Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny is a 2023 American action adventure film directed by James Mangold. The film stars Harrison Ford in his fifth and final portrayal of archaeologist Indiana Jones. Set in 1969, the film follows Indiana Jones and his estranged goddaughter Helena Shaw trying to locate a device that could change the course of history before Jürgen Voller, a Nazi-turned-NASA scientist, can take it for himself and change the outcome of World War II.
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Like most of the post-Disney acquisition movies of Lucasfilm, Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny is a deliberate attempt to destroy the legacy of a male icon. After the diminishing of Han Solo and Luke Skywalker in the Star Wars sequel trilogy, Lucasfilm CEO Kathleen Kennedy has finished the job with a character assassination of Indiana Jones. Kennedy has since being appointed as Lucasfilm CEO gone on a social justice crusade to elevate (unknown) female characters at the expense of well-known male ones.
Like Rey in the sequel trilogy, Helena Shaw (Phoebe Waller-Bridge) serves as the Mary Sue of Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny. Shaw is perfect in every way – as she announces proudly early in the movie – and can do no wrong. The character is arrogant, entitled, selfish, narcissistic, annoying, super-intelligent and impossibly strong and agile. But to be fair, the latter issue also applies to Indiana Jones, as we are led to believe that a senior man like that could be able to perform the action sequences seen in the movie. Neither character make for believable action heroes!
In fact, it’s reasonable to say that Helena Shaw is the main character of this movie, as she is the one pushing the story along throughout. And in fact, Shaw is the one who saves the day – effectively the hero of the piece, despite the fact that she had done utterly indefensible things at the beginning of the movie! Indiana Jones is reduced to a supporting character in his own movie!
What about the story, you say? Well, serviceable action-adventure, if you can ignore the elevation of Helena Shaw over Indiana Jones and of course, the ridiculous time travelling third act. Too much convenient set-ups suggest that this is a story that did not need to be told.
In the final analysis, Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny is yet another franchise that Disney has managed to fuck up. It is the end of an era indeed but that’s fine as we can still enjoy the first three excellent Indiana Jones movies and forget that these movies ever happened! Avoid!!
Now showing in the cinemas.
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