Get ready for the ride of your life as Professor Indiana Jones hits the big screen yet again. Yes, 42 years after his first adventure, BILL WATT still finds his antics exhilarating fun.
I confess. I went along to see Indiana Jones And The Dial Of Destiny with nostalgia on my mind rather than thinking Harrison Ford's latest blockbuster was going to be a riveting piece of cinema.
After all, the most recent installment in 2008 - The Kingdom Of The Crystal Cave - left me pretty underwhelmed.
But how wrong can a man be! The Dial Of Destiny is a rollicking adventure ride that took me back to an era when good was good, bad was bad and Nazis were nasty. Sure, our ageing hero's god daughter has some distasteful traits but (spoilers) there are no angst-riddled anti-heroes pushing social agendas like those that overpopulate modern cinema.
Not that I'm opposed to those anti-heroes, or even their social agendas, but enough is enough. There should be more movies that - like The Dial Of Destiny - are just pure chaotic entertainment.
From the film's first seconds - with a digitally-enhanced younger version of Ford aka Indy testing his wiles against Hitler's Nazis in the dying stages of World War II - we are taken on a non-stop adventure where death is seemingly only inches away. Indeed, within minutes I was smiling, and I couldn't keep that smile off my face until the final credits came up.
There are exotic locales (Marrakesh and Sicily among them), car chases (including, hilariously, a rundown tuk tuk), the old running along the top of a train scene, shootouts, fist fights, threats, counterthreats, one liners, a beautiful woman and several evil bastards to boot. Yep, pretty much what adventure movies used to be all about.
I know, it's all very simple cinema, really, but it is so beautifully done that the two and a half hours just flies by and you walk out, well, feeling somehow younger (that is if you, like me, remember when Raiders Of The Lost Ark first hit the screens).
Ford, now aged 80, is of course brilliant as Indy, and the rest of the cast, including Phoebe Waller-Bridge as Indy's god daughter Helena and Mads Mikkelsen as the protagonist Nazi, do a fine job of helping him exhibit his star power.
The film's plot has the feel of previous Indiana Jones instalments: Indy, his god daughter and a bunch of Nazis (old and new) are all seeking, for different reasons, the same ancient relic. The twist at the end (no more spoilers) seems to have really pissed off at least one film reviewer, but I reckon it was well worth the two hour or so build-up.
Actually, I've read a few reviews of the movie from around the English speaking world and none of the them seem to like it as much as I did. Is this me? Or is it that film reviewers of today prefer misery, darkness and modern morality plays? I will let you decide that.