“The plot is unknown at this time.”

Director: James Mangold
Writers: Jez Butterworth, John-Henry Butterworth, Philip Kaufman, George Lucas, James Mangold
Staring: Harrison Ford, Mads Mikkelsen, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Boyd Holbrook, Antonio Banderas, Toby Jones, John Rhys-Davies
Rated: TBD
Release Date: June 30, 2023

Here we are. Back with Indy. Back with arguably of the greatest adventure heroes of the last half century. Harrison Ford is returning as the titular character at the youthful age of 80 years old. A lot has changed since he first debuted as Indiana Jones in 1981, but the architect is back and seems ready for another international journey filled with bobby traps, dangerous henchman, and unimaginable mystical power.

Indiana Jones And The Dial Of Destiny (2023) is the fifth installment of the Indiana Jones franchise. It is being directed by James Mangold, which only heightens the expectations for an already very much anticipated sequel. Mangold has a strong track record as a director making both critically acclaimed and crowd pleasing spectacles. In 1997 he helmed Sylvester Stallone’s Cop Land, then jumped into the award circle conversation with Walk The Line (2005) and the under appreciated 3:10 To Yuma (2007).

What should give audience and critics the most hope is the success that Mangold had revitalizing the character of Logan in The Wolverine (2013) and more notably Logan (2017). The character was down in the dumps bad terms of a solo character story, but Logan brought Hugh Jackman that the three-clawed mutant all the way to the top of the mountain. Nobody thought that Logan had any right to be as good as it is, and it is a credit to Mangold’s unique human approach to the character that deserves most of the credit.

Indiana Jones is down bad right now. The IP has not been touched since Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of the Crystal Skull in 2008. That was not a good movie, and it was directed by Steven Spielberg. Seems impossible. Nearly as impossible is the fact that my mom (who has had a crush on Harrison Ford since seeing him in the 70s for the first time) is on the record saying Crystal Skull isn’t good. That is how deep in the rabbit hole we are.

Thankfully, Mangold is throwing us the whip. He will a create an anchor of a story that will be sturdy enough to climb up on.

So this trailer.

Immediately the nostalgia senses tingle with Sallah (John Rhys Davies) delivering a voiceover about the days of yore, when adventure waited around every turn and the day’s path was never straight forward. He wants back in the game, but Indiana Jones seems to think that “those days have come and gone.” He is old now. He has the grey hair and he still appears to be teaching with classic out style projectors.

The second part of this trailer begins with kind of an insane statement by Indiana Jones: “I don’t believe in magic.” I mean, dude, come on here. You saw faces get melted to their skulls (well not really but you know what I mean), a heart get ripped out a dudes chest, a grail provide new life and a fucking alien. These things are all magical.

The boulder-escaping survivalist saves himself with a great line reading of “It’s not so much what you believe. It’ how hard you believe it.”, anchored by the visual of his iconic hat being picked up off the table. During that whole speech he gives about seeing things he didn’t think possible, we get glimpses of numerous different characters, including but not limited to the presumed villain Voller (Mads Mikkelsen), Indy’s daughter Helena (Phoebe Waller-Bridge), the unnamed character of Antonio Banderas, and Boyd Holblook playing a character by the name of Klaber.

The final 30 seconds of the trailer are spiritic shots of action sequences. Explosions, horse riding, gun play, potential drowning, whip action. All of it. The trailer ends with a flood of the senses, but none more so powerful wave than the crescendo of the classic Indiana Jones theme song. When that song hits, it is hard to to pitch a metaphorical movie tent.

Indiana Jones And The Dial Of Destiny takes place 12 years after Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull. It is my sincerest wish that Mangold approaches this story with the same humanity that he approached Logan, or like how Sam Mendes approaches Skyfall (2012). Don’t make the hero invincible. Give him weaknesses that fit into the story seamlessly and logically. I know we are going to get de-aged Harrison Ford in certain scenes, but don’t make that a crutch. If you want to do something like explaining the snakes in Indiana Jones: The Last Crusade (1989) then I am all for it, but don’t spend too much time in the past. I want to know the story of this Indiana Jones.

Indiana Jones And The Dial Of Destiny is coming to theaters on June 30, 2023. It is going to be a box office success, that is without a doubt. And with Mangold at the helm, I think it’ll be a critical smash as well.

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