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Indiana Jones 5 director James Mangold pushes back against bad reviews

‘It all vaporises later,’ said Mangold. ‘Either the movie will live or it won’t’

Louis Chilton
Friday 23 June 2023 15:23 BST
Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny trailer 2

Director James Mangold has pushed back against the underwhelming reviews for Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny.

The film, the fifth entry in the acclaimed adventure franchise starring Harrison Ford, is released in cinemas next week.

Dial of Destiny premiered at the Cannes Film Festival earlier this year, where it received mixed reviews from critics.

Review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes indicates that the film currently has a 62 per cent “Fresh” rating, meaning that less than two-thirds of accredited critics gave the film a positive review.

Speaking to Variety, Mangold, whose previous films include the Oscar-winning Johnny Cash biopic Walk the Line and the X-Men spin-off Logan (2017), suggested that he was untroubled by his latest movie’s muted reception.

“When you’re in franchise land, it’s very hard for critical thinkers [journalists] to overlook what I’m sure their editors want, which is this business prism of, ‘How does it rate to the other ones?’” Mangold claimed.

“I always thought if I were second or third best to one of the greatest films of all time, I’d be good. I mean, it all vaporises later. Either the movie will live or it won’t.”

In a three-star review for The Independent, Geoffrey Macnab wrote: “Ford is in typically redoubtable form in The Dial of Destiny but the film itself is sprawling and very uneven.

“The movie consists of a series of chases and fights linked by ever more improbable plot twists. The action is often very inventively staged. James Mangold, who has taken over directing duties from Steven Spielberg, sets a breakneck tempo. One bravura early set-piece involves Indiana riding a policeman’s horse down into the subway with his antagonists in hot pursuit.”

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A de-aged Harrison Ford in ‘Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny’ (Lucasfilm Ltd)

The original Indiana Jones film, Raiders of the Lost Ark, was directed by Steven Spielberg and released in 1981. It spawned three sequels before Dial of Destiny: 1984’s Temple of Doom, 1989’s Last Crusade, and 2008’s Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

As well as Ford, Dial of Destiny sees two other actors reprise past roles from the franchise: Karen Allen and John-Rhys Davis. New castmembers include Fleabag star Phoebe Waller-Bridge and Mads Mikkelsen.

Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny is released in UK cinemas on 28 June.

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