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Reviews Confirm Worst (Woke) Fears About Indy’s ‘Dial of Destiny’

Cannes premiere depict soggy sequel brimming with female empowerment

Social media hasn’t been kind to “Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny” despite no one having seen the fifth film in the franchise.

It’s woke, users cried, citing early snippets, test screening rumors and other minutiae. Co-star Phoebe Waller-Bridge of “Fleabag” fame is the new Indy, they cried, supplanting Harrison Ford’s beloved hero to appease Hollywood’s female empowerment mandate.

Except no one had actually seen the finished film to confirm those rumors, and director James Mangold indirectly refuted the film’s replacement theory.

That changed this week.

Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny | Official Trailer

The sequel’s Cannes Film Festival premiere allowed select film critics to screen the movie, slated for a June 30 release. And the early notices are less than kind.

“Dial of Destiny” boasts a limp 43 percent “rotten” rating at Rotten Tomatoes, a critical review aggregator site.

The BBC review called the film “gloomy and depressing,” but that’s not the critical takeaway from the pan.

[“Dial of Destiny”] has the air of a film passing the torch (or whip) to the next generation. But it does all this in an even gloomier fashion than The Force Awakens did. I’m not sure how many fans want to see Indiana Jones as a broken, helpless old man who cowers in the corner while his patronising goddaughter takes the lead, but that’s what we’re given, and it’s as bleak as it sounds.


Variety confirms what many suspected about the belated sequel – it’s a vehicle for Disney, Inc. to replace Ford’s Indy with Waller-Bridge’s heroine.

So while it feels like the film is setting her up to become the “new Indy Jones,” I wouldn’t bet the farm on that happening.

Others feared Waller-Bridge’s character would be Hollywood’s latest Mary Sue figure — a flawless heroine lacking the shades of gray that make heroes pop off the screen. Think both Rey and Rose Tico from the recent “Star Wars” sequels.

Here’s The Hollywood Reporter confirming those fears, too.

Waller-Bridge makes Helena quick with a wisecrack, handy with her fists and a demon behind the wheel, and as is de rigueur in these less restrictively gender-coded times, she’s unflappably resourceful, never helpless.

Yet Ford himself attempted to deny the rumors that the film sets the stage for Waller-Bridge to replace Indy in the franchise moving forward.

Harrison Ford squashed rumors about Waller-Bridge replacing him on the Today show by saying, “When I’m gone, he’s gone. It’s easy.”

Jones may be riding off into the sunset, but the reviews suggest his replacement has already been found. Now, will audiences embrace Indy’s goddaughter, or will she become the latest example of a woke figure alienating the masses?

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  1. I don’t predict this movie will be anything other than a financial, critical and aesthetic disappointment. Two factors militate against quality: the general tone of “woke” Hollywood, which suffuses Lucasfilm, and the general incompetence and artistic sterility of the makers of these films and they’re corporate financiers.

  2. Sadly, another one bites the dust. There are so few directors whose movies I want to see: Christopher Nolan, Denis Villenuve, mostly Ridleey Scott.

  3. Isn’t it interesting that we’ve heard these rumors for a couple years and they are now apparently all true. It’s insane how Hollywood cares so much about identity politics that they will sacrifice millions of dollars for it. Even though they know how to make entertaining movies. They just don’t want to. That ESG score is just too important to them.

  4. The best response to this and every other woke Hollywood offering (and what else do they offer now?) is to not pay to see this tripe. There are many paths to see this without paying for it, if you want to see it. Hit them in the pocketbook and eventually, when they have to hold bakesales to fund a film production, they will stop trying to force their myopic agenda

  5. Disney’s theme parks subsidize its movie business. They’re hugely profitable. So the weak, woke junk will keep coming at us unless and until people make them pay by not going to Disney World, etc.

  6. How is it WOKE by having a girl hero? I have a daughter and a film that has a girl hero does not upset me. We have Batman, Ironman, Thor, Hulk, Superman, Black Panther, and for women Wonder Woman, Supergirl, black widow… so equal rights equal upset people?

    1. For the last time, it isn’t woke by having a girl hero. It is woke when she is perfect, better, smarter, stronger with no sense of earning it than all of the men. Especially when the man is a beloved, albeit flawed, character. Marion was a tough strong great companion for Indy. But she wasn’t perfect and didn’t constantly show him up. The opposite of woke – just great writing.

    1. I have no intrest in wally Bridge fleabag was not Funny at all she thinks shes the Smartest person in the Room RIP DOCTOR JONES

  7. Hope, hope wish, wish this’ll be the final straw (w Disney’s mgt/boardroom members) — after Kathy Kennedy went over-budget, again; resulting in Disney’s most expensive film project to date…

    Kennedy literally needs this to — do ‘Maverick’ business just to break even — outdo TG2: Maverick’s $700M box-office just to get their much needed authorization (e.g. parent Disney’s resources) to complete The Acolyte’s requisite extensive (aka “overhauled”) re-shoots; since last April.

    I’d be willing to gamble ‘Indy 5’ is her last Executive Produced feature film w Lucasfilm; save for obligatory Independent Producer-Exit package, typically gifted to most studio’s outgoing Production Chiefs /Chairpersons.
    Iger will almost certainly qualify her first project as Independent Producer (while walking her out the door): one, lone installment of her ‘New Rey Skywalker Trilogy.’ Especially after he genuinely expected this year’s, recent, SW Celebration to be her final-lap victory-sendoff at Lucasfilm, only to see her double-down with wishful-thinking press release(s) for aforementioned ‘New Rey’ mock-films — NM Disney’s current quarter of laying-off/belt-tightening/fending off activist stockholders.

    1. The movie is going to bomb in the US! People under 50 don’t care as Raiders came out in 1981 when they were 8. Indiana 4 is one of the worst movies ever made. The plot was embarrassing and the CGI tacky! And the illegitimate son Meat (Shia). 1969? Indiana at Woodstock?

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