Industry NewsOpinion

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?


  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.

    1. People people people…. I’ve seen it at a preview. It’s not woke. It’s not remotely woke. It’s easier to find the ark of covenant than reasonably see this as woke. I would have hated it if it had been woke. It’s not! In fact if anything Indiana changes the female character and shows up her flaws. Makes her want to be a better person. I liked it. You may not but it’s not woke. The claims of woke originate from cynical people who have not seen it and hate Disney for political reasons. That’s fine. You can hate them. It doesn’t make this film woke.

      1. Spot on comment! You’re absolutely right! It’s not even close to what people are claiming it to be. There is no doubt that Disney is pushing woke stuff and that it is hurting their brand and so I can understand the hesitancy fans might have. I even went in to the film myself worried that they were going to ruin one of my favorite childhood heroes. However, this was not the case. It’s not a perfect film by any means but it was a fun and enjoyable ride and not at all deserving of the hate it is getting from people who haven’t even seen it and have rather just assumed it will be awful because of Disney’s involvement. If you went to see it and didn’t like it, fine, not a problem, but don’t trash a movie that you haven’t even seen. Too many people do that these days.

      2. Dave, when folks stealing stuff from each other is referred to as capitalism instead of imperialism, you’re watching a woke movie.

      3. I was surprised when people were saying this movie was woke. It’s not, really. The actress may be an outspoken feminist, but she didn’t bring any of that to her character, maybe some vibes. I complain a lot of the woke stuff in my movies and shows, but I cannot complain this time without a reason to. It wasn’t terrible of a film. I have seen so much worse. Yet, it wasn’t an incredible film. Average, better than the predecessor, not a strong ending to the franchise and film. Could have been worse. Most fans like to see their movies in black and white, and totally ignore that giant grey area inbetween.

  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.

    1. Del Varner, those directors you mentioned that you like are all super woke and make agenda driven movies. Why do you like them?

  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.

    1. Reb, the first Indy movie was super woke. Remember Marion? Kind of a Mary Sue. What else would you expect from the new Indy movie when all of them have been woke? You need to pay more attention to what you are watching. You are sounding very liberal.

      1. She wasn’t a Mary sue. She was always getting into trouble and needing help. Same with the one from TOD. You need to pay more attention.

  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.

    1. From the free state of beautiful Central Florida Disney owes us Native Floridians Billions in unpaid property tax !!!

  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.

    2. It doesn’t upset me to have female leads, but why do you have to replace established male characters (white male roles, always) to introduce them? And why do the replacements always come from targeted groups, like gays, or trans, or blacks, or whatever other group the Marxists are trying to throw their tissue paper tent over this weekend? We used to call that propaganda, and we didn’t used to pay to watch it. I’m not going to. I thought Ford died in a plane crash years ago anyways…

    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

    2. Disney killed Star Wars. Killed off beloved character Luke Skywalker. Harrison Ford WANTED Han Solo killed so he wouldn’t have to play the role anymore and Carrie Fisher died offscreen…those two I can’t fault Disney but they would have eventually killed off those two characters anyway. Disney did this to bring in their own characters instead of the ones created by Lucas. In short, anytime Disney buys a movie series, they kill it! Done with Star Wars, will do with Indy.

  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. What are you even talking about? You sound like a nut. The new Star Wars movies were fine. They made a ton of money. Kathleen Kennedy did a great job. I say, make the next Star Wars movies so woke they cause all the conservative snowflakes to lose their collective minds.

    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?

      1. No, the movie will be huge. Most people are not bothered by wokeness. Look at the new Little Mermaid. It did fantastic box office and had great reviews. All woke means is that you are awake to other people in the world. It’s about love for diversity. I love it.

        1. Actually none of that is true. Mermaid won’t be making its money back. I know, math is hard…but keep trying.

        2. Woke does not mean you are awake to the needs of other people. It means some classes of people are born oppressors and owe other classes of people. E.G. saying capitalism is theft and “indigenous” property has been stolen only by European colonialists. Woke implies Marxism/Communism is the remedy. When in fact 20th communism has practiced theft and genocide on a mass scale and every civilization has stolen from others – yes, even in Africa, the Middle East and pre-Columbian America.

      2. What are you even talking about? You sound like a nut. The new Star Wars movies were fine. They made a ton of money. Kathleen Kennedy did a great job. I say, make the next Star Wars movies so woke they cause all the conservative snowflakes to lose their collective minds.

      3. Carr, see you in two weeks when Indy 5 breaks US box office records. The wokeness you are so upset about does not bother the majority of the population. They will see this movie in droves.

        1. Looks like another one bites the dust huh David. I guess people do care about the awful woke garbage being pushed, as this movie has tanked at the box office. That’s how the saying goes though David, go woke go broke.

        2. I hope you don’t rely on gambling for primary income. The movie is done now and has not earned a fraction of what it needs to break even (about $600M.)

  8. Yes, woke is good. The right high jacked it and uses it as an insult. It is good to be woke. It means you care and empathize with other people. God and Christianity are woke.

    1. True, the Right caricatures the Left. The problem is reality does today’s “woke” no favors. The Left (white liberal college students) appropriated “woke” from the black community. The original meaning was being aware of US history. Race massacres. Slavery. Sharecropping. Jim Crow. For Profit Prisons. The Left turned it into Max Horkheimer’s Critical Theory. An offshoot of Marxism. Yup. That boogeyman is real. The “You don’t know how oppressed you are” attitude comes from Critical Theory. And it’s taught in university sociology colleges. It isn’t just something taught in Law School. Being aware of the uncomfortable parts of US history is good. Twisting “woke” to mean pronouns, providing cover for racists to suppress teach the uncomfortable parts of US history is not.

  9. On merits of a movie it is only average at best. It will fail on a financial point because China has made it clear that they don’t like anything attached to Disney because Disney got sexual. You can’t claim to be about the kids and sex at the same time, it just looks perverted. Chinese don’t watch CNN, ABC, NBC, or listen to Bloomberg as their moral compass masters international numbers matter Hollywood. I think you might start understanding that America is no longer the center of the universe. Sex and Kids doesn’t work Disney, get that through your pedophile minds, and kids at BDSM trans sex shows is not a good thing to support. They are playing with fire at Disney, and once that fire gets too big it may well burn them down.

  10. People don’t care so much if you want to make a whatever (black,woman, conjoined eskimo dwarf etc..) heroine. But it needs to be original and by being that it will be naturally fitting to it. It’s the unnatural in it people despise, the forced fit that fools no one.

    Women don’t like woman facing from men (“trans”) no more than black people like black face from white people. As movie fans do not enjoy the race and gender bending of established characters. That’s the mistake they are making with all of this. Little Mermaid- she’s an established fish ginger. She shouldn’t even be blonde or brunette. Woman. Red hair, theres your formula. Snow White and the 7 dwarves. Pale white girl kinda spooky like a vampire, and dwarves!

  11. i don’t understand all these idiot words and “discussions”. i’m bothered by the indiana jones not being an indiana jones movie. the titular character is not the main character anymore. it’s plain nonsensical. apparently specifically designed to simply provoke “woke” garbage “discourse” on the internet? something something black something something female? what about just making nice movies instead. perhaps write NEW ones with new characters if you want to force embarrassing, awkward female heroes? I don’t know what any of this is supposed to be. I’d rather be with a woman in real life than go through all this fabricated psycho dreck.. but oh, there aren’t any are there

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Back to top button