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Movie Review: Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny (2023) *No Spoilers*

Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny Onesheet.
I'm probably one of the last people who actually wanted to see Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny in a cinema to see the film. 

I didn't make it to the cinema when the film was released because the reviews were average and my local theater closed down, making it more of a trip just to go see a movie.

I figured I could wait for it to come to Disney+ as one of the two streaming services I stay subscribed to (Amazon Prime is the other to save you wondering).

Having now seen the movie I can see why it didn't really set the box office on fire. Sure there was some rumbling undercurrent of Indy's gone 'woke' with the inclusion of his god daughter, Helena (Phoebe Waller-Bridge), but her character is really no different from other female supporting characters from previous films.

She's strong, capable, but not without reasonable cause or back story. She's not just capable because she's Indy's god daughter. To be honest, it wouldn't have bothered me if that was the only reason.

That aside, unlike the previous film, there wasn't really anything you could say stood out as being outstanding or totally awful. It was just okay with a little bit too much of we've seen all this before in previous films, minus the race to find the thing that everybody wants.

The film starts during World War II with Indy already finding the the titular Dial of Destiny, even though he was actually trying to reclaim another artefact, in his role of 'it belongs in a museum' repo-man (as opposed to world famous archeologist).

Fast forward around 25 years to man first landing on the moon, and suddenly everyone is once again interested in the Dial of Destiny... a crazy game of keep it off, and find the thing that makes it work ensues.

There in lies some of the problem with the movie. It's more a game of each person trying to obtain the dial from whoever has it for their own purposes than it is Indy doing anything much in the way of solving a puzzle, to find the thing, so that he can keep the thing out of the hands of the people who would use it for bad things.

Beyond that the action sequences are pretty solid. Nothing comes across as too cartoony or unlikely in the way it did in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. It's just that none of it is particularly memorable because, if you like action/adventure films, you've seen similar scenes before, even in previous Indiana Jones films.

Even the ending is so underwhelming the movie has a second ending to try and tie things up. Not unlike the previous film actually, only that film's first ending was at least taking a bigger swing at being fantastical.

Overall it's a fun adventure that only redeems what was bad about the fourth movie by not being as over the top and obvious with its CGI. It doesn't bring anything particularly new or original to the series that might elevate it to a classic the way Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade did.

As much as I like Indiana Jones as a character, it's just not as interesting seeing him in his later years. 

Regardless of Harrison Ford's insistence that the character can only be played by him, I'd definitely consider rebooting the franchise, starting with a much younger Indy getting his start in archeology, and building from there.

There's plenty of untapped story between then and Temple of Doom (I guess, since that's supposed to be set before Raiders) that could make for classic Indy adventures.

Dial of Destiny is a perfectly fine installment in the franchise, it just doesn't have any iconic moments or adds much to Indiana Jones as a character. Even the Easter eggs and call backs don't really raise the roof like they should. Some of them just highlight that this franchise is in real need of a new direction with a main character that isn't reluctantly being carried along in their own adventure.


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