‘Exhausting Slog,’ ‘Glaringly Fake’: Critics Shred Disney’s ‘Indiana Jones 5’

CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 19: Harrison Ford attends the "Indiana Jones And The Dial Of Destiny" photocall at the 76th annual Cannes film festival at Palais des Festivals on May 19, 2023 in Cannes, France. (Photo by
Mike Marsland/WireImage via Getty Images

The first Indiana Jones movie, Raiders of the Lost Ark, came out in 1981. Back then, Harrison Ford was 38.

Now Ford’s 80 years old, not exactly the age of an action hero. And the fifth installment of the movie is not faring well with critics.

“It’s all pretty goofy and laborious over its 142-minute running time,” Peter Howell of the Toronto Star wrote.

The Rolling Stone review was even more harsh. “[Y]ou either die an intellectual-property hero trapped in amber, or you live long enough to see yourself riding a fake horse against a green-screened subway background when most of your peers have slowed down.”

“[Y]ou’re largely left with what you imagine you’d get if you programmed a 21st century A.I. program to write up nostalgia-bait for the children of the late 20th century,” critic David Fear wrote.

“Ford still has the fortitude to play the part. But just having him show up to crack whips and crack wise in the name of bringing back that old Indy thrills-spills-chills magic isn’t enough of an excuse to have him don the fedora one last time. ‘Things move forward,’ one character tells Jones. ‘And sometimes, they move backward.’ Someone may have turned the dial a little too much on the latter’s side this time around,” Fear added.

While the movie is big, the writing is small.

“[O]ne can feel the four credited screenwriters grasping at inspiration and coming up short. What they did manage to make would be perfectly fine as a standalone adventure film starring some other character, but it’s not worthy of the whip,” Vanity Fair critic Richard Lawson wrote.

With a running time of nearly 2:30, reviewers said the $300 million movie is a bloated mess with endless chase scenes. “That nonstop pacing might sound ideal, but it’s mostly an exhausting slog,” David Rooney of The Hollywood Reporter wrote.

And so much phony CGI. “Part of what dims the enjoyment of this concluding chapter is just how glaringly fake so much of it looks,” Rooney wrote.

Maybe the filmmakers should have stopped at four installments. While some reviews said Ford still has his trademark swagger, one reviewer wrote: “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.”

(Disclosure: The Daily Wire has announced plans for kids entertainment content.)

The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.

Joseph Curl has covered politics for 35 years, including 12 years as White House correspondent for a national newspaper. He was also the a.m. editor of the Drudge Report for four years. Send tips to [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @josephcurl.

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  ‘Exhausting Slog,’ ‘Glaringly Fake’: Critics Shred Disney’s ‘Indiana Jones 5’