Yeah, It’s Gonna Suck: Indiana Jones and the Dial of DestinyThe Dark Herald
The Cannes film festival is considered a very big deal.
By people who don’t know anything about it.
Really it’s just the European film market’s trade show. That said, it is important from a commercial perspective. Enough so, that a bunch of well-known actors will dig out their passports and head over to France. C-list celebs of carious stripes will fly out to Cannes too. Has-beens who are desperately hoping a European award will get their independent, seven-digit budget film looked at stateside will be there. As well as a few female influencers in full goblin mode, wearing a few bits of string and see-through fabric in the hopes that a gossip site will post their softcore red-carpet pics. If not there’s always Insta.
However, last year Tom Cruise debuted Top Gun: Maverick to rave reviews at Cannes, and that sequel to a forty-year-old movie grossed $1.5 billion. Consequently, Hollywood was a bit more interested than usual in Cannes this year.
And Disney LucasFilm had their own sequel to a 1980s franchise to hawk.
I’ve done my own retrospective on Raiders of the Lost Ark and I should probably RE:View Temple of Doom before Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny is in the wild and soiling memories of Indy forever. The rumors about this film were horrifying and totally believable. The LucasFilm story group had their hands all over this one.
The original Indiana Jones Trilogy of films all revolved around religious artifacts that held immense power.* In Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny, the Antikythera Machine turned out to be a time machine, created by Archimedes. A machine created by the One True Science and not religious at all. The Spear of Longinus is in this thing too and has no power at all because religion is now fake and gay in Indy’s new horrible world. Everyone knew this thing was going to be a disaster when we heard that Fleabag had been cast. Phoebe Waller-Bridge has become a greater harbinger of impending franchise doom than any plague spot. Woke Hollywood is still determined to make her a thing and she’s not and never will be.
Truth be said, this movie had a much worse casting decision going for it. Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones. I’ve said before and I’m saying it now, the attraction of Indiana Jones wasn’t that you wanted to see his movies, it was that you wanted to BE Indiana Jones. Young, mid-thirties, Nazi-punching Indiana Jones. Nobody wants to be old-as-fuck 80-year-old Indy. Bringing him back to the franchise was a terrible idea… Unless you were planning to obliterate Indiana Jones and the rumors all said the same thing, that, that was what they were planning to do. Indiana Jones would be humiliated by Fleabag for the entire movie then, time travels back to his forties, meet his younger self, and then his younger self would be killed. Banishing Doctor Henry Jones Jr from all of his adventures. Then Fleabag would pick up his hat and have those adventures for him thus cucking Indy, his audience, and all men everywhere.
LucasFilm actually had the nerve to be surprised when the test screenings bombed. Much to her rage, Kathleen Kennedy was ordered to unfuck the ending.
The ending was resentfully changed to Indy getting heroically clocked by Fleabag, because he wanted to stay in the past. He wakes up in the present and is bummed about it until Marion walks in with some groceries. At the start of the movie they had been divorced, and that got Butterfly Effected away. So now it’s a happy ending.
Problem. The movie is apparently still crap. The Rotten Tomato score is 51%. Initially, it was 33% but they’ve shoehorned a lot of shill bloggers to get it even that high. Harrison Ford got a five-minute standing ovation but here’s the thing about that, ten to fifteen minutes is considered standard standing ovation time at that film festival. A five-minute standing ovation is about the minimum politeness will allow at Cannes. During the movie audience had been bored and were muttering during its… SHIT… 2 hour and 35 minute run time, (I’m dying already). Why do they keep making these godawful movies so long?
Well possibly, LucasFilm thought it could get an Oscar out of this, that would explain the runtime. Well, it’s not going to get an Oscar and I’m going to be bored to tears while I’m sitting through this thing.
Regardless, what makes this stand out is that the Hollywood trades were reporting all of these things instead of frantically spinning them in LucasFilm’s favor or just plain not reporting them. Remember they have no autonomy, they are completely owned by the entertainment industry. Which means they had a green light from someone.
The review embargo was lifted four weeks early, why did Disney do that? They had to know this thing is a stinker and now those bad reviews are going to be hanging over this film like the sword of Damocles for the next freaking month!
Much more interesting was Bob Iger’s presence at Cannes. He’s never gone in his entire 35 years at Disney but he went this time. Again why?
Two years ago the Walt Disney Company had $20 billion in cash reserves, today it has $9 billion. Based on their own documents this puts Disney at 3-6 weeks of operation capital on hand and that has to be horrifying when they have a $9 billion downpayment on a $27.5 billion for Hulu due in 2024. The stock price hasn’t been this low since Covid first hit and they had to shut down the parks. Nelson Peltz is going to get on the board if something doesn’t change very soon.
“It is necessary to get behind someone in order to stab them in the back.” – Sir Humphrey Appleby
In any case. Yeah, it’s gonna suck.
*Technically not a trilogy since there was no central story covering all three films. But these were the only good ones. Let us just sweep Crystal Skull under the carpet, shall we?