New Indiana Jones draws mixed reviews at Cannes

AFP , Friday 19 May 2023

Indiana Jones


"Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny" sees the archaeologist defy age with special effects and fight off Nazis from Manhattan to Sicily, but he struggled against critics in Cannes on Friday.

Ford, who has vowed this will be the last time he dons the famous fedora, showed a rare bit of emotion when the Cannes Film Festival presented him with an honorary Palme d'Or on stage the previous night ahead of the premiere.

The fifth outing has Ford joined by Phoebe Waller-Bridge as his witty and more sprightly sidekick, with Mads Mikkelsen as a villainous Nazi scientist.

But the reviews overnight were mixed.

For some critics swept up in nostalgia, the logic-defying scenes and rousing theme song provided solid sentimental fun.

"There are plenty of jolly chases ... some creepy encounters with insects and an underground tomb whose passageways open up with a grinding noise," said The Guardian.

"The finale is wildly silly and entertaining... (but) Indiana Jones still has a certain old-school class."

Empire also enjoyed the ride, saying it remained true to its "fantasy" leanings.

"All the hallmarks of the series are there as you'd hope them to be, lovingly preserved like archaeological treasures," it said, but added that the "barmy finale... might divide audiences".

The Hollywood Reporter was less impressed with the "rinse-and-repeat formula of chases and gunfights" and "how glaringly fake so much of it looks", but acknowledged "a sweet blast of pure nostalgia".

IndieWire's reporter had no fun at all, calling it "an almost complete waste of time" and "a belabored reminder that some relics are better left where and when they belong."

The series began back in 1981 with "Raiders of the Lost Ark" and was followed shortly after by two hugely popular sequels. Though a fourth film in 2008 made a lot of money, it was widely panned.

The new entry is the first not to be directed by Steven Spielberg who passed the reins to James Mangold, known for "Girl, Interrupted", "Walk the Line" and "Logan".

He told AFP this was his "best version of Steven, me kind of emulating my mentor".

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