Indiana Jones and Dial of Destiny review: ‘Dark and depressing’ final act

by The Insights

Plus, everything is smaller and cheaper than in the original trilogy. Indy facing the military might of the Third Reich in 1936? We could all be behind this. But Indy vs. a scientist and his silent, interchangeable sidekicks in 1969? It’s just not that bad. Mangold and his team dutifully kick off the action sequences, but it’s often hard to tell what’s going on or why, and there’s a dearth of surprising and heartbreaking moments to get you to your feet and cheering, despite the best efforts of John Williams’ catchy classic theme. Take an early hunt in New York, for example. It takes place during a ticker tape parade for the three astronauts who were on the Apollo 11 lunar mission, so you can imagine the big jinks Spielberg might have cooked up: a slapstick with Buzz Aldrin, perhaps, or a giant moon in papier-mâché rolling down Fifth Avenue like the rock in Raiders of the Lost Ark. But Mangold and his team do so little with the parade that one wonders why they bothered to organize it.

The same is true of the scenes where Indy is face to face with snapping eels, and when he enters the tomb of Archimedes. The jokes, zest and exuberance just aren’t there, so instead of a cheery send-off for our beloved hero, we get a depressing lifelong reminder of his past adventures. Considering the script is credited to four screenwriters – Mangold, David Koepp and Jez and John-Henry Butterworth – wouldn’t they have at least thought of something cool for Indy to do with his whip?


Indiana Jones and the Dial of Fate releases June 30 in the UK and US

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