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5 adventure movies to watch before Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny

Indy is back for his fifth and final adventure in Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny. This time around, Indy must hunt down a mysterious dial that he believes could change the course of humanity. Joining Harrison Ford in the cast are Antonio Banderas and Phoebe Waller-Bridge, whose performance was praised by critics at the movie’s Cannes premiere.

But before heading to theaters to catch the new film on June 30th, there are tons of other great adventure movies out there that are loaded with the spirit and vibe of Indiana Jones. From treasure hunting to jungle excursions, treacherous encounters with wildlife, and charismatic casts, these five films are the perfect way to get in the mood for Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny.

The Lost City (2022)

The Lost City | Official Trailer (2022 Movie) – Paramount Pictures

In The Lost City, Sandra Bullock plays Loretta Sage, a romance novelist who writes of daring adventures and passionate love affairs. Channing Tatum plays Alan Caprison, the hunky (but moronic) model she uses for her book covers. Sage ends up getting kidnapped by a sinister billionaire who realizes all of her books are based on real events and places, and that Sage isn’t just a writer, but also a gifted researcher. She’s brought to a remote jungle and forced to help excavate hidden treasure.

The Lost City works so well because of its unexpected dichotomy. It’s a treasure-hunting adventure film, but Bullock’s character is so not an adventurer, giving the movie a Scream-style edge, where it’s both poking fun at the genre while also being a solid entry in it. Plus, the dynamic (and bubbling romance) between Bullock and Tatum works surprisingly well. While The Lost City could have been just another generic rom-com, its jungle setting and story about searching for treasure while also trying to escape an insane billionaire make the movie a lot of fun.

Congo (1995)

Congo (1995) Official Trailer # 1 - Tim Curry HD

Keeping with Indy’s jungle-trekking, treasure-hunting themes, 1995’s Congo is perfect for anyone who wants a bit of adventure with a giant dose of campy insanity. While the basic premise of the film is that a group is searching the jungles of the Congo for rare diamonds, the real highlight is that these diamonds are located inside a volcano that’s inhabited by giant, aggressive, albino gorillas. Also, there’s a friendly gorilla in the movie named Amy who knows sign language and has a special wristband that allows her to talk.

If you’re still reading after that last paragraph, then good for you, you’re in for another treat: The movie’s villain is none other than Tim Curry who spends the entire movie doing a horrendously bad Romanian accent. Congo is not a great movie, nor is it a good movie. Instead, it’s the kind of guilty pleasure you hate yourself for liking. It’s cheesy and laughable, but with its totally bananas premise that combines the zany antics of Tim Curry with blood-thirsty gorillas…you can’t stop yourself from being intrigued.

Oddly enough, the movie was a surprise box office sensation, raking in over $150 million. Even wilder, despite a sea of terrible reviews, it actually managed to earn a few good ones, including one from Roger Ebert who said, “The result is not a movie that is very good, exactly, but it’s entertaining and funny. False sophisticates will scorn it. Real sophisticates will relish it.”

Jungle Cruise (2021)

Disney's Jungle Cruise | Official Trailer

Jungle Cruise was a surprisingly fun film considering its inspiration was a slow-moving boat ride at Disneyland from the 1960s. But thanks to excellent performances by Emily Blunt, Jesse Plemons, and Paul Giamatti (The Rock is in it too), the movie turned out to have a lot of character, great chemistry, and a true summer blockbuster feel.

In the film, which is set in the early 1900s, a team of scientists searches for a mysterious tree that legends say exists deep within the Amazon rainforest and is rumored to have healing properties. To get there, they must face off against jungle tribes, poisonous animals, and even the undead. Plus, a rival team with sinister intentions is also searching for the tree, adding another level of danger to the jungle’s already-perilous environment. The movie was well-received and holds an impressive 92% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes. It raked in almost $221 million at the box office, paving the way for a sequel that was greenlit just weeks after the movie premiered.

The Rundown (2003)

The Rundown Official Trailer #1 - Christopher Walken Movie (2003) HD

2003’s The Rundown follows a bounty hunter (Black Adam‘s The Rock) who is sent to the jungles of Brazil to hunt down Travis (Sean William Scott), the runaway treasure-hunting son of a maniacal millionaire crime boss (Christopher Walken). It turns out that Travis has found a valuable artifact and the duo is forced to escape basically everyone they encounter.

The Rundown is a solid adventure film and Sean William Scott actually does a good job in the movie and isn’t the annoying doofus he often portrayed during that period. Plus, nobody can play an over-the-top cheesy villain better than Christopher Walken (who often stole every scene he was in).

Another really interesting thing about The Rundown is that it came out during an era when the jungle adventure genre was basically nonexistent. Released between Anaconda (1997) and Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull (2008), The Rundown was reviving a genre that had seemingly vanished for an entire decade, making it stand out amongst other 2000s action movies.

Uncharted (2022)

UNCHARTED - Final Trailer (HD)

It should come as no surprise that Uncharted is a great film to watch for Indy fans considering the game it’s based on was directly inspired by Indiana Jones and Tomb Raider. What is surprising, however, is that, unlike most movies adapted from video games, Uncharted was actually good. Starring Tom Holland and Mark Wahlberg, the movie (and games) are about an adventurer who goes out in search of hidden treasure and his long-lost brother.

From mysterious caverns to airplane action sequences, and even a giant fight between two pirate ships that are both dangling mid-air and being transported by helicopters – Uncharted truly is a wild ride and feels like an Indiana Jones adventure brought to life for the modern era. Holland’s excellent performance in the movie also really helped give Uncharted a dose of character and heart.

When speaking to Digital Trends before the movie’s premiere, director Ruben Fleischer said that Holland was already a huge fan of the game, which made his portrayal of Nathan Drake authentic. The director said, “It was super helpful to have Tom Holland on set because he’s a huge fan of the game itself. If he were to pick up a piece of paper in the space, he’d make sure to turn it over and back just like Nathan Drake would do.” Fleischer added, “That’s a detail that even I wouldn’t have thought to have done, but as a huge fan of the game, he wanted to make sure every moment felt like an Uncharted moment.”

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