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Movie Review – Indiana Jones And The Dial Of Destiny

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I’ll be honest, I had concerns going in to see Indiana Jones And The Dial Of Destiny. I love the franchise. I can still remember seeing Raiders Of The Lost Ark in the cinema and I’ve seen every one on the big screen before going on to buy them for home viewing. I even have a soft spot for Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull. Admittedly, it’s a bit like the way you have a soft spot for the runt in a litter of puppies but, soft spot there is. I’d heard no end of rumours about how badly test screenings had been received and what the basic plot was going to be.

There was one particularly scathing report from last November. Amongst other things it said that Phoebe Waller-Bridge was playing Helena Brody (Marcus’ daughter) and ended up replacing Indy after his noble sacrifice. The team get hold of the titular Dial of Destiny which takes them first to ancient Rome and then to the mid thirties. Mads Mikkelsen was playing a younger version of Ronald Lacey’s Toht. Marion appears at the beginning, Sallah appears only once, Mutt never appears at all, and the film ends with a “Helena will return” card at the end indicating how the franchise will move forward.

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Give ’em Hell, Indiana Jones!

Obviously, I can’t say too much about what happens because, you know, spoilers, but I will just say that, of all that list of scenarios in the last paragraph, only one is actually true. I will also say that all the opprobrium heaped upon Indiana Jones And The Dial Of Destiny must have initiated a lot of re-editing and, possibly, some reshooting. Because I have to say that the film that I saw this afternoon was fantastic. To be honest, certain elements highlighted in the disastrous test screening may well have made it through to the final cut but they’ve been moved around or re-shot and, now, it works!

Indiana Jones And The Dial Of Destiny is a film in the style and feel of the opening episode of the franchise and, to my mind, a perfect conclusion. Of the, just over, two and a half hours running time I would say that about two hours is action! I may be over egging the pudding but it definitely felt like that. I usually try and squeeze in an early Peetime for the benefit of the people who either like to arrive early but like to watch the adverts and trailers or arrive as the lights are going out and the film is underway. The opening sequence was a non-stop roller coaster of car chases, fights on trains, bombs falling through buildings that went on for over twenty minutes.

A Few Times In My Life, I’ve Seen Things

And then we settled down for a bit. Indiana Jones is an old man now. The film is set after the Apollo 11 moon landing as there is a ticker tape parade for Messrs Armstrong, Aldrin, and Collins. As Indy must be seventy in this world if the 1st July 1899 birthdate given him in The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles is maintained. He does give one on screen lecture before heading off to his retirement party. While there he is presented with a cake and a gold clock. I’m not sure what happened to the cake but he gives the clock away to a tramp he passes on his way from the college to a bar. Later on in the film he does have to do some more physical stuff but not without pointing out that he is full of pins, plates, aches, pains, bullet wounds, and the blood of Kali!

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If you’re like me and enjoy a 92oz soda as part of the movie experience, you’ll be thankful for this app telling you the best times to go for a quick break. Whether that’s to refill your soda or recycle it.

Possibly an even better feature is the info on if the movie has after credits scenes. There’s nothing worse than sitting there reading about who the key grip was, then finding out that’s all you did. I blame Marvel for the stupid trend.

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So, the humour is there. The action is there. Most of the old favourite characters are there along with a couple of new ones. Toby Jones is Basil Shaw, Phoebe Waller-Bridge is his daughter Helena, Mads Mikkelsen is the big bad guy, and Antonio Banderas is an old friend of Indy’s. Karen Allen and John Rhys-Davies reprise their characters in a delightful and touching send off to the whole thing. There is a lovely, heartwarming scene nearly at the end which takes you right back to the first film and brings the whole franchise to a quite lovely end. I was honestly touched and delighted by Indiana Jones And The Dial Of Destiny and will, most definitely, be seeing it again.

Movie Grade: A+

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