Charles Merritt believes this is a sad, but fitting end to a much loved character, who ‘still believes’
The Film: Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny
Watch if you liked: Raiders of the Lost Ark, Temple of Doom, Last Crusade, Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
Running time: 142 minutes
Genre: Action, Adventure
Overview: Indiana Jones has lost the lust for life and adventure until he’s forced back into it by his goddaughter and the search for a device that could alter the past… and the future.
I love the original Indiana Jones trilogy (lets forget about the fourth addition). Jones is probably my favourite on screen hero - intelligent and heroic, with so much charm it’s hard not to resist smiling. This film is not the optimistic, heroic, fun-filled adventure you might be expecting. I’ve been shaken since seeing it - there’s something haunting about the whole affair but I think that was the intention and thus it succeeded.
What you liked:
The film opens with a flash-back to the Second World War and Indiana has got himself into trouble again. It was nice to see a younger Indy again (even if at some points the VFX were a bit wobbly) and, maybe because of the on and off visual effects, I really hope we get a good Indiana Jones video game in the near future…
Whilst the action sequences weren’t as practical as the originals, there were a couple of great moments - a chase through Morocco in a tuk tuk was a particular highlight.
There were some really lovely callbacks to the original films which I really appreciated and all in all, for the final final instalment of the franchise I think it was a good ending.
What you didn’t like:
Spielberg is unmatched in his directing. So I pity anyone trying to direct Indiana Jones that isn’t Spielberg. James Mangold didn’t try and be Spielberg and maybe that was a good thing but I missed some of the Spielberg nuance to shots, the film grain and the use of shadows in particular.
It was slower than I expected, and it was hard to watch my hero not be his heroic self. In fact, he was deeply depressed and now I feel depressed as a result. I’m not sure whether this is an actual dislike as it shows the film was powerful in producing emotion, but I dislike feeling like this none-the-less.
Thoughts for parents:
There’s a high body count in this and some scary imagery but it’s Indiana Jones and that isn’t a surprise.
Indiana Jones, or Dr Henry Jones Jr, has been through a lot. He’s foiled the Nazis plots to use powerful artefacts in the effort to take over the world at least three times, he was tortured via voodoo and even got himself in trouble with the USSR. But after all of that, time moves on.
In this film we find Jones as much of a relic as the ones he used to find. The moon landing has arrived and no one cares about the past, they’re too busy with their heads in the stars. History and archeology is frankly, well, history.
Does this feel familiar?
Doesn’t it sometimes feel as though faith and religion have become something of the past to so many people?
It can be depressing to watch from the sideline as people chase after money or fame, knowing that there’s something much more exciting to be discovered. It’s easy to sit back and accept that people’s interest in God is no longer what it used to be.
What I find interesting about the original films, is that God was very much real. The power of the Ark of the Covenant and the healing of the Holy Grail proved that there was a higher power. Indy makes reference to this. He’s seen things and when you’ve seen things, you can’t unsee them.
”I’ve found it doesn’t matter what you believe in.” Indy says to his goddaughter, ”It’s how hard you believe”
Jones’ belief in the artefacts he found led to him discovering incredible things and he can’t deny what he’s seen.
Neither should we. It’s important that we don’t get stuck in the past. There’s no point in wishing that we were living thirty years ago, when youth groups were thriving and there seemed to be a passion for the Bible. There’s really no point in wishing that we were alive in Jesus’ time and saw the miracles for ourselves.
If we were all alive when Jesus was on the planet, then what would be the point? Jesus didn’t need us to be there then, he needs us to be here now.
We’re alive in this moment of time because people need Jesus, just as much now as they did then. It’s up to us to be the carriers of the Kingdom.
There’s still adventure out there, treasure to be found. So grab your fedora and get out there.
*cracks whip and rides into the sunset*