Can it really be forty-two years since Steven Spielberg introduced us to Indiana Jones in Raiders of the Lost Ark? Oh, how time flies. Ironically, in a way, as the quest on this, the fifth outing for the eponymous archaeologist under the careful guidance of Harrison Ford, is to discover how the Nazi’s might win the war if they can trace the secrets of Archimedes’ Dial of Destiny.
Circulative narrative box ticked, with the inclusion of Nazis in 1969 America.
Some might say that Ford, now in his eighties, should have well retired the bull whip and floppy hat. Well, to a degree, this might be a valid argument. That Indy, in his dotage, still scales, runs (all be it more slowly and stiffly), packs a devastating right cross to the jaw and can jump like a gelded favourite at Aintree is as believable as Santa in Speedos.
Yet there’s no question that, in the dialogue driven sections, all of the character’s wit, wisdom and fire are still brilliantly timed, delivered and nuanced.
“Buckle in,” says Mads Mikkelsen’s mad Nazi-loving Dr. Voller, as they enter a spinning vortex of cloud. “It’s going to be a little bumpy out there, Dr. Jones.”
“Hey,” retorts Indy. “You’re German. You can’t do funny, so don’t even try.”
Phoebe Waller-Bridge steps straight out of Fleabag and into the character of Indy’s long-lost Goddaughter, Helena, with show stealing majesty. If you’re erring as to whether to indulge in this, then do so on the basis that Waller-Bridge is right at the top of her acerbic, sarcastic, funny best here and it is around her story and actions upon which the film is built. Special mention, too, should also go to Ethan Isidore who, while no Ke Hui Quan’s Short Round of Temple of Doom fame, certainly shines as Teddy.
The effects are still spectacular, the shocks still shocking, the ‘scares’ are still scary and the story – such as it is – is just as gloriously silly as one might expect.
All of which is enhanced by the iconic score laid down by the master that is John Williams! C’mon!! What’s not to like!?
So if its two-and-a-half hours of fun, fast, furious candy floss cinematics you’re after, then look no further than Indiana Jones and The Dial of Destiny.
Indiana Jones and The Dial of Destiny.
Cast: Harrison Ford, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Mads Mikkelsen, Antonio Banderas, Ethan Isidore.
Director: James Mangold.
Score: John Williams.
Rating: 12 A
Running Time: 2 Hours 25 minutes.