Sunday, December 05, 2004

The Librarian And The Lost Spear

TNT's "The Librarian", an original, made-for-television film turned out to be a fun watch, pitching a smart, young Noah Wyle(ER, A Few Good Men) as the person responsible for managing a cornucopia of secret treasures hidden under the New York Metropolitan Library. These treasures include some of humanity's greatest secrets, such as Pandora's Box and the Spear of Destiny, which is stolen by the bad guys. The rest of the film is the Librarian's quest for the parts of the spear, aided by the requisite female interest, played by Sonya Walger (Coupling, Mind of the Married Man). Bob Newhart appears in an entertaining bit part.

The film's music is it's failing - the canned variety and inappropriate at times. The adventures are predictable with convenient saves out of a video game, such as jumping off a collapsing bridge and being taken hostage by pygmies who turn friendly. Some of the scenes are quite entertaining, as when the hero dances the Blue Danube with his sidekick to get through a torrent of arrows. The hero is very well read and solves most puzzles by dint of his knowledge of topics like ancient Portuguese, the language of the Birds and sheer deduction a la Holmes. Of course, Jimmy Neutron displays similar depth of knowledge, albeit in a different setting.

A few mistakes in the intricate story are evident, like the reference to a language called 'Indian' and linen sheets in a hut in the Amazonian jungle. The story switches from New York to the Amazon jungle, and to the Himalayas in the quest, all depicted visually well, if too set-like. The twists are the usual kind - one will not give them away only so that the reruns are not upset.

Overall, the film is derivative and predictable but a good, entertaining Sunday evening television adventure with good acting by Noah Wyle and an interesting premise that could well derive a few sequels.

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Time traveler, world traveler, book reader