“This is all fake,” says a middle-aged archaeologist wearing a hat and whip as he stumbles across a train carriage full of supposedly ancient artifacts while trying to lose a group of Nazis.
The man is Henry Jones Jr. (Harrison Ford), better known by his iconic adoptive name, Indiana Jones, and the named scene, which is relatively early in his new adventure, “Indiana Jones and the Dial of Fate,” comes unintentionally and It says a lot about the nature of this latest, actually second, legacy sequel about the legendary digger and professor.
Not just because Indiana Jones’s face appears digitally dejuvenated at the moment (we’re in a flashback) and is consequently plastered with CGI.
This rejuvenation is almost flawless, glossing over any Uncanny Valley horror, and yet there’s something deeply cynical about this iconic special effect, which is among the best technically in this shockingly ugly film: the simulation is complete, any awkward references and therefore truthful to reality has been eradicated.
The passage of time does not seem to play a role either, a balance that relates to the entirety of James Mangold (Logan) in this version of Indiana Jones: an adventure that, despite stripping itself of all air of fanservice, feels simulated and forced.
Time has finally caught up with Indiana Jones: In the late 1960s, against the backdrop of the moon landing, he is finally ready to drop out of college, hang up his hat and whip, and take a well-deserved retirement.
Unexpectedly, one last adventure knocks on their door: Goddaughter Helena Shaw (Phoebe Waller-Bridge) needs Jones’ help in searching for a sinister number wheel that her father and Jones’ longtime companion, Baz (Toby Jones). ).
Of course, his trail is followed by a dubious villain in the form of old Nazi Jürgen Voller (Mads Mikkelsen), still clinging to the Hitler days and harboring mysterious schemes with the Numbers Wheel.
Before Indy knows it, he’s being hunted down and thrown at all the stops of your typical Jones adventure, beginning, of course, with the trip to exotic lands. Until now so well known. Except for the pathos of the ever-present legacy, there’s initially nothing to distinguish Indiana Jones and Dial of Fate from Jones’ earlier adventures.
Mangold’s film fails to get anything out of a scavenger hunt narrative that isn’t grounded in fan service and nostalgia.
The idealistic archaeologist is still recognizable in Harrison Ford’s facial expressions, but Mangold doesn’t understand what made him and his adventures so legendary and declares Indy himself an ancient artifact.
There’s nothing wrong with the well-known characters and the corresponding cult of the character started decades ago anyway.
Perhaps the film’s greatest achievement is keeping it from slipping into the retiree parade.
When from the opening sequence in the past, we go back to 1969, we see Harrison Ford sitting shirtless in an armchair, as if James Mangold wanted to make it clear before anything else: – look here, this is a man in his late 80s, and although At that age it holds up splendidly.
Nonetheless, Indiana Jones and the Dial of Fate goes back to the roots of the franchise: Harrison Ford’s charm is now more grumpy than rebellious, but that doesn’t make him any less appealing, and part of him, once again dry as a bone, their coatings are particularly well done this time around.
On the other hand, the action has to be reduced, and not only because of the age of the hero, but also because Steven Spielberg’s feeling for the kinetics of pure cinema, revealed in the original trilogy in particular, is not copied in the same . shape.
For example, the TucTuc’s expansive frenzy through the narrow streets of Marrakesh isn’t nearly as cinematically brilliant as the chase in Spielberg’s The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn, which is also set in Morocco, and which otherwise delivers Indiana Jones and the Dial of Fate in the action segment is a more solid blockbuster than cinema’s rolling stone moments for eternity.
One of the great action scenes in the film takes place in the middle of the astronaut parade on August 13, 1969 in New York.
However, there are plenty of fan nods, mostly really successful ones, that will evoke nostalgic feelings, especially among longtime fans of the series: in addition to the surprising return of some old Indy mates, some iconic moments from the series are also presented in a very cleverly reinterpreted way, so there’s not only a direct reversal of the legendary Sword To A Gunfight scene, but of course a nod to Indy’s love of snakes.
So this time he has to venture into a shipwreck full of slippery seven-foot eels.
Unsurprisingly, most of the (fan) work is done by John Williams’ unforgettable Indiana Jones theme – the effect will certainly wear off at some point during the course of the film, but this time each use of music returns. to give goosebumps to the end.
It remains to be seen if Indiana Jones and the Dial of Fate will generate hate triads comparable to the most recent entry in the franchise, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.
As problematic and clumsily told as this equally late sequel was, it had Steven Spielberg and his naive amazement in the face of adventure, Mangold using only the simulacra of the past and declaring that fanservice itself is a treasure trove discovered.
Consequently, there is almost no image in his film that does not feel forced, there is no show that does not ooze amusement park.
Also on a visual level, everything seems terribly plastic and even the landscape of Morocco is transformed into a study site.
Nowhere is the confusion of this film, which can at least boast competent narrative and dynamic moments of action, felt better than in Indy’s companion.
Helena Shaw and her cynical dismissal of the story (“I only believe in money”) could potentially represent an audience whose belief in the childhood miracle has yet to be restored.
Instead, it represents more of the film itself, opportunistically towering over the visual traits of an icon.
Consequently, Indy’s last trip does not lead directly to the museum, because it is already there.