top of page


The fifth Indy film gives Harrison Ford’s iconic archeologist a decent send-off, with a fun dose of old-school adventure, even if it can’t capture the Spielberg magic in a single scene.

While a vast improvement over the messy Kingdom of the Crystal Skull the last adventure for Harrison Ford's Indiana Jones is still a mixed bag. The film has plenty of fun scenes but they just highlight that Spielberg did it so much better in the eighties.

Not that new director James Mangold isn't up to the task: he captures quite a bit of the old-school visual charms of the Indy films, specifically in a taut opening sequence that impressively de-ages Harrison Ford and establishes this episode's MacGuffin: an Archemedes contraption that is rumoured to allow time travel.

But Dial of Destiny suffers from a prolonged lull in excitement after that, as the movie takes so much time to position all the pieces on the chessboard - with several throughbacks to the earlier entries - momentum is mostly lost until the third act shifts to a higher gear and ends the picture on an emotional well-earned high.

It's also great to see Ford having a blast as he dons fedora and whip for one last time. He might be 80 but he effortlessly carries the entire film on his shoulders, even adding some touching gravitas to a role that was always more about the giddy, larger-than-life adventure.

Yet while Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny is a fun diversion it never lives up to the promise of one fantastic final adventure for one of cinema's most enduring characters. As a coda to a series of films that shaped my childhood, the film works perfectly fine though.

release: 2023

director: James Mangold

starring: Harrison Ford, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Mads Mikkelsen, Toby Jones


bottom of page