🎞️ When is Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny out: In cinemas and IMAX now
⭐️ Our rating: 4/5
🎭 Who's in it? Harrison Ford, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Mads Mikkelsen, Boyd Holbrook
👍 What we liked: The costume, the music, the creepy crawlies, the relentless action... it's everything you want from an Indy movie.
👎 What we didn't: It doesn't really break any new ground, and the pursuit of the MacGuffin gets repetitive.
📖 What's it about? As Professor Indiana Jones retires from academia, a face from his past drags him into a new adventure in pursuit of another sacred artefact that brings him face to face with his old foes the Nazis.
⏱️ How long is it? 2 hour 34 minutes
The man in the hat is back for one last shot at fortune and glory in Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny, the fifth and final Indiana Jones movie.
Playing like a cover version of the greatest hits of the series so far, your mileage with DoD will depend on how much of an Indy fan you are, but James Mangold's film delivers enough thrills, spills, and tomb-raiding adventures to keep nostalgic fans happy, while not really breaking any new ground.
The film kicks off in familiar territory: It’s 1944 and Indiana Jones — with Oxford professor Basil Shaw (Toby Jones) — is on the trail of another ancient artefact with his old foes the Nazis standing in his way.
Using visual effects, ILM has taken years off the 80-year-old Ford, delivering a mostly convincing Indy in his prime. It’s not entirely perfect and working in shadows helps, but the de-aging process is quite impressive for as long as you can suspend your disbelief.
As Indy dons his trademark hat and whip and John Williams’ score kicks in, the sequence plays out like a deleted scene cut from one of his earlier films, pushing all the right nostalgia buttons to ease you in gently before the film cuts to 1969 New York, where a tired and crotchety Dr Jones is preparing to retire from teaching.
Rowing with neighbours, grappling with a divorce, and drinking at breakfast, old man Indy cuts a forlorn figure, and Harrison Ford leans into his grumpy reputation to portray a man struggling to find his place in a world that moved on without him.
He soon crosses paths with Basil’s daughter Helena (a spirited Phoebe Waller-Bridge, largely filling the same narrative purpose as Shia LaBeouf’s Mutt Williams from Kingdom of the Crystal Skull) who is on the trail of this film’s supernatural MacGuffin, the Antikythera, a device invented by Archimedes that may or may not have the power to change history, and she quickly drags Indy back on one last adventure.
But she’s not the only one after the dial, as Mads Mikkelsen’s Nazi-turned-rocket-scientist Jurgen Voller is also in hot pursuit hoping to settle old scores, aided by an interchangeable roster of allies including Boyd Holbrook’s Klaber, Shaunette Renée Wilson’s Agent Wilson, and Olivier Richters’ hulking Hauke.
Sadly, beyond Mikkelsen's slimy Voller, none of these characters are as memorable as Indy’s previous adversaries, and their intentions or allegiances are only loosely sketched out.
What then follows is a series of fast-paced, globe-trotting action sequences in which the dial passes back and forth between the good guys and the bad guys as the movie races towards its surprising endgame. One underwater sequence is particularly memorable, giving Indy another animal to fear as much as he does snakes.
The action scenes are suitably thrilling, if a little repetitive, while allies such as Antonio Banderas’ salty seadog Renaldo, and John Rhys-Davies’ returning Sallah come and go with not much asked of them dramatically. Helena’s teenage sidekick Teddy (Ethann Isidore) gets the most to do, and his plucky streetdog charms as the movie’s answer to Short Round make him a worthy addition to the series.
Despite the previous two films already giving our hero two respectable exits, Dial of Destiny does enough to earn its place in the canon as a final victory lap for Indy that is far less cringe-inducing than 2008's fridge-nuking Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, and features many fun references to his previous adventures.
Dial of Destiny is a blast from the past, so enjoy Harrison Ford's performance as one of cinema's greatest icons — backed by John Williams’ legendary theme — on the big screen while you still can.
Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny is in UK cinemas and IMAX now. Watch a trailer below.