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DVD Review: The Librarian: Return To King Solomon’s Mines

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Noah Wyle returns in The Librarian: Return To King Solomon’s Mines as the bookish librarian Flynn Carsen. He previously played the same character in The Librarian: Quest For The Spear, which was a cable success that spawned this sequel. Check your tongue firmly in cheek for this stroll through derring-do. There are laughs a-plenty and more trivia about nearly anything than you can shake a stick at.

While the TV-movie-gone-DVD is highly watchable, the story isn't going to take a single twist or turn that the avid movie watcher won't pick up from a mile away. From the pictures Flynn used to draw about his dad's story of adventure and magic, to the real culprit who killed Flynn's father, the movie enthusiast isn't going to be surprised. This is all set up and backstory that lead directly to the solution of the puzzle and what happened to Flynn’s father.

But that's most of the fun in the movie. You know what you want when you sit down and plop this DVD into the player. The Librarian: Return To King Solomon’s Mines pays off in a diverting 90 minutes of good clean fun and black-hearted villains with nothing less than the future of the world at stake.

Jane Curtin and Bob Newhart reprise roles that are campy and fun, and don't stay on the scene very long, but they're welcome. The rest of the film all rides squarely on Noah Wyle's shoulders. Wyle has made this character his and puts it on as easily as an old, favorite tee shirt. Gabrielle Anwar (currently starring in this summer’s replacement series Burn Notice) stars as a rival archaeologist and emerging love interest. She’s as nerdy and geeky as Flynn – in fact she’s more so because she has more degrees than he does. Both of them tend to be naïve about many things and that adds a lot of humor to the story. They play well off of each other.

The first few moments of the movie this time smacks of an Indiana Jones-style beginning, as Flynn goes up against antique thieves. The scene of his return to the library is absolutely hilarious. He passes strange looking statues as he talks to his boss and we quickly learn that Medusa’s head arrived only a short time before – which explains all the new looking statues because Medusa’s gaze could turn an observer into stone.

This movie deals more deeply into the mysticism that the first movie skated around. When Flynn has to duel with an invisible swordsman (or just the sword itself, that wasn’t quite clear), I knew we would be stepping over into the realm of fantasy more heavily this time. Bob Newhart’s character even uses powers that we hadn’t seen before.

In short order, Flynn is once more put on task to locate and bring back an important artifact that has been lost for thousands of years. But first, there’s a birthday party to attend. Watching Flynn be so uncomfortable around his mom and her matchmaking was great. And in this day and age, many heroes and heroines end up getting showcased with their parents, which always leads to deeper characters and more humorous situations. If this series of movies continues, I hope that Flynn’s mother continues to be part of it.

Although we have birthday party, and the introduction of a semi-uncle who was a friend of Flynn’s father, we quickly get down into the adventure. Despite the made-for-TV budget, the movie offers a lot of things to see. I don’t know for sure where the scenes were shot, but they look authentic. And later, in King Solomon’s mines, the sets – though small – look good and have lots of detail.

The plot touches on the same kind of parent-child pain as the first Tomb Raider movie, and it even has stylings toward the H. Rider Haggard Allan Quartermain and King Solomon’s Mines movies starring Richard Chamberlain and Patrick Swayze, as well as the black and white ones. But it's an endearing adventure nonetheless.

Buy it or rent it for the family and enjoy popcorn action and booing the villains. And cross your fingers that this modest little franchise continues. It deserves to.

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About Mel Odom

  • http://midnightcafe.wordpress.com Mat Brewster

    I caught this on the tv a few weeks back. I hadn’t yet seen the first one (though I caught it a little later, again the the tv) and rather enjoyed it. Yeah, it isn’t great cinema but everyone seems to be having a lot of goofy fun, and in the end I had to admit I was too.

  • http://fortresstakes.wordpress.com Fortress Guy

    He is bookish alright. King Solomon’s mines was fun, but perhaps not the strongest entry of the three.

    Overall, it is a fun adventure series. A likable take off on Indiana Jones.

    Here is my take on all three movies with lots of pics and a little wit if you are interested.