Mixed Reception at Cannes: Indiana Jones 5 Falls Short of Disney’s Expectations
With the Indiana Jones franchise currently facing a lackluster state, as evident from the lukewarm reception of the previous sequel, the forthcoming release of Indiana Jones 5 on June 30 carries significant weight. This upcoming installment not only marks Harrison Ford’s final portrayal of the iconic title character but also represents the first time another director takes the helm, departing from Steven Spielberg’s involvement. Furthermore, Disney’s commitment to the franchise remains apparent, as they plan to develop an Indiana Jones TV show exclusively for Disney+.
However, an unexpected decision by Disney to screen the film out of competition at Cannes resulted in an early wave of negative reviews lingering for over a month. Currently, Indiana Jones 5 holds a “Rotten” status on Rotten Tomatoes, with a critics’ score of 51% based on 31 reviews. One Rolling Stone critic reflects, stating, “While some needs are satisfied here, the focus seems more geared toward appeasing the fanbase and ensuring financial success rather than delivering a compelling narrative.”
According to the BBC, Indiana Jones 5 has been described as a “gloomy and depressing final act.” Harrison Ford’s performance, which moved him to tears during a standing ovation at Cannes, is praised as a standout element of the film. However, other critics who have seen the movie early have characterized it as “safe,” “wacky,” and “empty” overall.
Matt Belloni, formerly of The Hollywood Reporter and now with Puck News, mentions in his newsletter that the Indiana Jones franchise has a history at Cannes, although it predates the social media era. He also notes that blockbusters often receive mixed responses at the festival. Currently, the critical response on Rotten Tomatoes is even worse than that of the poorly received Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. It is hoped that this response can be improved over time.
In fact, it would be disappointing if the initial critical response turns out to be an anomaly. Given that Harrison Ford’s involvement in the franchise has contributed to its impressive box office earnings of $1.3 billion thus far, it would be unfortunate if his final appearance ended on a negative note.