In a sentiment that can only be borne out of an unhealthy obsession with identity politics and story subversion, Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny star Phoebe Waller-Bridge has declared that the scene in which her character punches out the franchise’s namesake “was glorious because it was so funny.”
By now, whether through leaks or having seen the film themselves, audiences are more than well-aware of Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s textbook ‘girl boss’ moment in Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny.
If you’re unfamiliar with it and wish to experience it for yourself, consider this your official spoiler warning for the following two paragraphs.
At the climax of the film, finding himself wounded and at his wit’s end in 212 BC thanks to the time travel hijinks provided by the film’s titular maguffin, Harrison Ford’s Indiana Jones surrenders to his despair and begs his goddaughter, Waller-Bridge’s Helena Shaw, to leave him to die in the past.
Unwilling to let his actions cause a potentially universe-ending time paradox, Shaw ignores the pleas of the elder hero and instead decks him in the face, knocking him out cold. With Jones unable to fight back, Shaw forcefully drags him back to the present.
Awakening in his own apartment, Jones is met by a number of his allies, including Shaw, John Rhys-Davies’ Sallah, and, most surprising of all his ex-wife, Karen Allen’s Marion Ravenwood.
With a new lease on life, the hero closes out his story be rekindling his romance with Ravenwood – an opportunity ultimately granted to him by the ‘quick thinking’ of his god daughter.
[Spoiler warning ends here.]
Speaking to EW on this moment of blatant character assassination – it’s insulting to imply that Jones would ever even consider making such a selfish decision, much less ever succumb to a sense of defeat – Waller-Bridge praised, “It’s such a brilliant cut, and it’s such an excellently scripted moment.”
“And particularly because there’s so much fighting and left hooks and all that stuff all the way through the film, when she’s just fighting the bad guys,” she continued. “But to have to level a punch to the hero of the film… It was glorious, because it was so funny.”
Informed by the entertainment news outlet that audiences at two separate screenings supposedly “loudly cheered at that moment”, the Fleabag star laughed before clarifying that, “Underneath, it really had heart and emotion.”
“And that’s really a testament to Jim [Mangold, director] and the Butterworths [Jez and John-Henry] for writing a moment like that,” she explained. “I hope the audience understands why she does it.”
Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny is now limping its way through theaters.