Friday, June 30, 2023

Along comes final 'Jones' with its mystical stuff and a comfortable end

If the first two hours of "Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny" were as appealing as the often outlandish tale's last 15 minutes, then the reported final outing for Harrison Ford, his fabled fedora, and that constant quest for supernatural-slanted relics might have whipped up a little something as memorable as the film that started it all way back in 1981.

Of course, if you don't know that we are talking about "Raiders of the Lost Ark," then this fourth sequel, which borrows so heavily from the original, might be something special for you, too. Certainly, it begins with the kind of serial-induced excitement that inspired co-creator/writer George Lucas and pal, Steven Spielberg, by then already a superstar director, to bring a non-stop, old-fashioned action hero to the big screen in the first place.

The latest one not only dials up an opening train chase to turn back time but has the digitalized face of the ever-worthy, 80-year-old Ford again looking young and dashing, still fighting '40s-era Nazis, AND stealing the plot-pivotal archaeological gizmo that good ol' Archimedes, everyone's favorite third century genius, apparently invented to -- you guessed it -- travel back and forth in history. 

Unfortunately, and too often, time does not fly swiftly enough through much of "Destiny," especially a lengthy trick-cave sequence that pales in comparison to those legendary scenes quick-starting the always breathtaking "Raiders." In fact, Jones and feisty goddaughter (Phoebe Waller-Bridge) struggle endlessly to get to a place where the dastardly villains somehow manage to show up almost immediately.

Speaking of the latter group, picture-of-evil Mads Mikkelsen leads the way as a brilliantly ambitious Nazi scientist and, once her character gets good-bad priorities in order, Waller-Bridge might even show enough to return for a franchise starter of her own.

Archimedes could tell us anything is possible after the nicely orchestrated departure for Jones/Ford at the end of this one.

Rated "PG-13" by MPAA: language, action, sequence of violence, and smoking; 2:34; $ $ and 1/2 out of $5

Also opening today in theaters: "Every Body," "The Man from Rome," and "Ruby Gillman, Teenage Kraken." New to streaming: "Nimona" and "Run Rabbit Run" (both on Netflix).

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