DVD Movie Guide @ dvdmg.com Awards & Recommendations at Amazon.com.
Review Archive:  # | A-C | D-F | G-I | J-L | M-O | P-R | S-U | V-Z | Viewer Ratings | Main


James Mangold
Harrison Ford, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Mads Mikkelsen
Writing Credits:
Jez Butterworth, John-Henry Butterworth, David Koepp, James Mangold

Archaeologist Indiana Jones races against time to retrieve a legendary artifact that can change the course of history.

Box Office:
$300 million.
Opening Weekend:
$60,368,101 on 4600 Screens.
Domestic Gross:

Rated PG-13.

Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
English Dolby Atmos
English Descriptive Audio
Spanish Dolby+ 7.1
French Dolby 5.1
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 155 min.
Price: $39.99
Release Date: 12/5/2023

• “Making of” Documentary
• Isolated Score
• Blu-ray Copy


-LG OLED65C6P 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV
-Marantz SR7010 9.2 Channel Full 4K Ultra HD AV Surround Receiver
-Sony UBP-X700 4K Ultra HD Dolby Vision Blu-ray Player
-Chane A2.4 Speakers
-SVS SB12-NSD 12" 400-watt Sealed Box Subwoofer


Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny [4K UHD] (2023)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (January 14, 2024)

After two adventures in 1981 and in 1984, it appeared that the Indiana Jones franchise wound to an end via 1989’s Last Crusade. Granted, the character continued via Young Indiana Jones Chronicles on TV in the 1990s as well as through novels, comic books and videogames.

As a cinematic property, however, Indy appeared done in 1989. Heck, the lead literally rides off into the sunset at the movie’s end – how more conclusive could a finale be?

Apparently not so much, as 2008’s Kingdom of the Crystal Skull brought Indy back to multiplexes after that 19-year gap. But that was it, right?

Given that you clicked on a review of 2023’s Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny, clearly you understand that Crystal Skull didn’t finish the cinematic franchise. Destiny certainly looks like the end of the road, but never say never, I guess.

Set in July 1969, elderly archaeologist/adventurer Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford) finally retires from his life as a professor. Indy seems at a low point, for his wife Marian (Karen Allen) left him and his son Mutt died in Vietnam.

A new challenge arises when his goddaughter Helena Shaw (Phoebe Waller-Bridge) shows up and proposes a search for a fantastical dial created by ancient mathematician Archimedes millennia ago. Indy hunted for it with fellow archaeologist – and Helena’s dad - Basil Shaw (Toby Jones) 25 years earlier, a jaunt that left the men barely ahead of Nazi astrophysicist Jürgen Voller (Mads Mikkelsen) as he seeks the item.

Indy and Helena get half of the dial from a university archive and find themselves pursued by Voller once again. This leads Indy and Helena to a chase across various lands to find the other part of the dial before Voller does.

Hmm… Indy ventures around the world to locate a magical item before the Nazis get there. Why does that plot sound familiar?

Yes, this narrative clearly echoes that of Raiders of the Lost Ark. This doesn’t mean Destiny offers a clone of the 1981 classic, however.

Though at times I wish it did, mainly because Destiny lacks much of the original Indy flick’s charm and excitement – and it doesn’t match up to the three sequels either. If this acts as Indy’s swansong, it becomes a disappointing goodbye.

Of course, I don’t expect any Indy adventure to live up to Raiders. Indeed, I don’t expect any action flick period to equal the highs of that classic. If Raiders doesn’t stand as the greatest action movie ever made, it nonetheless stands exceptionally high on that list.

For the first time, someone other than Steven Spielberg directs an Indy movie. Here we get James Mangold in that chair.

I went into this change of personnel with some apprehension – but not as much as I would’ve felt 30 years ago. The Spielberg of 2023 just isn’t as good as the Spielberg of 1993, much less his “classic era” of 1975-1982.

That said, it felt weird to see someone other than Spielberg behind the camera, and Mangold’s filmography didn’t inspire tons of confidence. While he made some solid movies, he also directed some clunkers, a track record that didn’t lead me to believe he’d offer a guarantee of quality as he took over this storied franchise.

Part of the issue comes from my view of Destiny as too much homage – and too repetitive. We get Nazis as the villains for the third time, which seems like at least one instance too many.

Yes, the fact most of Destiny takes place nearly a quarter century after the end of WWII adds a twist. Nonetheless, why not give Indy a fresh adventure without Nazis once again?

We do spend some time in 1944, as we see Indy and Helena’s dad (Toby Jones) pursue rare antiquities possessed by the Germans. This scene exists as a cheap stab at thrills – and a way to shoehorn in the sight of Ford “deaged” to look like a younger Indy.

The 1944 prologue goes on much longer than necessary, especially because the movie doesn’t require that sequence at all in terms of story. Yes, it generates exposition, but a Destiny that launches in 1969 could explain the requisite information in about three minutes, as we get nothing in the flashback that requires us to see it.

Also, the opening simply runs far too long. It spans more than 21 minutes, and given the simplicity of the material involved, that seems like too much, particularly because the action beats don’t really dazzle.

Like much of the rest of Destiny, those elements feel recycled from prior Indy movies. This one sporadically attempts to become its own film, but it never gets there, as it seems far too eager to echo its predecessors.

Destiny does separate from the pack in one way: running time. While the prior four Indiana Jones movies clocked in around two hours each, this one cranks a little past the two-and-a-half hour mark.

That makes the movie drag. With maybe 30 minutes less on display, the film could feel faster paced and less sluggish.

Again, the opening prologue doesn’t need to exist. We also get other extraneous scenes or ones that could get trimmed and fare better.

The scenes in New York before Indy and Helena leave town fare best. I find the site of a “beaten-down” Indy to offer intrigue, and the action shows signs of life.

Once the action moves out of the US, matters slow to a crawl and never manage to kick into gear. The addition of a gratuitous “kid assistant” doesn’t help, as he feels like a cheap, unnecessary riff of Temple of Doom’s Short Round.

That general feeling of déjà vu remains a concern here, but the biggest issue stems from an essential absence of excitement of thrills – at least after the story leaves the US, as noted. Destiny throws a lot of action at us but hardly any of it gets pulses racing.

Fans crack on Crystal Skull, and I don’t deny that it came with flaws. However, it still brought a lot of the old Indy charm and verve.

These qualities largely fail to appear in the tedious Destiny. While not a genuinely bad movie, it just doesn’t click, as it seems too scattered and feels like it tries too hard to become an “Indiana Jones Movie” rather than reach that goal organically.

The Disc Grades: Picture A-/ Audio A/ Bonus C+

Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny appears in an aspect ratio of 2.35:1 on this 4K UHD Disc. From a true 4K source, this became a positive presentation.

Sharpness worked well. Virtually no softness materialized, so the movie boasted positive accuracy and delineation.

The image lacked jagged edges or moiré effects, and edge haloes remained absent. Print flaws also remained absent.

Like most modern action fare, the film’s palette favored a definite orange and teal vibe. The disc replicated the colors as intended, with HDR that added punch to the tones.

Blacks seemed dark and dense, while shadows appeared smooth and clear. HDR added range and power to whites and contrast. This wound up as an appealing image.

Downconverted to Dolby TrueHD 7.1, the Dolby Atmos audio added great dimensionality to the effort. With many action scenes, the mix used the various channels to create a lively, vivid soundscape.

This meant various vehicles zipped around the room in a smooth, convincing manner, while other aspects of gunfire, explosions and mayhem brought out well-placed material that blended together in a nicely integrated way. The soundfield meshed together to deliver a well-rounded impression.

Audio quality also impressed, with speech that seemed natural and concise. Music appeared vivid and full, with dynamic tones.

Effects fared best of all, as those elements seemed accurate and tight, with crisp highs and deep lows. As I expect from a movie of this sort, the soundtrack excelled.

How did the 4K UHD compare to the Blu-ray version? The Atmos audio offered some expansion over the Blu-ray’s 7.1.

As a true 4K product, the UHD disc boasted superior delineation, colors and blacks. It offered a nice upgrade over the Blu-ray.

Only one extra appears on the 4K disc itself: an Isolated Score that presents the music on a Dolby TrueHD 7.1 track. This becomes a good addition.

On the included Blu-ray copy, we find a five-part Making of documentary. Taken together, these pieces span a total of 56 minutes, 46 seconds and offer notes from co-writer/director James Mangold, producers Kathleen Kennedy, Simon Emanuel and Frank Marshall, executive producer Steven Spielberg, composer John Williams, director of photography Phedon Papamichael, visual effects supervisor Andrew Whitehurst, production designer Adam Stockhausen, supervising stunt coordinator Ben Cooke, co-supervising sound editor Donald Sylvester, supervising art director Martin Foley, props workshop supervisor Christian Short, special effects coordinator Alistair Williams, stunt coordinator/double Mike Massa, set decorator Anna Pinnock, action vehicles supervisor Alex King, lead graphic designer Laura Dishington, art director Charlotte Malynn, Morocco unit producer Zakaria Alaoui, stunt performer Alistair Whitton, sound designer Kyrsten Mate, senior art director Oliver van der Vijver, visual effects supervisor Kathy Siegel, underwater director of photography Ian Seabrook, locations manager Lex Donovan, Sicily key location manager Maurizio Licciardello, Hod sculptor Emma Hudson, insect handler Mark Amey, co-writers Jez and John-Henry Butterworth, and actors Harrison Ford, Toby Jones, Mads Mikkelsen, Thomas Kretschmann, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, John Rhys-Davies, Ethann Isidore, Shaunette Renée Wilson, Nasser Memarzia, Karen Allen and Antonio Banderas.

The documentary essentially offers a production diary. It touches on each different section of the movie in order seen, and that includes a mix of production domains.

Too much of the program leans toward praise for all involved. Still, we get a generally informative take on the production despite all the happy talk.

Note that the isolated score also appears on the Blu-ray. However, it brings Dolby Digital+ 7.1 and not Dolby TrueHD 7.1.

As ostensibly the final film in the series, I hoped Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny would complete matters on a high note. Unfortunately, it lacks coherence and fails to deliver the spark and excitement we expect from the franchise. The 4K UHD provides strong picture and audio along with a documentary and an isolated score. I want to love Destiny but the end product disappoints.

To rate this film visit the original review of INDIANA JONES AND THE DIAL OF DESTINY

Review Archive:  # | A-C | D-F | G-I | J-L | M-O | P-R | S-U | V-Z | Viewer Ratings | Main