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Mario Bautista, has been with the entertainment industry for more than 4 decades. He writes regular columns for People's Journal and Malaya.

Jul 4, 2023



HARRISON FORD first played archaelogist Indiana Jones in 1981 with “Raiders of the Lost Ark”. 

It became the number one box office hit that year, so in 1984, “Indiana Jones in the Temple of Doom” was shown, “The Last Crusade” in 1989 (which was a bigger hit than “Raiders”) and “The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” in 2008 with Cate Blanchett as the contravida. 

All of them were directed by Steven Spielberg and co-written by George Lucas who created the franchise. 

It even spawned a TV series, “The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles” in 1992 and there were also novelized books about Indy. 

Now comes “Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny”, the fifth and last film in the series.

It’s now directed by James Mangold, best known for two Wolverine films and “Ford vs. Ferrari” which got some nominations in the Oscars.

The new Indy movie starts in 1944 when World War II is ending. 

Indy and his friend Basil Shaw (Toby Jones), a British archaelogist, run into some Nazis who are smuggling a trainload of stolen antique treasures.

A Nazi officer, Jorgen Voller (Mads Mikkelsen), wants to get the Archimedes Antikythera, a dial that can give its user the power for time traveling.

Harrison Ford is digitally de-aged and they did it so well on the big screen. 

In this long action sequence, he is meant to be younger and he gets to do some wild stunts, even on top of a speeding train.

The movie then jumps to 25 years later, with Indy now a grumpy gray-haired Professor Jones living alone in his New York apartment and complaining about the loud noise in his neighbor’s flat. 

His wife, Marion (played by Karen Allen who appears in film’s final scene), wants to divorce him for reasons we will learn about later. 

He continues with his job teaching archaelogy but his students no longer seem to be as interested as in his past films. 

Just when man lands on the moon, Voller is also back and now works as a scientist with the Americans. 

He wants to get back the dial so he can change the course of history and even correct the mistakes made by Hitler. 

It turns out that the dial is now in the possession of Helena Shaw, the daughter of Basil. 

Indy first met her as a young girl and he is her godfather.

She is played by Phoebe Waller Bridge, a British actress and screenwriter best known for the ribald comedy, “Fleabag”, that has won her three Emmy Awards. 

This is her first big starring role in a Hollywood movie.  

At first, we keep on thinking she doesn’t really fit the role. 

We felt someone younger and more mischievous looking would be better, like Jodie Comer, who starred in the hit series “Killing Eve”, the script of which was written by Phoebe. 

But eventually, we warm up to her in her role as a swashbuckling grifter who has no qualms about selling stolen antique artifacts to the highest bidders. 

Aside from her, giving good support are Mikkelsen as the punch-worthy Nazi, Antonio Banderas as a Spanish boat captain and Ethan Isidore as Phoebe’s teen sidekick named Teddy.

The globe-trotting film takes Indy to various exotic locations and makes him do elaborate, long and dizzying action sequences.

One set piece shows Indy in a deep-sea diving sequence in Sicily, looking for the other half of the missing dial with him being attacked by countless slimy yucky eels. 

There’s also a spectacularly executed chase sequence through the streets of Tangier in Morocco with Indy and Helena driving a habal-habal or tuktuk. 

The climax throws him back to Greece at the time of the mathematician Archimedes, while a fierce battle is going on. 

We saw this movie with our kids and their own kids.

The moment we heard the now iconic theme music by John Williams, we can’t help but get teary eyed. 

The effect is so nostalgic as we have seen the past Indy films with our late wife. 

And now, we’re watching the latest ones with our grandkids, some of whom she didn’t get to see. 

John Williams is really a musical genius. 

He also wrote the music of “Star Wars”, “Jaws”, “E.T.”, “Superman”, “Jurassic Park” and one of our personal faves, “Home Alone”. 

He’s now in his 90s but still very active.

“Dial of Destiny” is said to be the Indy’s swan song movie as Ford wants to retire him. But in Hollywood, this is not reliable as even dead characters still get resurrected.

James Bond and John Wick died in their last movies, but we won’t be surprised if they’d still rise again.

Ford says he’s hanging Indy’s fedora hat for good. 

But a new studio executive might later come up with a reboot, casting another actor. 

But somehow, we feel that Indy belongs totally to Harrison Ford and any other actor would find it hard to fill in his shoes.

That’s why we watched “Dial of Destiny” with a tinge of melancholy.

It’s a good U.S. summer blockbuster but it’s the last time we would see the Indiana Jones we grew up old with using his trademark bullwhip. 

Ford is turning 81. 

He was born on July 13, 1942 and he’s entitled to get some closure and a great send off for an iconic character most closely associated with him, more so than his other franchise roles as Han Solo, Rick Deckard and Jack Ryan.