‘Indiana Jones and the Dial of Fate’: Fantastic return to form and exciting farewell for a movie icon


Last May, Disney and Lucasfilm decided to present ‘Indiana Jones and the Dial of Fate‘ at the 76th Cannes Film Festival long before its theatrical release around the world. The occasion was ideal to pay tribute to Harrison Ford, who at the age of 80, he says goodbye to one of the characters who made him a legend on the big screen for several generations, returning to the contest 15 years after the premiere of the reviled ‘Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull’. But the move did not go well for them and, although Ford received his deserved tribute, the fifth installment was not well received by critics, which could have diminished the expectation around him.

Now, a month and a half after that, ‘Indiana Jones and the Dial of Fate’ finally arrives in theaters, and After seeing it, I can only wonder one thing: What movie did they see in Cannes?! And it is that Indy’s latest adventure is not only infinitely better than the previous one (you will say that it was not difficult), but also constitutes a magnificent return to form for the franchise and a round farewell for one of the greatest icons of cinema. Directed by James Mangold, who takes over from Steven Spielberg -who is not directing an installment of the saga for the first time, but remains as producer- ‘The Dial of Fate’ is a swan song that recovers everything that makes Indiana special Jones to dedicate an exciting, hilarious and action-packed tribute.

Indiana Jones

The legacy of the saga created by Spielberg and George Lucas is too strong for the reputation of ‘The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull’ to ruin it. Even so, it cannot be denied that the fourth adventure of Henry Jones Jr. left many with a bad taste in their mouths, to the point that there are those who act as if it had never existed. For the farewell of a character whose journey began 42 years ago, it was necessary to do better. And for this, the complicated task of closing the story of Indy was entrusted to a filmmaker who had already proven to know exactly how to pull off a twilight adventure for an iconic hero. Mangold, who signed the excellent ‘Logan’, Hugh Jackman’s farewell (until recently) as Wolverine, does something similar -only less tragic and brutal- for Indiana Jones, who invites us to say goodbye in style and with tears in the eyes.

Nostalgia in its proper measure

With an extensive prologue that has been much talked about by the use of the digital rejuvenation technique to return Harrison Ford to the time of the first two installments, ‘Indiana Jones and the Dial of Fate’ takes us to the past in a powerful sequence of intrigue and action that arranges the elements of the story, to then send us to the “future”, more specifically to 1969, a turning point in history , with the changes in society and the arrival on the Moon as a backdrop, and where we find a lonely and tired Doctor Jones, about to retire as a professor of archeology in New York. The arrival of his goddaughter, Helena Shaw (Phoebe Waller-Bridge), whom he hasn’t seen in years, leads him on one last mission. in search of the missing piece of a mythical artifact: the Archimedean diala relic that supposedly holds the power to create fissures in time.

Indy has no choice but to dust off his fedora hat and whip to embark with Helena, and her young partner, a roguish thief named Teddy (Ethann Isidore), on an adventure around the world to solve a fascinating new puzzle full of twists, traps and detours. Meanwhile, his former enemy, Jürgen Voller (Mads Mikkelsen), a former Nazi agent who now works as a physicist in America’s space program, also searches for the dial to implement a plan that could change the course of humanity. history.

indy young

With large doses of adrenaline and fast-paced fun, ‘Indiana Jones and the Dial of Fate’ is built as a succession of various set pieces (or large action scenes), which take us all over the map, as in the previous installments of the saga, from the earth to the air and to the bottom of the sea. Mangold carries out a regression exercise that never rehashes or makes an empty copy, but rather knows how to reproduce the Indiana Jones scene in a new plot that does not lack nods to the past and details for the most observant fans, but does not make the mistake of many current revivals of relying solely on empty cameos or repetition.

‘The Dial of Fate’ pulls on nostalgia, but it does so intelligently and without abuse, with subtle references that take us back to some of the most iconic moments from the first three films and establish organic connections with them to tell us what has become of some characters (like Marion or Mutt Williams, her and Indy’s son) and how the changes we haven’t seen have affected the protagonist. While Mangold isn’t Spielberg and it’s completely impossible to repeat the magic of the original trilogy, he comes pretty close.. The film does an excellent job of continuing his spirit and definitely has a soul, with a sense of adventure and humor that leads us, without forcing the machine too much, to relive what we felt accompanying Indy for the first time in the cinema.

At his feet, Harrison Ford

In recent years, Harrison Ford has been saying goodbye one by one of the most important characters in his career. Han Solo in ‘Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens’, Rick Dekkard in ‘Blade Runner 2049’ and now Indiana Jones. AND watching ‘The Dial of Fate’, it seems that Indy is the one he loves the most of all. Far from putting on automatic pilot, Ford gives everything in his farewell to Indy, with an interpretation full of feeling and dignity that serves to culminate in the most beautiful and transcendental way those more than 40 years of travel. Despite his age (and with the invaluable help of stuntmen and effects), he does his best to appear very active and fit, but where he shines the most is at close range, both in curmudgeon humor (with time, actor and character have merged into a single being), as well as emotion, giving us truly moving moments.

Phoebe Waller-Bridge and Harrison Ford

But what ends up raising the group above all expectations is their irresistible dynamic with Phoebe Waller-Bridge. The actress and creator of ‘Fleabag’ is the best possible signing for this saga. Charismatic, funny, energetic, his Helena Shaw is a success, a layered “heroine” who forms an absolutely great duo with Ford. And with little Ethann Isidore, who gracefully plays a sidekick clearly heir to Tapón (Ke Huy Quan), an infallible trio. The rest of the cast also shines, both from the bad guys, with Boyd Holbrook playing the relentless henchman, to Indy’s allies, with special mention to John Rhys-Davies, who returns as Sallah to get us a little more excited, and Antonio Banderas, who has a very small, but hilarious role.

And then there’s Mads Mikkelsen. The renowned Danish actor embodies the bad guy here, with whom the saga connects directly with the first film, ‘Indiana Jones Raiders of the Lost Ark’, to once again confront Indy with his original enemies: the Nazis (a return very sadly timely to remind us that they are still among us). His work is simply sublime. In an age where it is increasingly difficult to meet old-fashioned antagonists, his Voller gives us back what we missed so much: a real villain! On this occasion, Disney does not give us a villain with motivations or past traumas that humanize him and justify his actions -He’s a Nazi, for God’s sake! No, Voller is a classic villain (Disney has even smoked him), with the ultimate evil plan, so twisted and dark it can only be defined as a scripted triumph.

Mads Mikkelsen

Embracing fantasy, as it should be

When ‘Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull’ was released, many seemed to forget the fantastical origins of ‘Indiana Jones’. Since the first installment and in all its films, the saga has had clear elements of fantasy, science fiction and horror that, fortunately, ‘The Dial of Fate’ not only does not ignore, but fully embraces; especially in the craziest third act of the saga, a completely insane climax, called to divide, which will surely be controversial among those who tend to resist this magical facet of the franchise more, but in my opinion, it cannot be a denouement. more appropriate, and even poetic, for the character, leading to a final scene that puts the most moving finale possible to his story (I still have tears in my eyes).

If I had to mention any negative aspect of the film, it would be its digital effects. But beware, here we are not facing a visual disaster as we have recently seen in the odd superhero movie. In general, the CGI in ‘The Dial of Fate’ is quite good, although several moments do creakespecially in that long prologue in which Harrison Ford is rejuvenated, where there are chilling shots of how realistic they are, but also others that seem half done, as well as in the occasional cut of action where the trap is seen too much digital.

For the rest, there is little to reproach him for, beyond perhaps some inevitable slowdown due to his extensive footage (two and a half hours). Contrary to what might appear from his initial criticisms and Despite not having Spielberg at the helm, ‘Indiana Jones and the Dial of Fate’ is a worthy ending. With stupendous and very agile dialogues, excellent performances, a very successful female signing that deserves to inherit the saga, a terrifyingly memorable villain and spectacular action scenes and chases, Indiana Jones recovers the luster in one last installment that celebrates everything that makes these characters special. movies and immortalizes the mature Indy with dignity, hand in hand with the hero many of us grew up with.


The best: How hilarious it is. The action. Harrison Ford’s performance and his chemistry with Phoebe Waller-Bridge. The incorporation of Helena Shaw, who is crying out (this time) for a spin-off.

Worst: Some bump in the rhythm and several moments in which the CGI is quite weak.

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