How to make a film about a character – and an actor – who is now 80 years old and is famous for daring and enthralling action scenes after an attempt to make him pass the baton to his younger counterpart, let’s say his son, is already failed miserably?

Indiana Jones and the Dial of Fate relies on the idea that sometimes you have to change everything in order to change nothing. There are chases, shootings and fisticuffs, but next to the protagonist this time there is a woman,Phoebe Waller-Bridge, tall, slender and who, also thanks to the notoriety acquired with Fleabag , is immediately perceived as nice and self-ironic just like the oldIndy. It is not enough? Must Indy also have his moment of glory being chased by the Nazis? So here’s a prologue with Ford rejuvenated by CGI, just like the old days.

In short, like a group of alchemists, the team of screenwriters who worked on the fifth chapter of the saga dosed every element that had made the first three episodes work to arrive at an acceptable, enjoyable and compelling formula, even without being particularly innovative. Result achieved? Let’s talk about the plot first.

It is 1969, Indy is about to retire when Helena, the daughter of an old friend of his, joins him to ask him for help in finding an old relic made in the time of Archimedes, in Syracuse (“Quella italiana ! ” ) . Indy knows her well, she is the same one that in 1944 she stole from a group of Nazis, but later lost during the escape. Helena isn’t the only one on the trail of the artifact. Even one of the Nazis, now a naturalized American, is doing everything to get his hands back. He could in fact have a power capable of changing history…

Signed for the first time not by Steven Spielberg , the Indiana Jones in the hands of James Mangold is a great gripping adventure as best could not have been hoped for. There are the mysteries, a canvas that has its roots in history, sarcasm, splendid locations both real and reconstructed and also the always latent, but fundamental, importance given to good feelings that makes you leave the cinema if not moved, almost. Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny is, as mentioned, a film made on the drawing board, but with all the attention and professionalism required.

There are many references to the chapters of the past, but not the third, the poor Indiana Jones and the kingdom of the crystal skull of 2008, the one with Shia Labeouf whose end of the character also acquires meaning in the course of the film. Better that way, better forgotten.

Harrison Ford does what he can, age is advancing, but the stage presence is always extraordinary. Next to the talent of Phoebe Waller-Bridge , so bright, so fresh. They make a truly perfect couple.

Presented at the Cannes Film Festival 2023, Indiana Jones and the Dial of Fate  will be in cinemas from June 28th. It is to be enjoyed, strictly, at the cinema.