Critics say Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny is better than Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, but otherwise opinions are divided.
Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny has officially debuted at the Cannes Film Festival and the mixed reviews are in. While many were thrilled about the fifth and final installment in the Harrison Ford-led franchise, others were less sure with varying bits of feedback coming from The Hollywood Reporter, Variety, and Rotten Tomatoes. No matter what was said of the film, it was a very emotional night for not only Ford but also his co-star Phoebe Waller-Bridge as the audience gave the film’s cast and crew a standing ovation following the credit roll.
Almost everyone could agree on one thing – Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny is worlds better than the previous installment that saw Ford’s titular hero team up with his son Mutt Williams (Shia LaBeouf) in 2008’s Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Beyond that, and the cast’s overall performance, many critics found themselves at odds.
“It’s an improvement on the execrable Crystal Skull, but James Mangold’s exhumation of the Spielberg adventure serial is both tame and unnecessary.”-David Jenkins, Little White Lies
“The good news is that it’s not as poor as Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. The bad news is that it’s not much better.”-Kevin Maher, The Times
One of the biggest dividers was in reference to the de-aging technique that was used to shape the story with Harrison Ford’s Indy undergoing a decades-shedding process. Many of the naysayers agreed that Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny relied too heavily on CGI which, in turn, gave the film an unbelievable quality that wasn’t seen in the classics.
“The de-aging and other CGI manipulations of Ford’s body only serve to demonstrate that Dial of Destiny just wants to turn back the clock instead of doing anything new.”-Esther Zuckerman, The Daily Beast
“It ultimately feels like a counterfeit of priceless treasure: the shape and the gleam of it might be superficially convincing for a bit, but the shabbier craftsmanship gets all the more glaring the longer you look.”-Robbie Collin, Daily Telegraph
Still, the general consensus was that by the end of the film, it was hard not to feel the nostalgia of a franchise decades in the making coming to a close with Ford’s performance as endearing as ever.
“If you join him for the ride, it feels like a fitting goodbye to cinema’s favourite grave-robber”-John Nugent, Empire Magazine
Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny sees the titular adventure-seeking archaeologist on his wildest journey yet. Caught up in the midst of the space race, the film sees Indy clashing with Nazis, but this time his goddaughter Helena (Phoebe Waller-Bridge) is along for the ride. Also starring is Mads Mikkelsen, Antonio Banderas, Boyd Holbrook, Toby Jones, Thomas Kretschmann, Ethann Isidore, and Shaunette Renée Wilson, with John Rhys-Davies reprising his role as Sallah from the films of yesteryear.
As for the future of the franchise, Harrison Ford has been very vocal that Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny will be his final time as the character, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that things are over. Over the last three decades, the films have introduced audiences to a multitude of side characters with varying relations to Indy, meaning that any one of these personalities could pick up the fedora and strike out on a wild adventure of their own.
But, as some of the reviewers said, it may be best to bow out here as without Ford, it’s hard to picture a step forward.
Arriving in theaters on June 30, Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny is just one in a long lineup of highly-anticipated summer blockbusters making its way into theaters. Today, audiences are celebrating the late spring arrival of Fast X, while DC fans hold their breath for The Flash and Greta Gerwig’s following looks forward to the director’s summer release of Barbie.