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Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny


Stars: Harrison Ford, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Mads Mikkelsen, Antonio Banderas, Karen Allen, John Rhys-Davies, Toby Jones, Ethann Isidore, Thomas Kretschmann

Director: James Mangold

This latter-day adventure of our archaeological superhero, who still has his hat and bullwhip, is, for the most part, really good fun, full of chases and daredevil action, although it does go a bit dotty as it careers towards a climax we could really do without.

The first 20 minutes are actually the best - even if the body of the film is far from a write-off - with (courtesy of movie magic) a rejuvenated Indy (Ford) in 1944, trying to beat Nazi hoarders to the 'lance of Longinus' (which cut Jesus on the cross) only to find that it's a fake. Instead he lays his hands on one half of the Dial of Destiny, devised by Archimedes to facilitate time travel, leading to a thrilling battle on top of a speeding train between Indy, his friend Basil (Jones) and the thieving Nazis, led by Dr Voller (all-purpose continental villain Mikkelsen).

Fast forward some 25 years or so and our hero is a university professor nearing retirement who finds himself pitchforked into a heady adventure by Helena (Waller-Bridge), Basil's money-minded daughter, in a search for the other half of the Dial, coveted by a still-living Voller, who plans to use it to reverse the course of WW2.

Ford's appearance as his younger self is really a wonder to behold (aided perhaps by footage from Force 10 from Navarone), but otherwise his performance is game, gruff and grey. Waller-Bridge is okay if hampered by a largely unsympathetic character, and several scenes are stolen by the delightful Isidore as a pickpocketing ragamuffin who tags along, even if he is somewhat shoehorned into the plot.

I hope it's not too much of a spoiler to add that it was lovely to see Allen again at the end.

David Quinlan

UK/USA 2023. UK Distributor: Disney (Disney/Paramount). Colour by Company 3 .
153 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 12A.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 1, Drugs 0, Swearing 0.

Review date: 22 Jun 2023