I’m hearing that Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny (6.30.23) is “another Top Gun: Maverick in that it’s a love letter to a bygone moviegoing experience.”

Director James Mangold, I’m told, is “very deft in mining the same turf as Rocky Balboa, depicting an aged actor and character taking a valedictory lap. Harrison Ford brings the goods, but it’s Phoebe Waller Bridge who truly ups the game, playing her part like a young Diana Rigg. Audiences will love her character and performance. The film will pack theaters.”

Fine, I said, but I don’t trust Mangold AT ALL. The trailer tells me they’re recycling old jokes and old bits. It looks like a slick franchise tribute and that’s all.

Reply: “Once again, Phoebe Waller Bridge is the key to the film. She gives it heart and soul and wit.

“Contrasting the proverbial disgruntled and grumpy older Ford against hippies in the 60s is what works. He’s an old man yelling at clouds and kids to get off his lawn, but he’s the only one that perceives the dangers of the assimilated enemies working for the American government at NASA.

Mads Mikkelsen‘s villain is a former Nazi scientist like a Werner von Braun, now working for NASA. Basically a sardonic and philosophical Doctor Strangelove type. Mikkelsen uses a little Peter Lorre-styled menace laced with sinister humor.”