Let’s go on an adventure to discover what critics have been saying about the fifth outing for Indiana Jones.
The Guardian: *** It is probably a bit cheeky to be giving Ford a young female co-star under this “goddaughter” tag, with a bantering tension that is really not too different to one he might have enjoyed with a co-star in the original movies. Yet the finale is wildly silly and entertaining, and that Dial of Destiny is put to an audacious use which makes light of the whole question of defying ageing and the gravitational pull of time. Indiana Jones still has a certain old-school class.”
Roger Ebert. com: ** 1/2 “It walks a line of modest interest in what’s going to happen next thanks to equal parts innovative story beats and the foundation of nostalgia that everyone brings to the theater. It’s an alternating series of frustrating choices, promising beats, and general goodwill for a legendary actor donning one of the most famous hats in movie history yet again. It should be better. It could have been worse. Both can be true.”
The Independent: *** “The movie consists of a series of chases and fights linked by ever more improbable plot twists. The action is often very inventively staged. James Mangold, who has taken over directing duties from Steven Spielberg, sets a breakneck tempo. One bravura early set-piece involves Indiana riding a policeman’s horse down into the subway with his antagonists in hot pursuit.”
The Telegraph: ** “Ford gives it his all – but while the three original films moved like page-turners, this fifth instalment is painfully short of spark.”
Empire: **** “Does it work, though — in a way that Crystal Skull’s climax didn’t? Sort of! It depends if you are willing to go with it. This is a series that has always gestured towards fantasy. It was conceived by Spielberg and Lucas as a homage to their beloved 1940s serials, cinema as pulp, and this bold-as-brass ending fits comfortably into that tradition. Importantly, it feels true to Indy as a character. In the end, it seems to suggest, it wasn’t about fortune and glory at all, but finding your own little corner of history. And Indy, one way or another, has found it.”
NME: **** “James Mangold, who also co-wrote Dial Of Destiny with Jez Butterworth, John-Henry Butterworth and David Koepp, has a strong action CV that includes X-Men outings Wolverine and Logan. Here, he marshals frantic set pieces with plenty of quite noticeable CGI. This is perhaps sad for those weaned on the superb practical effects of earlier Indy outings. Still, it’s a lively, enthralling tale with some particularly emotive scenes in the final act that are bound to cause a tear or two. Some will ask why make this film at all? The answer should be, why not?”
Vulture.com: “Still, the damn thing is fun. Mangold may not have the young Spielberg’s musical flair for extravagant action choreography (who does?), but he is a tougher, leaner director, using a tighter frame and keeping his camera close. That may shortchange the escapist atmosphere and evocative exotica of the material (which is, after all, one of the pleasures of Indiana Jones movies), but it does bring a ground-level immediacy to the action.”
Evening Standard: *** “Mangold has filched many beloved Indy tropes and jam-packed them into his film. First of all, of course, is Harrison Ford. Age might have withered him, but he is still a charismatic leading man and he still looks like he can pack a punch.”
BBC.com: ** ” The jokes, the zest and the exuberance just aren’t there, so instead of a joyous send-off for our beloved hero, we get a depressing reminder of how much livelier his past adventures were. Considering that the screenplay is credited to four writers – Mangold, David Koepp and Jez and John-Henry Butterworth – couldn’t they at least have thought of something cool for Indy to do with his whip?”
Daily Mail: *** “It is slickly packaged, yet never quite amounts to a top-class adventure film in its own right.”
Screen Rant.com: “Perhaps one of the least surprising elements of Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny is Ford’s performance, seeing as he’s played this character to great success four times before. Nevertheless, there’s something fresh and delightful about his portrayal here. He still nails Indy’s wisecracks — and whip cracks — but he also seems to relish in the character’s quieter, more reflective moments. This is an Indiana Jones who has lost quite a lot, and Ford is superb, especially in the final act, as he confronts it all. Don’t worry, though, Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny still provides plenty of the humorous moments the franchise is known for.”
Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny is out in cinemas now.