Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny (2023)

Movie Info

Movie Info

James Mangold
Run Time
2 hours and 34 minutes

VP Content Ratings

Sex & Nudity
Star Rating
★★★★4 out of 5

Relevant Quotes

Break the arm of the wicked and evildoers; seek out their wickedness until you find none.

Psalm 10:15
Indiana Jones & his goddaughter are rivals at first but then join forces to combat a former Nazi . (c) Walt Disney Studio Motion Pictures

Our favorite archaeologist is back for his fifth and last over the top adventure. Thanks to computer de-aging Harrison Ford looks good as the 1944 hero battling Nazis again. Dressed in a Nazi officer’s uniform, Jones is out to recover the Lance of Longinus held at Nuremberg Castle before the Germans can drive away with their horde of artistic loot. He is accompanied by his archeologist colleague Basil Shaw (Toby Jones), who being not as athletic as Indy, is supposed to stay hidden in the forest. Good thing he doesn’t, because he saves his friend’s neck in the nick of time aboard the express train carrying the art and antiquities to Berlin. This is a lengthy sequence in which Jones is pitted against Col. Jürgen Voller (Mads Mikkelsen). When he discovers that the Lance of Longinus is a fake, he turns his attention to an equally valuable artifact, one half of  Archimedes’ Dial, known as the Atikythera, a geared device said to be able to penetrate the fissures in time—in other words, it is a time machine. The chase and man to man fight atop the speeding train is so thrilling that it could well have ben a movie climax, but there is lots more to come.

Jump to 1969, the year of the Moon Landing, and Indy is living in a NYC apartment where he is awakened by neighbors’ rudely playing at full blast The Beatles’ “Magical Mystery Tour.” They try to kiss him off when he comes down to ask that they turn the volume down. Not a good idea to treat Indy that way. He has been teaching at Hunter College for ten years, but the students show little interest in his lecture about the decorations of an ancient vase. We also see by the legal papers back in the apartment that Jones and Marion are divorcing.

His life is upended when Helena Shaw (Phoebe Waller-Bridge), the daughter of the now deceased Basil Shaw shows up. She’s Indy’s god-daughter, but she is not interested in catching up on their years apart. She is interested in the Dial of Destiny. Indy does not yet know it, but she has been engaged in the illegal auction of antiquities and is interested in it for its market value. When he takes her to the college archives where he has kept the artifact hidden, henchmen appear, wanting the item for their master. It seems that the Nazi Jürgen Voller wants it too. Like numerous Nazi scientists, Voller after the war had gone to work for the Americans, contributing to the space program and now works for NASA. However, he wants the ancient machine for himself, his plan being to change the course of history by going back in time to 1939, kill Hitler, and take over the Third Reich and lad it to victory over the Allies. Helena escapes with the half-dial

There ensues a thrilling series of chases, the participants weaving in and out among the marchers and crowds honoring Lunar Landing astronauts. Indy even mounts a horse, riding it into the subway and racing down the tracks, twice barely missing being smashed to bits by an on-coming subway train. Silly and unrealistic, but fun. Helena escapes with the half-dial, intending to sell it an auction in Tangier.

Jones manages to thwart the sale, but there is more of Voller and his goons. One of Jons’ old companions joins forces. There’s some deep water diving in the Aegean Sea in search of the other half of the dial, a visit to Archimedes tomb in Sicily, and, most spectacularly when the two halves of the dial are put together, a jump back in time. Not to Voller’s intended year of 1939, but to 212 BC when the Romans were besieging Syracuse. Some delightful recreation of the city and the conflicting armies, as well as old Archimedes himself.

There is one poignant scene in the film, the one in which h and Helena are talking about time travel and she asks, “ If you could go back in time, what would you do ? Check out Cleopatra ?” “I would prevent my son enlisting. She asks, “How would you do that ?” “I would tell him that he would die, that his mother would be overcome with a grief so intense that his father would be unable to console her, and that it would end their marriage.” It is good that such a scene is included, reminding us that Jones is not an action machine, but a father still burdened by grief.

The film might not be up to the standards of the first two Indiana Jones films, but it is enjoyable enough, and preposterous enough, to make one forget all earthly troubles for two and a half hours. There is plenty of humor, such as when, under the sea Jones is accosted by a bunch of eels. Fans will recall past times when his greatest fear was of snakes. Helena says, “They Look snakes,” and Jones very quickly says, “No they don’t!”

This is a film that definitely demands a big screen in order to catch all the details of the action and scenery.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *