Indiana Jones And The Dial Of Destiny (4K UHD Blu-ray Review)

Harrison Ford took one last adventure with his signature character, Indiana Jones, this past summer. Indiana Jones And The Dial Of Destiny found elder self getting a final bit of closure for Ford and (ideally) the Jones. While well received, it wasn’t something the theater going audiences were that interested in seeing. You’ll be able to own it this holiday season when it comes to 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray. This release boasts an Atmos track, score-only track and a 5-part making of documentary. Oddly enough, concurrent with this, Disney+ released a career documentary on Ford centered around this that is not found on this release (And would have suited it perfectly). You can check it all out when it arrives on December 5th. You can order yourself a copy from the paid Amazon Associate link that follows the review below.


Daredevil archaeologist Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford, The Expendables 3) and his estranged goddaughter Helena Shaw (Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Fleabag) race against time to retrieve a legendary dial that can change the course of history. Accompanied by his goddaughter, he soon finds himself squaring off against Jürgen Voller (Mads Mikkelsen, Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets Of Dumbledore), a former Nazi who works for NASA.

Doing an Indiana Jones film with only Harrison Ford and no George Lucas or Steven Spielberg (directing, he is a producer here and a cheerleader for the project) felt quite risky from the get go. Even if the internet dorks perceived the last outing to be below their infinite standards, that’s still the trio that made the original three films the magic they still feel today. Dial of Destiny incorporates what (after his hiring) felt like a solid alternative in James Mangold. A guy who’s films show he could easily craft something similar as well as having told a sunset story in that of Logan, it felt like a “this guy gets it” choice. And rather for the most part, he certainly does.

In terms of Mangold and not Spielberg, this film manages to succeed in the authenticity department of looking and feeling like an Indiana Jones film, without being a cheap piece of nostalgia bait (Though, you could argue the prologue is that). The story clearly has to fit in a different era, but Mangold smartly goes to a well that Dave Filoni and Rian Johnson have done with Star Wars and not questions “what has Indiana Jones done before” to figure his questions out but more “What would George or Steven have done”. There are many sets, costumes, characters and even camera angles that feel like a nod or a homage to Steven which fits this storytelling like a glove.

Dial Of Destiny isn’t a perfect Jones adventure and is far from the best, but it is a pretty solid one. It takes much too long to finally get going, but once Indy leaves the United States, the film cooks and bounces. The opening spends too much time on a prologue action sequence so we can see “Young Indy punches Nazis again!” one last time. Its then followed by our actual film starting and setting up to get movie. It isn’t til about 50 minutes into the movie that Indy actual starts his globe trotting and exploration.

Once we get in, we have some fun Indiana Jones-style action and adventure that is nice to go through one last time. Harrison Ford is nice, at home and comfortable in this swan song performance of the character. We have to sort of see him struggling in a world passed him by, only to be given one last chance to live in his glory. Ford has great chemistry with Phoebe Waller-Bridge that feels like its own thing, reminiscent of his with Karen Allen or Sean Connery. Its different than those, but one that really gives this film a blood type all its own. They really sing us versus full of lore and mythology as we get to the action beat choruses. The villains might be the weaker point of the film as, while they are both good, this is the kind of stuff we see Mad Mikkelsen and Boyd Holbrook do a lot and they could probably sleepwalk through roles like this. They don’t here, they do give it what the film needs, but its not taking it above anything from before.

Without ranking or comparison, Indiana Jones final adventure feels a nice epilogue or coda to the adventures before. Its a softer adventure that gets what it has to do and knows its limitations. This was never going to deliver the thrills of the original three, but brushes a nice compliment and reminds you of what can be fun with these. With that said, credit must be given for the rather big swing Mangold takes in the finale of the movie that actual works (for me). So, it does have that going for it. Indiana Jones And The Dial Of Destiny does what it needs to and is one last addition to the greatest adventure series.


Disclaimer: Screen captures used in the review are studio promotional images, not the 4K UHD Blu-ray disc.

Encoding: HEVC / H.265

Resolution: 4K (2160p)

Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1

Layers: BD-66

Clarity/Detail: Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny looks quite wonderful and carries the look and feel of the Jones world in its debut on 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray. This one has a nice, sharp, polished image that really hands all the yellow, brown, gold desert aesthetic with ease. Fine details are ripe for the picking here with some good depth on display.

Depth: Depth of field is is pretty strong with nice push back and some nice scale on display. Character motion is fluid, natural and has no issue with blur or jitter during rapid actor or camera action.

Black Levels: Blacks are deep and natural and really accentuate the cavern dwelling, deep sea diving, nighttime beauty and shadowy interiors the film has to show off. No crushing witnessed.

Color Reproduction: As mentioned above, the Jones adventure is very desert based with plenty of golds, browns and yellows in various displays on the palette. There is some nice pop from reds, and more colorful garments showcased in the intro. Fire, lights and some other nicely contrasted bits take use of the HDR for a good glow.

Flesh Tones: Skin tones are natural and consistent from start to finish. Facial features and textures both real and CG faces, have a nice “looking through a window” appearance to them.

Noise/Artifacts: Clean


Audio Format(s): English Dolby Atmos, English 2.0 Descriptive Audio, French 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish 7.1 Dolby Digital Plus

Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish

Dynamics: Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny, tells you to hold that dial and delivers a pretty rock solid and fun Atmos track. This makes the world and room feel plenty lived in with nice depth and layering touches to provide a 36o degree viewing experience. There audio also hits pretty well to keep one plenty engaged.

Height: From above you get planes, sounds from the fair, bullets whizzing, wind, debris falling, echoes and plenty other things that feel natural and at some times fun.

Low Frequency Extension: The subwoofer roars and hits with the punches, gunshots, rushing trains, crashing waves, plane engines, bombs exploding, gas shattering and anything that’ll pound the ground.

Surround Sound Presentation: From around the room you get the full quadrant adventure with terrific ambiance and action tracking on the side and rear channels. Rolling sound powers naturally and effectively in any given direction the film calls for.

Dialogue Reproduction: Vocals are clear and crisp.


Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny is a 2-disc set that comes with the standard Blu-ray edition and a redeemable digital code. Besides the Isolated Score track, the extras are found on the standard Blu-ray disc.


Score-Only Version Of The Movie


The Making Of Indiana Jones And The Dial Of Destiny (HD, 56:46) – This is a pretty thorough 5 part documentary that takes us through the production of the film. There’s a nice weight to it here, where I feel many of the people involved got some of their honesty through and showcase just how much they cared about getting this one right without Steven Spielberg making it (Though he is here on the documentary in full support of the film).


While Indian Jones doesn’t exit on his greatest adventure or even a spectacular high, it hits the right note for the era with which his final ride is presented and the story they’ve come up with. It looks and sounds wonderful on 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray with terrific picture and sound. The one feature provided as an extra is an hour long documentary, so that’ll do and the isolated score is a nice nod for John Williams. Yes, there could be more, but as mentioned, the documentary covers a lot. Complete your Indiana Jones collection with this quality release of Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny.

This is a paid Amazon Associates link


Brandon is the host, producer, writer and editor of The Brandon Peters Show (thebrandonpetersshow.com). He is also the Moderator/MC of the Live Podcast Stage and on the Podcast Awards Committee for PopCon (popcon.us). In the past 10 years at Why So Blu, Brandon has amassed over 1,500 reviews of 4K, Blu-ray and DVD titles.

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