[Film review] Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny

Review by John P. Harvey.

Well, after much rain-dancing and counting of prayer beads, the next (and supposedly final) instalment in the career of Professor Henry “Indiana” Jones (the nearly ageless Harrison Ford), archaeological adventurer extraordinaire, has landed spectacularly in cinemas world wide.  And what an instalment it is.

Following a prologue set in 1944, during which Indiana and his friend and fellow archaeologist Basil Shaw (Toby Jones) survive meeting a high-ranking Nazi, Jürgen Voller (Mads Mikkelsen), under adverse circumstances, the tale proper commences in August 1969, on the day of Indiana’s retirement from the college at which he has taught for ten years, shortly after which he meets somebody he hasn’t seen in some 15 years: his goddaughter, Basil’s daughter, Helena Shaw (Phoebe Waller-Bridge).  Unfortunately, the Nazis whom Indiana and Basil foiled in 1944, with a new agenda, have their sights on an important relic: the Antikythera, which Indy and Basil took from Voller in 1944.

The inclusion of this device creates a lovely blend of science fantasy with reality, because in fact a highly sophisticated astronomical computer — properly called the Antikythera Mechanism — was built more than 2000 years ago by Pythagorean scientists.  Remarkable as the device was, its power is as nothing to that of its fictional counterpart, which holds a secret of such immense power that those with evil intent will do anything to possess it.

With other parties vying to get their hands on it, Indiana and Helena barely have time to draw breath as they strive to stop a familiar adversary from acquiring it and with it a god-like power.

To say much more about the plot would reduce the surprises in store for you.  Suffice it to say that, even facing the pain of old wounds, this retiring academic gives as good as he gets.  Waller-Bridge’s role of ingenious female heroine and Antonio Banderas’s role as vital old friend Renaldo of course add new dynamics to the familiarity that is stronger with reprisal of John Rhys-Davies’s role of Sallah from the first and third movies.

Every bit as whip smart as you’d expect and full to the brim with nail-biting fun, Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny is a rollicking adventure to see more than once.

Screening at Palace, Dendy, Limelight, and Hoyts cinemas.

Liked it? Take a second to support John P. Harvey on Patreon!
Become a patron at Patreon!

Leave a Reply