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  • Writer's pictureKen Silvers

Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny


The character of Indiana Jones has been a part of pop culture since 1981 when he first appeared in the film "Raiders of the Lost Ark". Here we are in 2023 with a new film once again starring Harrison Ford in the lead role. Considering Ford's age, perhaps the film should be titled "Indiana Jones on a Senior Citizen's Adventure", but instead we have "Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny". All kidding aside, it's nice to see Ford back in a role he is best known for, aside from Han Solo in the "Star Wars" franchise. This Indiana Jones adventure is the first in the series that is neither directed by Steven Spielberg or conceived by George Lucas. However, both men served as executive producers. The film flashes back to 1945 where Indiana is captured by the Nazis after he and Basil Shaw (Toby Jones) have attempted to retrieve an item called the Lance of Longinus (the spear that is alleged to have pierced the side of Jesus) from a castle in the French Alps. Indiana and Basil discover the Lance is fack, but half of Archimedes Dial (an ancient device created by Archimedes which reveals time fissures which could allow time travel) has been found. Jones manages to escape the castle and the Nazis with Basil and the Dial in tow. The film then flashes forward to 1969 where an elderly Jones is living in New York City, where he is about to retire from Hunter College. His wife Marion (Karen Allen), who aided him in two previous archaeological adventures has filed for separation because Indiana has become so depressed after the death of their son in the Vietnam War. As if the separation isn't enough of a shock, Jones' archaeologist goddaughter Helana Shaw (Phoebe Waller-Bridge) shows up claiming she wants to research the Dial. Jones tells Helana her father was obsessed with the Dail and gave it to Jones to destroy, which he neglected to do. When Jones and Helena go to Hunter College to retrieve the dial they are attacked by accomplices of the film's bad guy scientist and astrophysicist Jurgen Voller (Mads Mikkelsen), a "former" Nazi, who has been hired by NASA to help run the Apollo moon landing program. Voller has designs on the Dial in order to use it for personal gains. Meanwhile, Jones has no idea Helena wants to sell the Dial on the black market. Jones and Helena manage to escape Voller's men, with Helena leaving with the Dial on her own. Helena takes off for Tangier where she plans on auctioning off the Dial, and with the help of old friend Sallah (John Rhys-Davies), Jones is able to flee the U.S. after being framed for murders he did not commit, and head to Tangier in search of Helena and the Dial. Jones manages to find Helena and her teenage sidekick Teddy (Ethann Isidore) in Tangier at the auction. After disrupting the auction, Jones, Helena and Teddy find themselves in pursuit of Voller's henchmen after they steal the Dial from the auction. The trio eventually wind up in Greece where Voller and his men have taken the Dial. While in Greece, the trio team up with Renaldo (Antonio Banderas), an old friend of Jones who is an expert frogman. Renaldo will help Jones and crew dive to an ancient shipwreck to discover a tablet containing directions to the Dial's other half. Will Jones and crew find the other half of the Dial? Will they be captured, chased and survive? Will they time travel? Will the film have a happy ending? I refuse to answer any of those questions to avoid spoiling the fun of the film. Overall, the film is fun despite some flaws of which in my opinion, are the time travel sequence, and teen Teddy suddenly "discovering" he can fly a plane. While the time travel sequence was fun, it caused the film to go a bit over-the-top. Those opinions aside, I did enjoy the film, as feelings of nostalgia were present throughout the film, with Ford fitting back into the role of Jones like he was sliding back into a pair of comfortable shoes. In "Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny" we get a young Jones, an old Jones, and plenty of action and adventure making this a good summer "popcorn" flick. Now playing in theaters. (Rated PG-13)

3/5

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