Let me be clear, my excitement for Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny will not change regardless of the first reactions out of its Cannes Film Festival premiere — even if some of the detractors include close friends.

The latest Indiana Jones flick held its world premiere last night in France at Cannes, even awarding Harrison Ford an honorary Palme d'Or, The first reactions were mixed, to say the least — the film currently sits at 43% from critics on Rotten Tomatoes (granted, that's based on 14 reviews) at the time of this writing — and the common word I saw sifting through reactions was “safe.”

Indiewire's David Ehrlich called the film a “waste of time,” and his full review gave it a C grade. His full review called the film “so safe that even its 80-year-old hero never seems to be in any significant danger.”

Robbie Collin of The Telegraph called the film “lifeless” and “crap.”

Others were a tad nicer. Next Best Picture's Matt Neglia said Phoebe Waller-Bridge “steals the show” and that Harrison Ford gets a “dignified ending,” even if this film doesn't live up to its predecessors.

Clayton Davis called Dial of Destiny “redemption” for the Indiana Jones franchise presumably after Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

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Robert Daniels — another brilliant critic — said that Ford does “some of his best work in recent memory” in Dial of Destiny, but the rest of the film fails to operate on that level.


It is important to note, the film still received a five-minute standing ovation after it first screened. Also, the Cannes Film Festival is known for its high-brow film curation and Indiana Jones hardly has a place there (as amazing as those films are). I'm just saying, I wouldn't expect the folks who gave Triangle of Sadness (a brilliant film in its own right) the Palme d'Or last year to feature the typical hyperbolic first reactions you typically get from a Disney release.

Dial of Destiny once again pits Indiana Jones (Ford) against the Nazis with the Space Race in the backdrop. Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Mads Mikkelsen, Antonio Banderas, and John Rhys-Davies star in the film. In a franchise first, Steven Spielberg did not direct this film, nor did George Lucas write the story. James Mangold stepped in and directed Ford's last run with the fedora and whip.

Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny will be released on June 30.