Everything Lucasfilm touches dies.
In the course of 10 short years, Lucasfilm has taken two of the most recognizable franchises in the history of Cinema “Star Wars” and “Indiana Jones” and has run those brands into the ground. There’s only one person to blame for the last 11 years, Kathleen Kennedy.
After making the radical proclamation that the force is now female, Kathleen Kennedy has upset numerous creators behind the scenes because of her desire to replace the male-dominated established fan base of this franchises with a female-centered demographic. But much like Satan, evil cannot create it can only be counterfeit.
Over the last several years, Lucasfilm in Disney has spent the majority of their time counterfeiting the Star Wars universe to prop it up as something that is not. As a result, Disney has lost millions of Star Wars fans and billions of dollars in the process. This would have been unthinkable 10 years earlier.
The final domino to destruction is Indiana Jones. Disney had an uphill battle trying to move forward with an Indiana Jones movie with the lead actor firmly in his eighties. The way that Kathleen Kennedy thought they could get around this problem is by replacing Indiana Jones with a female counterpart.
Just like the Star Wars Universe, Kennedy wanted to replace Indiana Jones with a female face. However, audiences were not very receptive to the female face that Kennedy chose being Phoebe Waller-Bridge.
The fleabag actress was supposed to take the mantle of Indiana Jones in hopes of starting a new franchise around her. Those plans never made it off the ground because even in the early stages of production test audiences did not like Waller Bridges’ character.
The film had to be reshot to get a conclusion that the studio thought audiences would be satisfied with. This blew up the production budget to 329 million dollars meaning that Disney needed to see mammoth box office returns to ever see a profit.
Kathleen Kennedy’s agenda may not have only cost Disney Indiana Jones but the entire Lucasfilm brand.
Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny begins in the days following the eventual defeat of Adolf Hitler in World War II. Nazis have captured Indiana Jones and his fellow archaeologist Basil Shaw from Oxford as they attempt to retrieve the Lance of Longinus.
However, Jürgen Voller informs his superiors that the Lance they possess is fake, but he has found half of Archimedes’ Dial. Voller’s plan comes together, Indiana Jones steals the dial and makes it off the train as the ally forces declare victory in the war.
Fast forward 25 years later, Indiana Jones is a broken-down old man who is a teacher at Hunter College until he runs into his goddaughter Helena Shaw. Helena seeks Indiana Jones’s help finding the dial that was lost at the end of the war.
Voller survived the encounter with Indiana Jones and he is also after the dial. The Duo now must work together to keep the dial out of Voller’s hands as he attempts to use it to go back in time and prevent the Nazis from losing World War II.
The best thing about this movie is that the first 25 minutes are as close to an Indiana Jones film you are going to get. Disney spent a lot of money de-aging a 80-year-old Harrison Ford, the effects are impressive but jarring as the computer-generated effects are obvious.
The opening 25 minutes of the movie is full of action, great effects, and hand-to-hand combat, and puts the audience right in the heart of World War II Germany with the only downside being the visuals being too dark in order to hide the CGI-heavy portions of the sequence.
The praise of this movie ends quickly after that. Disney over the last several years has been obsessed with the idea of deconstructing the established heroes. The idea that we have to tear down the heroes of the old in order to establish the heroes of the new.
Indiana Jones, the man who saved Humanity from the Nazis portrays Jones as a divorce old man in his boxers yelling at college students showing the audience that despite the great victory, his life has devolved into nothing.
Producers think that tearing down Indiana Jones that by comparison, it will make Phoebe Water Bridges character of Helen Shaw seem more heroic. This is the Fatal flaw of the film. Throughout the course of the last year, there are reports of numerous reshoots that had to be done due to test audiences not being happy with the betrayal of Helena Shaw in the film.
Knowing that the likability of this character could kill any potential of Lucasfilm propping up Phoebe Waller-Bridge as the new hero of this franchise, Disney threw together a $329 million production budget to fix this movie making it one of the most expensive films ever created.
Only James Cameron’s Avatar movie spent more money on production than this Indiana Jones film. Lucas film executives are so disconnected from what the audience actually wants because they spend too much time telling the audience what is going to get. A film studio that refuses to satisfy its audience will never produce a quality film and Dial of Destiny proves that.
There are many things to criticize about this movie, The banter between the characters is atrocious, The two and a half hour run time is inexcusable, the humor tries hard and falls flat, the plot is too convoluted, and the studio has torn down the hero to an empty shell.
At this point, Kathleen Kennedy has to have polaroids hidden in a safe somewhere because, after many failures with the biggest cinematic brands, there’s no logical justification for why she is still in charge of Lucasfilm.
Over the last calendar year, Disney has lost well over a billion dollars at the box office including this film. Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny has no one to blame but themselves for making audiences this disinterested.