Communists are great cinematic villains. If you don't believe me, just watch "Rocky IV," the original "Red Dawn" or just about any other action-adventure movie from the 1980s. Go ahead, I'll wait.
Pretty much the only time where godless communists weren't great bad guys was when they became the villains in 2008's "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull." Maybe it was because the Cold War was long over by then. Maybe it was hard to believe the USSR wanted old artifacts.
Whatever the reason, the old magic just wasn't there.
Maybe the problem was that Indiana Jones fights Nazis, and that's just the way it is. In the newest installment, "Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny," Lucasfilm gives viewers Dr. Jones' signature bad guys as they race to find an ancient artifact that can change the past.
Harrison Ford returns as Dr. Indiana Jones, who, in 1969, is finally retiring after a teaching stretch at New York City's Hunter College. Helena Shaw (Phoebe Waller-Bridge, "Fleabag") Jones' estranged goddaughter, approaches Indy about the Archimedes Dial, a device believed to hold the power to locate fissures in time.
Archimedes split his dial in half to keep it out of the wrong hands. Jones had already put one half in a museum (where it belongs) after the film's opening sequence, where Indy captures it and other artifacts aboard a Nazi gold train. The other half of the dial is still missing and Helena is searching for it.
Also searching for the dial is Dr. Jürgen Voller (Mads Mikkelsen, "Casino Royale"), a physicist and a Nazi who was brought to the United States to work on the NASA space program -- a real thing that really happened after World War II. Voller might have changed his name, but he has not changed his politics.
Archimedes' dial would allow him to fix the mistakes Adolf Hitler made during the war and change history to a timeline where the Nazis won. Obviously, that won't sit well with either Helena or Jones. Helena is as obsessed with the dial as her father, a former colleague of Jones, was. And we all know how Indiana Jones feels about Nazis.
Jones and company race to find the other half of the Archimedes Dial, likely across the usual map travel sequence we've all come to know and love. Along the way, he will even reunite with Jones' old friend Sallah (John Rhys-Davies), who also helped Indy in "Raiders of the Lost Ark" and "The Last Crusade."
The first four "Indiana Jones" movies will be available for streaming on Disney+ starting May 31. "Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny" hits theaters on June 30.
-- Blake Stilwell can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. He can also be found on Twitter @blakestilwell or on LinkedIn.
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