The fifth Indiana Jones movie caused controversy for supposedly being woke, but what was it about Dial of Destiny that caused such a stir? The release of the fifth Indiana movie, titled “Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny,” sparked controversy because some viewers believed it included what they called “woke” humour.
This film marked the return of the iconic archaeologist Indiana, who was portrayed once again by Harrison Ford on a quest to find a mysterious artefact with the power to manipulate time.
It received mixed-to-average reviews from mainstream critics and ended up being a financial disappointment for Disney, resulting in a loss of $100 million for the studio.
Various factors contributed to this financial setback, but it’s unlikely that any controversy related to so-called “woke” humour was a significant cause of the film’s financial losses.
Even before the first trailer for the movie and the Dial of Destiny came out, there was a group of people all set to criticize the movie. The truth is we live in a world where things like Bud Light and Indiana Jones, considered culturally “masculine”, are labelled as woke. So are stores like Target and candies like M&Ms. And now, even Disney.
Disney dared to include a same-sex kiss in Lightyear and introduced a Black mermaid in The Little Mermaid. Sounds scary, right? A cartoon kiss and a Black mermaid might appear to some as if they’ll completely disrupt our culture, but that’s far from the truth.
Some seem to think that our kids should only see white people of different sexes kissing on screen. It’s as if they believe the world will end if a woman in an Indiana Jones movie stands up to the 80-year-old Harrison Ford character. It’s quite dramatic.
Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s Character References Capitalism in The Movie
The controversy surrounding the movie primarily centred on a few jokes delivered by Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s character, which some viewers labelled as “woke.”
One notable scene in the film features Waller-Bridge’s character, Helena, engaging in a conflict with Dr Jones and the villainous Dr Voller, played by Mads Mikkelsen, over the film’s central artefact.
During this confrontation, Voller accuses Jones of theft, and Helena is also accused of stealing. In response to the accusations, he humorously remarks, “It’s called Capitalism,” which was the line that stirred controversy.
Critics who took issue with the film’s humour found irony in Disney, a massive corporation, including such a joke in the movie. However, the outrage was not solely based on this perceived hypocrisy.
Helena’s character is known for her humour throughout the film, and her interactions with Indy, despite their generational differences, provided some of the movie’s most entertaining moments.
Nevertheless, critics of the film interpreted this single joke as if it represented the entire theme of the movie, overlooking the fact that Helena was a supporting character within a larger cinematic universe.
It’s important to note that previous films also featured clever humour, and Helena’s joke actually reflected the evolving attitudes within the setting of “Dial of Destiny.”
Helena Shaw: He Stole From The Indigenous
In another scene later in the movie, Helena takes another playful jab at her much older counterpart by highlighting that he built his career by taking artefacts from indigenous communities. This joke also stirred controversy in the context of the fifth movie and was criticized by some as being too “woke” for mainstream cinema.
While the Jones franchise has traditionally provided entertaining popcorn cinema, Dial of Destiny took a moment to reevaluate the character’s legacy, much like how societal values were evolving during the progressive ’60s.
It’s worth noting that, despite the franchise’s fun and action-packed sequences, it has not been without its problematic aspects. For instance, Temple of Doom faced criticism for its perceived racism, even during its release in the ’80s.
Additionally, from a modern perspective, Jones, as a character, would likely be scrutinized for his literal theft of cultural artefacts. Even in the very first scene of Raiders of the Lost Ark, the archaeologist is shown taking treasures from a temple, with the justification of keeping them out of Nazi hands being somewhat questionable.
In summary, while the controversy surrounding the movie was blown out of proportion, it did tap into sensitive topics within the fanbase. The film took a moment to address certain aspects of the character’s legacy, reflecting the changing values of the time.
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