G8lbPVdE Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny 2023 5
Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny 2023 5
Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones

Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny: Rolling back the years

Riley Riley

Like everyone who has seen the latest Indiana Jones film it’s difficult to believe that Harrison Ford is 80-years-old.

He’s old enough to be pushing a walker around a nursing home, yet here is large as life giving as good as he gets from murderous Nazis on the big screen.

How can it be? How could an 80-year-old geriatric perform like a man half is age, resuscitating a franchise that is now more than 40 years old.

Because that’s how old Ford was when he made the first Indiana Jones film . . . 40.

Even then, the grey hairs would have been starting to find their way on to his stubbly chin.

It’s 15 years since the last Indiana Jones movie, Kingdom of the Crystal Skull in 2008, and yet here Indy is again, still fighting the good fight, still fighting to put the Nazis back in their box and the Yankees back in the driving seat.

But as entertaining as it might be, as the action unfolds, one finds oneself whispering “bullshit” to anyone within earshot, he couldn’t possibly do that . . . could he?

The answer of course is no, he couldn’t. But technology is a wondrous thing and as such Dial of Destiny is a solution rather than an an answer to a problem for the producers.

The timeline is a bit confusing too. Initially find a much younger looking Indy in the closing stages of the Second World War.

It’s 1944 and he and his archaeologist mate Basil Shaw are trying to retrieve what’s known as the Lance of Longinus at a castle in the French Alps as the Nazis pack a train with antiquities in preparation for a return to the Motherland.

But, don’t get the wrong idea, because that’s not where Dial of Destiny spends most of its time, but in 1969 soon after the Moon landing.

Ford has been digitally de-aged for his role with liberal use of stunt doubles which could extend to the simple act of running. 

So it’s not clear what percentage of the film is really him.

The de-aging process involved scanning reams of footage of the younger Ford from every Lucasfilm in which he has ever appeared, in addition to outtakes, to capture various angles and lighting of his younger face — in every possible scenario.

What’s the next step, an actor licensing their intellectual property rights so that studios can use emerging technology to recreate them as an ageless, tireless heros for generations to come?

We’ll see . . .

Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny is the fifth and final instalment in the Indiana Jones film series and a sequel to Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008).

It’s also the only film in the series that was neither directed by Steven Spielberg nor conceived by George Lucas. Both served as executive producers instead.

The film stars Harrison FordJohn Rhys-Davies and Karen Allen reprising their roles as Indiana Jones, Sallah and Marion Ravenwood.

New cast members include Phoebe Waller-BridgeAntonio BanderasToby JonesBoyd Holbrook, Ethann Isidore and Mads Mikkelsen.

The story follows Indy and his estranged goddaughter Helena Shaw as they trying to track down an ancient Greek device that could change the course of history.

Nazi-turned-NASA scientist, Jürgen Voller, wants for himself so that he can go back in time and change the outcome of the war.

Plans for a fifth Indiana Jones film apparently date back to the late 1970s, when Lucas and Spielberg negotiated with Paramount for four sequels to Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981).

Lucas began researching story ideas for a fifth film in 2008, but the project never got off the ground.

Koepp was eventually hired to write the fifth film in 2016, with a release date set for 2019, although this was delayed several times due to rewrites and later the COVID-19 pandemic.

In 2018, Jonathan Kasdan was hired to replace David Koepp, who returned to write in 2019 before eventually leaving the project.

Spielberg was set to direct, but stepped down in 2020, with James Mangold taking his place.

Filming began in June, 2021 and took place in various locations including the UK, Italy and Morocco, wrapping in February, 2022.

Longtime franchise composer John Williams returned to compose and conduct the film’s score.

With a reported production budget of $300 million, not including marketing costs, it is the most expensive film in the Indiana Jones franchise, as well as one of the most expensive films ever made.

Dial of Destiny may not be the best of the Indiana Jones films and inevitably may be not even the last as technology continues to open new doors.

At the moment however it is a film better watched than not watched as it rolls out across big screens at a cinema near you.



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Time out score

Final thoughts . . .

Don’t over-think it.


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