Dialing down Expectations: Why "Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny" missed the mark

Aug. 21, 2023, 2:10 p.m. | By Mooti Chimdi | 7 months, 3 weeks ago

An amazing series ending with a not so pleasurable sequel

Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny failed to end the renowned Indiana Jones series on a high note

With a long legacy of box office records and entertaining action scenes, fans had high expectations going into "Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny.'' The Academy Award-winning franchise experienced significant controversy surrounding the release of the movie due to some struggling to wonder as to why it was created, and in the end was disappointing due to the unclear motive of the villain

The movie starts off with a flashback to World War II where a younger Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford) and Basil Shaw (Toby Jones) are held hostage by the Nazis who are trying to find the Lance of Longinus, the spear that drew Christ's blood. They are held on a train that they eventually escape and crash to get the Lance but realize it's a replica.

The setting immediately switches to New York in 1969 where an older Indiana Jones works as a professor of archeology at Marshall College. He is soon lured into a trap by Basil's daughter, Helena Shaw (Phoebe Waller-Bridge) to be questioned by Jürgen Voller (Mads Mikkelsen) and his entourage about where the tomb of Archimedes is, in order to find the other half of the Antikythera, a time-traveling device created by Archimedes.

This begins a frenzy where Indiana Jones and Helena, along with a young kid from Morocco named Teddy (Ethann Isidore), try to make their way to the tomb of Archimedes so the Nazis don't get the other half of the Antikythera. The motive behind Voller’s search for the Antikythera is not clearly established in the movie. Does he plan to use it to kill Hitler? Was it to avenge Germany's loss? These are possible conclusions, however, the movie seems to present these motives in a very chaotic manner.

The movie does not require the audience to have watched previous Indiana Jones movies and is still easy to follow for new fans. This is mainly because the movie introduces characters that haven't made appearances in prior Indiana Jones movies.

A highlight was one of the new characters: Helena. Waller-Bridge embodied the character, with greatly timed lines fitting Helena's snarky and adventurous nature. As she tries to solve an archaeological problem she reveals her charismatic character with quick punchlines. Such as when she constantly calls out Jones for being too old. "You're out of depth, Jonesy."

By far the worst aspect of the movie were the unnecessarily long action scenes. It's no secret that the Indiana Jones series is based on action scenes, but the new movie simply does a terrible job of making the action scenes concise and meaningful. For example, the action scenes go on for far too long that the CGI of the movie becomes increasingly noticeable and takes away from the movie's realistic background. Consequently, having most of the action scenes in the beginning of the movie lead to a predictable end.

An additional problem with the movie was the character dynamic between Jones and Helena. For the majority of the movie, Helena and Jones seem to despise each other, but randomly have a couple of random heart-to-heart moments. This basically ruins the mood between the two characters for the rest of the movie.

All in all, "Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny" included great action scenes and decent character dynamics.However, the movie could have improved by shortening some action scenes.

"Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny" was released June 30 and is now playing in theaters, including Regal Majestic Stadium 20 & IMAX, AMC Wheaton Mall and AMC Montgomery 16.

Last updated: Aug. 21, 2023, 2:13 p.m.

Tags: Indiana Jones Harrison Ford

Mooti Chimdi. Hi I'm Mooti (he/him). Besides writing for SCO, I like to eat and run. More »

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