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Indiana Jones 5 met with mixed reviews after Cannes premiere

Dial of Destiny received a five-minute standing ovation at the festival

By Joe Goggins

Harrison Ford in a screengrab from the trailer for 'Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny', 2023
Ford is making his fifth and final appearance as Jones. (Photo: YouTube)

Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny has been met with a mixed response after its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival last night (May 18).

The fifth outing for Harrison Ford’s whip-cracking archaeologist does not reach cinemas worldwide until the end of next month, but was screened for the first time at the legendary festival in southern France last night, with Ford and co-stars Phoebe Waller-Bridge and Mads Mikkelsen in attendance on the French Riviera.

The consensus from the first reviews suggests that Dial of Destiny clears the decidedly low bar of being better than the widely derided fourth film in the franchise, 2008’s Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Whilst the new movie includes no shortage of nostalgia, critics generally agree that it does not hit the heights of the original trilogy, which began with Raiders of the Lost Ark in 1981 and closed in 1989 with Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.

In a three-star review for The Guardian, Peter Bradshaw said that the franchise “still has a certain old-school class”, calling the film’s finale “wildly silly and entertaining.” The Telegraph’s Robbie Collin was more critical in a two-star writeup, calling the movie a “shabby counterfeit of priceless treasure” and “painfully short of spark.”

Owen Gleiberman of Variety was similarly stinging, describing Dial of Destiny as “a rather joyless piece of nostalgic hokum” and saying that the movie serves as a reminder that “even if you re-stage the action ethos of the past, recapturing the thrill is much harder.” John Nugent of Empire was more generous, with a four-star review calling Waller-Bridge’s performance “superb” and saying that the film “feels true to Indy as a character.”

Details of the film’s plot remain largely under wraps. It was mostly shot in the UK in the summer of 2021, with the shoot interrupted when Ford sustained a shoulder injury; scenes were filmed in Glasgow, Northumberland, Yorkshire and London. It received a five-minute standing ovation at Cannes last night, which by the festival’s standards is relatively lukewarm. It arrives in UK cinemas on June 30.