Dog’s Movie House: “Indiana Jones and the Dial Of Destiny” A Terrific Send Off For The World’s Most Famous Fictional Archeologist!

“Indiana Jones and the Dial Of Destiny” takes place in 1969 where we find Indy (Ford) at a crossroads in his life. His retiring from teaching, his wife Marion (Karen Allen) has filed for divorce and he feels out of place in an ever changing world. Things change when his god-daughter Helena (Phoebe Waller-Bridge) shows up looking for an ancient artifact known as the Antikythera, an historical device said to have been invented by Archimedes 2000 years ago. He’s roped into one last adventure as his god-daughter is being hunted by Jurgen Voller (an icy Mads Mikkelson) and former Nazi turned US scientist who is seraching for the Antikythera for his own uses, ones that involve reigniting the 3rd Reich through supernatural means. It is during this last adventure that Indy will come to terms with his advancing age and his place in the world.

“Indiana Jones and the Dial Of Destiny” has all the hallmarks of the other Indiana Jones films but focuses more on Indy’s disconnect from the world than any of the other films. While that means that you’re not getting the same old cocky Indiana Jones from the other movies you are getting a more emotionally satisfying version of the character. Ford embodies Indy with a sense of loss and what his life has cost him. His choices have had incredibly major effects on all of his relationships, including Marion and his son Mutt. This film is not about him recapturing his youth: it’s about Indy coming to terms with his age.

Now before you start asking questions, let me reassure you that this is an Indiana Jones movie through and through. The film starts with a prologue in Germany in 1945 in which Indy and friend Basil Shaw (Toby Jones) escape capture and steal the Dial. The filmmakers use de-aging technology on Ford to make him look younger and the effect is incredible. And Ford, at the age of 80, gets into the action with a physicality of a man half his age. (Hell, he even has a shirtless scene that made me feel self-conscious). The sequence is just under a half-hour in length and it starts of “Indiana Jones and the Dial Of Destiny” with a bang. Mangold and company have a nice balance between the action and the more dramatic beats of the story. The action isn’t quite up to the level of “Raiders Of The Lost Ark” but are comparable to the other movies in the series. The tuk-tuk chase in Tunisia comes to mind and it’s as well-choreographed as anything in the series.

The script by Jez Butterworth, John-Henry Butterworth, and David Koepp give the actors a great deal of room to breath and flesh out their performances. Ford, of course, is amazing, but his matched by Waller-Bridge as Helena and Mikkelson as the “former” Nazi who’s not quite as fgormer as he leads others to believe. John Rhys-Davies returns in a small role as Sallah, and a grizzled Antonio Banderas shows up as Renaldo, an old friend of Indy’s who happens to be an ace scuba diver. Special mention should be made to Ethann Isidore as Teddy, a young confederate of Helena’s who accompanies them on their journey. Isidore accoplishes the tough task of being a child character in a mostly adult film that’s actually engaging.

So overall, “Indiana Jones and the Dial Of Destiny” is a terrific send-off to one of the screen’s greatest adventurers. Filled with humor, action and a lot of heart (the final scenes alone are worth the price of admission) and another iconic performance by the legendary Harrison Ford, “Indiana Jones and The Dial Of Destiny” is one of the best films of the summer! So Sayeth The Kendog!

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