Anyone who’s hung around here for a little bit knows that WM is a huge, huge, huge, epic Indiana Jones fan. He (and I guess by default, we) owns many replicas and Lego sets and pieces of art about the franchise. He (and I guess by default, we) watched the movies over and over. And over. And again. There’s a cable channel that seems to play movies 1-4 every weekend, all weekend long.
And, of course, there are our Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween party costumes.
I’m just going to cut to the chase — due to my proximity to WM’s extreme fandom I am quite the expert on Dr. Jones, Jr and his franchise.
Yes, we saw Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny the day it was released. And I had to take a half-day because the first showing was 3pm.
It was the first time we were back in a movie theater since before Covid struck. I used to not be a movie person. In fact, I had a whole category on this blog called I hate movies. I started watching a lot of movies during Covid and it turns out, I like some movies after all.
The movie was FANTASTIC. Really! It was a good homage and the best sendoff this fan could have given to her favorite swashbuckling professor. It hit on some familiar franchise tropes without beating them to death. It realistically addressed Indiana Jones being older without beating it to death. It touched on the changing times — 1969 is not 1936, just like 2023 is not 1990 — without beating it to death.
The biggest criticism I see from WM’s fan groups (extreme fandom always generates the most close-minded fans) is that the movie was going to be “woke.” Friends, I am a bleeding-heart liberal, moving more to the left as I age. I will probably be full-on “seize the means of production” as an octogenarian. I have no idea why this movie would be called woke. Is it because there are Black characters in 1969 New York City? Because there is a smart woman? Marion Ravenwood (movies 1 and 4) is smart and spunky. She’s a business owner, a fighter, and a hard drinker. Elsa Schneider (movie 3) outsmarted both Henry Joneses.
I’m excluding movie 2’s Willie Scot. If Willie Scott has 1000 haters I’m one of them. If she has 1 hater its me. If Willie Scott has 0 haters it means I have left this world…
Helena Shaw (Dial of Destiny) follows in the footsteps of the women before her, and the the reason she seems to physically outpace Indiana Jones is because she DOES physically outpace him. Jones is seventy years old, played by an eighty year old actor. That’s not “woke.” If someone calls this movie “woke” they are telling on themselves.
The biggest criticism I see from the general population is that the movie is unrealistic, especially the last part. Have those people SEEN any of the prior movies? Faces melting as the Ark of the Covenant is opened? A man remaining alive after his beating heart is torn from his chest? AN IMMORTAL KNIGHT GUARDING THE HOLY GRAIL? There has always been magical realism and fantasy woven into these movies.
It’s fun, it’s poignant. There were a few scenes that could have used a continuity editor, and it was about a half-hour too long. It’s not going to make a lot of money and it’s going to be called a box office failure because it’s not a superhero movie and movies are so expensive anymore that people are less willing to spend their money on a movie that might not be great.
But I give it a hearty two thumbs up. WM thoroughly enjoyed it. Harrison Ford is still a snack, and now there is a popcorn bucket and a soda cup with a fedora lid to add to his (and I guess by default, our) Indiana Jones merch collection.
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