Indiana Jones was on the verge of divorce from his wife, and his son’s death occurred off-screen, which adds context to his yearning to remain in the past, where the greatest danger is neglecting to wash his hands. It’s hard to blame him.

Upon returning to his present time, Indiana Jones wakes up surrounded by his remaining friends, and to his surprise, his wife appears. They reconcile their differences, culminating in a passionate make-out session, bringing their story to a close.

Helena Shaw (Phoebe Waller-Bridge) is a talented and intelligent young woman who received training from her father in academic pursuits and somehow the underground world. She meets with her godfather, Indiana Jones, extracting some valuable information before leaving him to deal with the henchmen on his own. Escaping to Morocco, she plans to auction off stolen merchandise. Throughout the adventure, Elena mostly works against Indiana Jones, creating a constant sense of conflict.

A brief scuffle ensues, leading to a chase involving Elena, her side-kick, Indiana Jones, and the villains in pursuit of the missing piece. Along the way, they encounter Elena’s arranged marriage mobster fiancé. It’s unclear what attracted him to Elena, as her character initially appears selfish, but she gradually becomes a more tolerable human being as the story progresses.

The notion of Elena outperforming Indiana Jones can be likened to an adult boasting about bench pressing more than an infant. Indiana Jones even remarks on the age difference between them, making her ability to knock him out somewhat believable. However, her seemingly superhuman combat skills against other adversaries in the movie still rely on the magic of cinema.


Jürgen Voller Schmidt (Mads Mikkelsen), the time-traveling Nazi believed to be dead, was actually alive and patiently waiting to collect the remaining pieces of the dial. Even during his last encounter with a younger Indiana Jones, he miraculously survived a blow from a post while clinging to a moving train. His survival was truly remarkable. Schmidt employed a cunning strategy, allowing Indiana Jones and his party to locate all the missing pieces while he and his goons lurked in the shadows, ready to swoop in, eliminate a few individuals, and claim the spoils.

The extent to which Schmidt orchestrated this “let them find it” plan was excessively overdone. There were numerous occasions where he could have easily eliminated Indiana Jones, yet he chose not to. Even shooting him in the “shoulder” and leaving him alive to witness the unfolding of his nefarious scheme, which ultimately didn’t go according to plan, was incredibly frustrating. As a villain, Schmidt and his goons’ actions became somewhat predictable, and I found myself slightly bored by their antics.

Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny Thoughts

Indian Jones and the Dial of Destiny should never have been made, and if it had to be made, it definitely shouldn’t have been a two-hour-long movie. I had to force myself to stay awake throughout the entire film. The opening scene with a younger Jones fighting Nazis was the only captivating part. The most interesting scene was watching him ride a horse through the subway, narrowly avoiding trains not once, but twice.

There was a black woman with an afro who uttered the word “cracker” once and was later shot, but that scene didn’t make much sense. The only time I chuckled was when Jones cracked his whip, telling the auction attendees to stay back, only to have them pull out their guns and start shooting.

The feminist angle in the movie was weak, and I’ve heard criticism from others about a woman making Indiana Jones look bad. Personally, I think it’s unrealistic to expect an older man to keep up with someone much younger. Helena didn’t even look like a cross-fitter, yet she outperformed Jones in many ways.

No one asked for this film to be made, and it should be erased from our memories immediately. It’s astonishing how a film like this can still see the light of day while other, more deserving movies like the Flash struggle. 2023 seems to be the year of cash-grabbing nostalgia properties. The technology to de-age actors is here, and in a few years, we may see nothing but deceased actors on screen. Hopefully, this chapter in the Indiana Jones saga is complete, and he can finally enjoy retirement.

Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny rating 1 out of 10

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