The Reel Review
This fifth and final installment starring Harrison Ford in the Indiana Jones action/adventure saga has the now newly-retired archeologist on another daredevil quest for a relic – this time, a legendary dial capable of creating time travel. Phoebe Waller-Bridge (Fleabag) co-stars as Jones’s fortune hunter goddaughter, with Mads Mikkelson (Another Round, Arctic) as a mad Nazi scientist seeking the relic to change the outcome of World War II.
While the film is a nostalgic throwback for Indiana Jones fans, it also has a stale been-there, done-that feel to it. Characters are very reminiscent of prior films and the storyline is very predictable. That said, the film does kick off with some shockingly impressive de-aging CGI to transform a now 80-year-old Ford into a younger Indiana Jones during a rousing, 20-minute, WWII-era flashback action sequence. The film’s frenetic and at times cartoonish action from director James Mangold (Ford v Ferrari) harkens back to 1940s-and-50s-era Saturday matinees.
It’s when the story reverts back to 1969 that the bloated, convoluted story starts to creak. Cameos from beloved franchise characters help distract a bit, but at nearly two and a half hours, the increasingly silly story is at least 30 minutes too long. Composer John Williams returns with his iconic, rousing score, and Ford and Waller-Bridge, with her deadpan, Fleabag-type humor, have great chemistry – at least giving Indiana Jones a sweet and fitting send off.
• Harrison Ford has stated that this will be his final film as Indiana Jones and that the franchise will end with him.
• This is the first film in the franchise not directed by Steven Spielberg nor written by George Lucas, who served as Executive Producers.
• Karen Allen, who won a Saturn Award for her role as Indiana Jones’ love interest in 1981’s Raiders of the Lost Ark, continues to work as a stage and film actress and director. An avid knitter, Allen, 71, also owns a textile factory in Great Barrington, Massachusetts.