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Steven’s Review – “Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny” Answers One Last Call to Adventure

“Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny” is the fifth film in the “Indiana Jones” franchise. As the final installment of the franchise, director James Mangold successfully turns back the clock to answer one last call to adventure.

The main story takes place against the backdrop of the moon landing in the year 1969. As Professor Henry “Indiana” Jones II (Harrison Ford) is preparing to retire, his goddaughter Helena Shaw (Phoebe Waller-Bridge) gets him to help find an artifact known as the Dial of Destiny before former Axis scientist Jurgen Voller (Mads Mikkelsen, “Hannibal”) can use it to rewrite the course of history.

Much as how the previous films paid tribute to vintage adventure serials, the story and presentation have come full circle from the original installments. Practical action sequences blend seamlessly with innovative visual effects; with the prologue featuring a younger Indiana Jones in 1944 Berlin showcasing the best instance of digital de-aging on film to date. 

From New York to Tangier to Sicily, the film is a 142-minute powerhouse of spectacle and emotional weight. The performances from both familiar faces such as Sallah (John Rhys-Davies, “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy) and Marion Ravenwood (Karen Allen) and new characters are a delight (the double agent played by Mangold’s regular Boyd Holbrook is a standout). John Williams’ turns in a musical score that’s equal parts rousing and emotionally resonant; all helping make for easily the best film in the series since 1989’s “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.”

Though the film does drift into the same absurd territory of the more divisive entries at times, said scenes are borne from the vintage film serials that inspired the series. The horseback chase through a ticker-tape parade and the NYC Subway tunnels does fit the same spirit as traveling to Pankot on elephants and going down a three-level waterfall.

As a finale to more than 40 years of storytelling, “Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny” successfully answers one last call to adventure. It is highly recommended for fans of all ages.

“Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny” Answers One Last Call to Adventure

Directed by James Mangold (Based on characters created by Steven Spielberg and George Lucas)

Starring Harrison Ford, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Mads Mikkelsen, Boyd Holbrook and Toby Jones with John Rhys-Davies and Karen Allen

Rated PG-13

My Rating: *****/5

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