Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny (2023) Review



Archaeologist, historian, and adventurer are some of the characteristics that are commonly used when describing the fictional character of Indiana Jones. An icon in his own right and has been parody, mimic, and unmistakable illusions, the character of Indiana Jones was created by Star Wars creator George Lucas and, with the help famed director Steven Spielberg, the pair began to draw up plans for an action-adventure film that blended classic movie serials of the 1930 and 40s with historical discovery and intrepid escapism. The result fully materialized in 1981 with the release of Indiana Jones and Raiders of the Lost Ark, with Spielberg directing, Lucas providing the story, and Star Wars actor Harrison Ford playing the titular protagonist. The film followed the exploits of a globetrotting archaeologist, who is vying with Nazi German forces to recover the long-lost Ark of the Covenant. The success of Raiders of the Lost Ark was highly praise and was met with critical success, with many finding favor with the film’s modern take on the serial genre, it’s action and adventure aspects, and the movie’s cast, including Ford. From there, a series was built around the Indy with two follow-up sequels being released in the 1980s, including Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (set as a prequel before Raiders of the Lost Ark) in 1984 and then Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade in 1989; both featuring the return of Spielberg, Lucas, and Ford in their respective roles. Thus, this so-called “trilogy” for Indiana Jones was widely considered to be one of the more celebrated trilogy films ever made, with releases and remastered version coming to light every so often for the past decades as well as its influence towards imitators in pop culture media facets throughout the years. Years later, a fourth installment was released titled Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull in 2008, with (yet again) Spielberg, Lucas, and Ford returning to their dutiful posts on the project. Unfortunately, despite bring in a large sum (near $800 million) at the box office worldwide, Kingdom of the Crystal Skull was met with some indifference, with many finding it to be weakest (and inferior) to the original three as well as criticizing the dialogue, story, pacing, and overusage of CGI effects. Now, fifteen years after the release of Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, Walt Disney Studios (as well as Lucasfilms) and director James Mangold prepare to see Dr. Jones go off on one more daring adventure in the fifth installment of the franchise titled Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny. Does this final adventure Indy worth seeing or is it an unnecessary and flat swansong for everyone’s favorite archaeologist?


The year is 1969 and Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford) is tired and lone, turning to booze to deal with his life issues, including facing retirement from his academic teachings. Returning into his life is Helena Shaw (Phoebe Waller-Bridge), Indy’s goddaughter and like-mind of collector of antiquities, interested in retrieving found half of the Antikythera, an ancient Greek device created by Archimedes himself, which Indy picked up in 1944 after battling with the Nazi, thwarting the efforts one German physicists Jurgen Voller’s (Mads Mikkelsen) nefarious plans. Currently, Voller has returned to power due to his participation in the American space program, joined by loyal henchmen Klaber (Boyd Holbrook), setting out to collect the fabled dial and its other half, which was lost long ago. Going after Helena, Indy is pulled into the hunt for the dial, teaming up with the rambunctious woman, who’s assisted by the young and impressionable Teddy Kumar (Ethann Isidore). As the quest for the Dial of Destiny ensues, the trio chart a course for adventure and mystery as Indy faces his toughest challenge yet and tries to reach the legendary object for it falls into the hands of Voller’s dangerous hands.


Indiana Jones…..that’s definitely a name that many know. While the character is a fictional individual, the name itself speaks volumes to all… archegloist….an adventurer….historian relic finder…..Harrison Ford. In truth, it’s all. The Indiana Jones features have endured a timeless respect (well, most of them), with the original trilogy being one hailed as one of great films released during the 80s, especially Raider of the Lost Ark. Furthermore, the franchise itself has become quite iconic within its own right, which (as stated in my opening paragraph) has taken a life of its own within popular culture and imagery and likeness of character that has been a staple in various media facets and productions. I remember growing up and seeing many Indiana Jones inspired characters appearing in cartoons and TV shows as a parody (hat and whip in hand) as well characters that are of a similar nature…..something akin to Nathan Drake from the Uncharted video games. Of course, I believe that the first film (Raiders of the Lost Ark) to be the best installment and one of my personal favorites of the series. It’s definitely the “best of the best” of what the saga wants to embody, with plenty of action thrills and historical adventure within a “larger-than-life” character as well as few spooky moments (the whole melting of the faces). Perhaps my second favorite would be Last Crusade, which was actually my first introduction to Indiana Jones. Of course, I did like whole quest for the Holy Grail and seeing Ford alongside Sean Connery in the film was definitely a treat. My least favorite of the original trilogy was Temple of Doom, but I still like it and definitely has its merits. As for Kingdom of the Crystal Skull…..I felt that it was quite underwhelming. Yes, there were moments that I liked, but the whole endeavor felt undercooked and rather silly at times. The trending into more sci-fi realm of aliens, the ridiculousness of monkey swing scene, and the unlikeable nature of Shia LaBeouf’s Mutt Williams in the movie was quite off-putting. I think I only remember watching the movie twice….and that’s it. In the end, despite the misgivings that Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, the Indiana Jones franchise has (by and large) remains an extremely celebrated series, with memorable moments from its cinematic narrative daring action and historic adventure that’s led by a charismatic archaeologist that has become legendary himself.

This brings me back around to talking about Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny, a 2023 action-adventure film and the fifth (and supposedly) final installment of Indiana Jones series. With the box office results for Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, it was a forgone conclusion that a fifth entry in the popular adventure series would eventually materialize. However, given the mixed thoughts and opinions on the fourth Indiana Jones, it was bit confusing as to when and how the next chapter would play out and how it would be received. For years, there were talks of the next Indiana Jones movie, with little tidbits and rumors circling around the internet and for comments on Spielberg / Lucas being touched every now and again. Some were saying that Ford didn’t want to another one, some say he did, some say that Lucas wanted to take franchise in a new direction, and some even claimed that the entry would feature LaBeouf’s Mutt Williams as the main lead (taking over for Ford). Thankfully, that last one never materialized. So, the idea of a next film would be bounced around for years, with the one being officially announced in 2016, with a release date set for 2019. Unfortunately, the project was delayed due to rewrites and then due to the COVID-19 pandemic, before it was set to be finally be released on 2023. Perhaps the most interesting aspect is that Spielberg noted that he wouldn’t be directing the new film as well as Lucas stating that he wouldn’t be writing the feature’s story, which marks the first in the series. Yet, Spielberg would still be involved on the project, but more as an executive producer. Still, Ford himself stated that he wanted to do one last Indiana Jones film sometime after the release of Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, so it was terrific to see that seasoned veteran actor announcing that the he would be back for this latest Indy adventure. Then, with all the news tidbits, rumors, and casting announcements, the excitement towards what “Indy 5” would bring. Soon after, the film’s movie trailers began to materialize in both online and in theaters during the “coming attractions” previews. From the trailer alone, the movie looked to be quite promising and looked to try to rectify the mistakes made in the previous installment. Plus, it was great to see Ford back in the iconic role. All in all, I was quite excited to see what Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny when it was set to be released on June 30th, 2023. I did see it during its opening weekend and waited a few days after its release to collect my thoughts on the film. And what did I think of it? Well, it was both good and bad, but mostly a tad underwhelming. While the feature does aim to trigger that nostalgia feeling through its direction, action, and production value, Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny ends up being a fairly generic blockbuster action-adventure romp that, while entices viewers with another Indy flick, stumbles in plotting point, uneven pacing, and muddled third act. To be sure, it’s not the worst film in the series (that honor still belongs to Kingdom of the Crystal Skull), but it doesn’t come close to outmatch the brilliance cinematics made in the original three films.

Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny is directed by James Mangold, whose previous directorial works includes Logan, Walk the Line, and Ford v Ferrari. Given his background on working on film projects that have a wide range of movie genres such as psychological dramas, biographical pics, superhero movies, sports flicks, and westerns features, Mangold does seems like an unusual choice to helm such a project like an Indiana Jones film, which is more considered to be a blockbuster tentpole. Naturally, Mangold is up to the task and certainly does give a good and healthy dose of spiritual influence from the past endeavors to make his iteration of Indiana Jones worth seeing. Of course, this only half works, but I’ll go into more detail about the negatives latter on in my review. For the positives, I felt that Mangold knows what viewers want out of an Indiana Jones film and gives it to them by righting some of the wrongs and misgivings that Kingdom of the Crystal Skull presented. For this, there isn’t that many of what I call “silly” moments in the film and keeps more to how the original three films were presented, which is quite good. Yes, the characters and dialogue are a little “broad” at times, but I think that’s part of the nature of an Indiana Jones feature. The adventure nuances that Mangold interjects in the film are good and help build upon that nostalgia feeling that easily coast throughout the entire picture. The thrill of escapism and fun adventure chasing and ancient ruins spelunking are in full force, which helps capture the spirit of excitement.

For it’s action, Mangold does certain stage several great moments throughout Dial of Destiny, with the director finding a decent balance of walking between today’s nuances of action stunts and thrills and keeping in the tradition / spirit of an Indiana Jones style. The result is something that does work, though a few hiccups do occur. Still, what’s presented is enjoyable and entertaining, including a flashy opening sequence (that really encompasses the classic Indiana Jones adventure) as well as a chase sequence through a ticker tape parade in the streets of NYC. In the end, while not exactly the absolute best of what this anticipated project could’ve been (definitely need a better polish), Dial of Destiny still manages to make a somewhat decent outing for a nostalgia feeling of Indiana Jones escapism, with Mangold channeling the fun and adventure of treasure hunt across the globe.

Of course, this brings around to talking about the CGI effects in the movie, especially in the opening scene that uses the “de-aging” effect on Harrison Ford to make Indiana Jones look younger. The particular usage of visual effects has become more and more utilized of late and has always had mixed results, which is mostly due to the whole “uncanny valley” effect that viewers get. Personally, it didn’t bother me as much because I knew it was going to be like how it was, especially after seeing this technique play out several times before in other projects, and did provide the visual look of a younger Dr. Jones in 1944. Of course, there are those who will draw criticisms towards this usage (even with a larger production budget) that many will find off-putting right from the get-go. So, it’s both a give and take on the viewer’s preference. Just a word of caution out there.

For its presentation, Dial of Destiny definitely looks quite expensive and lavishing from beginning to end. Of course, this noticeably has been written for quite some time, with many advance reviews and movie tidbits stating the current Indiana Jones flick had a production value of a whopping $295 million, which is not only the most expensive Indiana Jones film, but also the join the elite list of one of most expensive films ever made. While that number is quite high and I don’t think it was utilized the maximum effort, the end result is something still quite visually striking throughout the entire picture. Everything in the film’s setting is quite beautiful and has a very cinematic feeling that has the surreal picture-esque quality….whether the racing through the streets of New York City during the ticker-tape parade for Apollo 11 or the 1944 German fortification / train locale during the film’s opening. Thus, the film’s “behind the scenes” key players, including Adam Stockhausen (production design), Anna Pinnock (set decoration), Joanna Johnston (costume design), and the entire art direction department, should be praised for how detailed and intricate everything looks. Regardless of how people feel about this movie, there is no denying that the film’s background setting and visual presentation looks solid across the board; a sure blockbuster tentpole endeavor through and through.

Plus, the cinematography work by Phedon Papamichael is quite good and help build up some of the more dramatic / cinematic moments throughout the feature and definitely has a feeling of blockbuster flair in and out of the adventure. Lastly, the film’s score is composed by legendary composer John Williams, who has previously scored all the music for all the Indiana Jones films. Williams is still a fantastic musician and his part in Dial of Destiny is indeed a welcome one, especially since he created the iconic Indiana Jones theme that everyone knows of, which (of course) is quite present in the film in different motifs and melodies. Even looking beyond that, William’s score is all the way around a good soundtrack and definitely “hits the mark” for a lot of nuances that are usually customary for an Indiana Jones project, with loud and boisterous compositions of adventure and suspense and soft pieces to company dialogue moments. All in all, it was great to see (or rather hear) Williams attached to this project and help “carries the journey” of Indiana Jones for one last hurrah.

Unfortunately, Dial of Destiny just doesn’t measure exactly to its original trilogy, with the latest film drawing criticism that are both frustrating and glaring throughout. Perhaps the most prevalent one that everyone can agree on is that the film itself lacks the “Spielberg” magic that, barring Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, the previous entries were able to achieve. Perhaps such excitement of original trilogy releases stemmed from the time period era of which these movie were made…..during the 80s. There is no doubt about it that the first three Indiana Jones features were a product of the 1980s of filmmaking, which allowed for more all those classic nuances and touches that movies were known for. How villains portrayed, how action sequences are handle, how the good guys appear “larger-than-life”, and several spooky imagery. It’s quite hard to describe to its fullest extent, but the Indiana Jones original trilogy was quite the experience that capture the filmmaking of the 80s style. Perhaps that was one of the problems with Kingdom of the Crystal Skull and sure does find them problem yet again in the Dial of Destiny. While Mangold and his team do recreate some of the nostalgia feeling (and in a few pockets manage to do so), the end result is something that lacks the precision, style, and flair of the original trilogy and possible even (to a certain degree) the guiding / steadfast directing of Spielberg. Again, it’s quite hard to pinpoint things of this caliber, but it is quite noticeable throughout. Thus, the so-called “magical spark” of the earlier works of the Indiana Jones films is missing from Dial of Destiny and lacking a certain cinematic tenacity. Like the character himself, the film is out of touch with the new reality and can’t reclaim the past.

In addition, the writing for the movie is off every now and again. The previous Indiana Jones project have always been written (the story of it) by George Lucas, who is quite absent from this latest endeavor. While the film’s story for the hunt for the Antikythera is indeed interesting, it does feel a little bit lacking in how certain events play out. Thus, Lucas’s absence is quite felt in how everything is staged in the Dial of Destiny, with the writers, who includes Mangold as well as Jez Butterworth, John-Henry Butterworth, and David Koepp, trying to emulate the classic narrative of an Indiana Jones capper. While they do certainly achieve that notion, the end result is a mixed bag and does have the exact same plotting and execution in the script as intended. This, of course, is quite strange because the film was delayed (several times) to rewrites examination in the story. Thus, one would expect a very sharp and well-executed story being told in Dial of Destiny. Unfortunately, that’s not the case as certain elements plot points are rather weak and underwhelming. Furthermore, the pacing of the movie’s narrative is quite messy, with the film having a very bloated runtime of 154 minutes (two hours and thirty-four minutes). While the length of the movie could be forgiven if there was a lot to explore and uncover, the middle portion and latter half (more on that below) feel extra elongated than needed to be. This could’ve made the feature short if the picture was shortened easily by fifteen minutes or so for a more tighter final cut of the endeavor without sacrificing the integrity of the narrative. So, it’s a combination of writing, which also has a few wooden dialogue driven moments, as well as Mangold’s direction as he meanders through some sluggish parts in the movie that makes Dial of Destiny less impactful than it ought to be. In a nutshell, I believe that the movie could’ve utilized a few more scenes of action and adventure rather than just running from one place to next; an effort that made the film feel choppy and fragmented in a few parts.

Lastly, the film’s third act is wonky in how it is presented and executed. I won’t spoil it for my readers, but, while certain elements I liked about, it was just merely poorly plotted out. In fact, it kind of felt underwhelming in a few key areas. I kind of figured something like what’s presented would be the climatic point of the feature, yet there is something that rings hollow for much of this portion. It gets a bit ridiculous and lacks the impact that I felt that the writers were trying to convey. This also makes the climax feel pretty “meh” with some disconnection as to the film’s lead hero and villain, which really have that “final confrontation” aspect in such a way that some of the previous Indiana Jones films were able to cultivate. Again, it just leaves a lot to be desired, with potential for something clever and / or profound squander for something a bit rudimentary. Even closing final moments feel undercooked and could’ve been better handled. To close out the feature the way it did felt like a lackadaisical in nature that the writers  did have a clear and precise way to end Dial of Destiny. Thus, finality of it all certainly leaves an unwanted unsatisfying, which is quite disappoint, especially since this franchise has plenty to be celebrated upon.

The cast in Dial of Destiny is definitely up the challenge in making the movie feel larger-than-life and definitely has that particular “feeling” of the past endeavors. The characteristic, like the other Indiana Jones movies, are quite broad, so that aspect didn’t bother me as much, but, sometimes, the characters could’ve either had more weight to them and / or more development in the feature’s lengthy screentime. Perhaps none shines better than actor Harrison Ford, who returns once again to reprise the main protagonist role of Dr. Henry “Indiana” Jones. Known for his roles in the Star Wars saga as well as The Fugitive and Blade Runner, has certainly been quite the seasoned and veteran actor across his long and illustrious career, playing both leading roles and even a few supporting ones from time to time. Much like his Star Wars character of Hans Solo, Ford has always been the perfect embodiment of the character of Indiana Jones, with a particular type of rogue-ish, daring, and no nonsense swagger about him that gives life to role in a fun and amusing way. It’s definitely the “bread and butter” of the entire series and Ford has always been up to the task in returning to the likeable fictional character that has become iconic in his own right. Thus, there is no question about that it that seeing the veteran actor returning to play Jones once again is definitely one of the best parts about Dial of Destiny (everyone can agree on that) and, much his return of playing Han Solo in Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens), Ford easily slides back int role that he hasn’t played for fifteen years. The swagger, the talk, the gravitas….it’s all there still and Ford makes it all the better as it was such a wonderful treat to see that the actor hasn’t forgotten what made the character endearing long ago. In Dial of Destiny, Ford gets to play around with several interesting aspects to Indy, including a much more aged representation of his character that has seen and done many thing throughout his life, yet is filled with regret and troubled about the changing of times of the new world. Yes, it’s a different realm that Dr. Jones find himself in and the movie makes for a good story arc throughout his journey, with Ford capable of capturing some moments that provide clarity in those sequences. Even the film’s actions scenes are still quite good and still hold up Ford’s performance in those bits that still make it all the better. Could there have been a better closure for the character, especially since this is to be the presumably last film? Yes, absolutely. That being said, it was still great to see the character of Indiana Jones again and that Harrison Ford is still ever much a welcome sight to see him playing the no-nonsense archaeologist once again.

Behind Ford, actress Phoebe Waller-Bridge gets the most screen-time in the feature as Helena Shaw, Basil’s Shaw’s daughter / Jones’s goddaughter. Known for her roles in Fleabag, Killing Eve, and Solo: A Star Wars Story, Waller-Bridge has definitely starred to become quite a recognizable actress of late; appearing more and more frequently in larger and more popular projects. Thus, seeing her take a very prominent role in a major blockbuster film does certainly fit her going trend, with Waller-Bridge being equal to the task of playing a new character in the Indiana Jones saga. For her part, Waller-Bridge makes for a good portrayal of Helena Shaw, who imbues the character with enough cunning, zip, and spunky-ness to make her role both enjoyable and likeable throughout. I definitely agree that I think that Waller-Bridge is a capable actress and definitely brings the right amount of energy and charisma to the movie, acting as a great character foil to the more grizzly and gravitas of Ford’s Jones, so I quite liked her as Helena. That being said, the movie certainly doesn’t hide the fact that the Mangold and his team are trying to elevate the role to possibly takeover the mantle of the adventurer treasure seeking exploits of a spin-off Indiana Jones endeavor. While the idea is there, I hope that Disney doesn’t take this root as it would almost diminish the integrity of the franchise, which should only focus on Dr. Jones’s adventures. Overall, though, I felt that Waller-Bridge’s Helena Shaw was good in the Dial of Destiny and definitely kept the feature alive with her frenzy and excitement. Regardless of your feelings to the character, she’s definitely a much better sidekick character than to Shia LaBeouf’s Mutt Williams in Crystal Skull.

The last of the protagonist supporting players would be the character of Teddy Kumar, a young boy who ends up being Helena’s young sidekick companion and joining the hunt for the Antikythera with her and Jones, and who is played by young actor Ethann Isidore (Mortel and Sam). I personally have no problem with Isidore’s acting talents and range, I felt that the character of Teddy was rather annoying and more of a plot device. The young and impetuous young child that gets caught up in the greater events of the story has been done many times over in various different genres, including the character of  Short Round from Temple of Doom. I definitely get what Mangold and the writers trying to convey, but the character just seems like a one-note / forgetful character and makes Teddy the least interesting one of the entire film.

As for the Dial of Destiny’s antagonist, actor Mad Mikkelsen does a good job in the role of Jurgen Voller, a former Nazi scientist who is looking the Antikythera and write the wrongs of the past with the device in his possession. Known for his roles in Casino Royale, Hannibal, and Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore, Mikkelsen is quite a gifted actor, who is quite well-versed (for the most part) in playing the villain in narratives and is adept in his vocal demonstration and subtly. Thus, his talents are surely put to good use as the main villain in this latest Indiana Jones endeavor. Naturally, Mikkelsen is up to the task and certainly makes for a chilling character role in Voller; something akin to Ronald Lacey’s Major Arnold Toht in Raiders of the Lost Ark. Again, the subtle nuances that Mikkelsen is quite known for are on display quite well in his performance as Voller, but this isn’t the actor’s best role. The script somehow restricts some integral and poignant moments from the character, which makes Voller rather straightforward, despite his ultimate goals in wanting the Antikythera. Thus, Mikkelsen does what he can with the material given to him and his physical screen presence certainly makes Voller interesting, yet still a bit clunky, especially during the third act. In a more secondary villainy role, actor Boyd Holbrook (Logan and The Predator) provides a memorable role as Voller’s right-hand henchmen named Klaber. While not exactly the most ingenious nor creative supporting bad guy in the franchise, but Holbrook’s Klaber still manages to make his mark on the movie.

The rest of the cast, including actor Jonathan Rhys-Davies (The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring and Sliders) reprising his Raiders of the Lost Ark and Last Crusades’ character role of Sallah, actor Toby Jones (Captain America: The First Avenger and The Painted Veil) as Indy’s comrade friend / Helena’s father Basil Shaw, actor Antonio Banderas (The Mask of Zorro and Puss in Boots: The Last Wish) as Indy’s old seafaring captain friend Renaldo, actor Thomas Kretschmann (King Kong and Valkyrie) as Nazi commander Colonel Weber, actress Shaunette Renee Wilson (The Resident and Billions) as U.S. Government agent Mason, actor Oliver Richters (Black Widow and Miami Heat) as Voller’s henchmen Hauke, and actor Martin McDougall (Hyde Park on the Hudson and Aber Bergen) as Voller’s henchmen Durkin, make up the rest of the supporting characters in the film. While most of these players are delegated to side characters, the acting talents involved are still spot on and definitely measure up to the pedigree on being a part of an Indiana Jones movie. Definitely was great to see Rhys-Davies’s Sallah back, but a few like Banderas’s Renaldo and Kretschmann’s Weber could’ve been easily expanded upon in the final cut of the movie, especially since I like both actors.


A legend will face his destiny as aged archaeologist Dr. Jones, along with his rambunctious goddaughter, embark upon a journey to uncover a mysterious artifact from the Greek mathematician Archimedes, which holds great power and draws the attention of a vengeful Nazi scientist in the movie Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny. Director James Mangold’s latest film takes the daunting task of being the first director to complete the narrative of what Spielberg / Lucas began in 1981 with one last “hurrah” for the iconic film character. While there’s plenty of nostalgia that is reminiscent of the original films, some good nuances of the action-adventure genre, a solid production quality, and likeable performances from Ford and Mikkelsen, the movie itself fails to capture that “spark” the original trilogy was able to manifest, especially in the film’s formulaic nature (not going outside the box), uneven pacing, a wonky third act and even unsatisfying conclusion. Personally, I felt that this movie was merely and adequately okay. Yes, some parts of it I like, especially seeing Ford back in the role and some of the adventurous aspects / nuances that are customary for the franchise, but I felt that the movie was still didn’t measure quite the right way and ends up being a rather generic escapade that plays on the so-called “greatest hits” of an Indiana Jones feature, yet lacking a sizeable touch towards it all. I don’t think it has terrible as some are making it out to be, but it definitely wasn’t worth the hype. In truth, it’s definitely better than Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, but still quite an inferior title to the original trilogy. Thus, my recommendation for this movie is a wavery “iffy choice” for some will probably like it, especially those who are fans of action-adventure series, yet some will dismiss seeing the film altogether. Maybe even a “rent it” would also suffice as there isn’t much drive to rush and see it during its theatrical run (best save for a home viewing experience). As stated several times during this review, the film has been presumably the final entry in the Indiana Jones saga, with Ford looking to retiring from playing the character. Knowing Disney, however, possible foundations for a spin-off are evident in the movie, especially in Waller-Bridge’s Helena being young and spunky enough to take up the mantle for the next adventurer. To me, I hope that no type of future project doesn’t move forward and keep what was preserved in these five feature films. Regardless if one materializes or not, Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny is a decent enough, yet slightly underwhelming final chapter in this tale of adventure, action, and treasure hunting for ancient relics, which provides (though stumbling) through nostalgia recollection of everyone’s favorite archaeologist crusader. In closing, like many diehard fans out there, I believe that the movie franchise should’ve ended at the Last Crusade, with Indiana Jones riding off into the sunset.

3.2 Out of 5 (Iffy Choice / Rent It)


Released On: June 30th, 2023
Reviewed On: July 4th, 2023

Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny  is 154 minutes long and rated PG-13 for sequences of violence and action, language, and smoking


  • I found this average too, although in my review, I still rated it relatively high because of the action scenes. Somehow, there just wasn’t that true euphoria and after a while, all that traveling about got rather wearisome.

    I know he wasn’t likeable but I still would have preferred for Mutt to be in this one too. (Oh well)

    PS: I’m the opposite of you. My favourite was Temple of Doom. But that’s horribly culturally wrong by today’s standard. Heh

    • Haha….oh Mutt. I think he would’ve been an interesting character to be sure, but maybe not played by Shia. Still, it was an admirable attempt, but the film never reached its intentions. And yes, everyone has there favorite and Temple of Doom is still a good movie.

  • I hate to read about another final installment being underwhelming. You’d think, whether Rambo, Michael Myers, or Indiana Jones, every ounce of heart and soul would be poured into them and they’d be so awesome the audience would sense the finality of it all.

    I do have a question for anyone that has seen it. Is there enough “treasure hunting” that you’d consider this a treasure hunting film? I’ve asked a couple of others and one says yes the other says no. I need a tiebreaker! My kids are obsessed with treasure hunting, we were about to head west to search for the Fenn Treasure before it was found (we got delayed because of the pandemic). They also love treasure hunting movies like Uncharted, National Treasure, Goonies, etc. I’m trying to figure out if they’d enjoy this enough for the (ungodly) expense of going to see a movie.

  • The sunset send-off in Last Crusade is hard to top🏜️🏇🏼

  • great review and I think we pretty much agree on score. I liked it. I didn’t love it. C+ which is pretty close to your rating.

    • It definitely was better than Crystal Skull, but it didn’t come close to the original trilogy films. It’s just a bit of shame that it sort of ends on a otherwise bland note than a great finale.

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