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» Sunday, April 12, 2009The Geek Makes Good
Series 3 of Waking the Dead was next in my Netflix queue, but there was a minor bobble with availability, so they sent The Librarian: Quest for the Spear instead. I had added it to my queue on a whim after seeing Noah Wyle talking about the films while discussing the end of E.R.. I had missed the films when they first aired on TNT.
The reviews of this one varied wildly from "fun" to "stupid," but I found I enjoyed it a lot, as did James. It helps if you leave your reality check at the door, or you'll be asking lots of questions like "How come the book Flynn is carrying in his bag doesn't get wet when they land in the river?" If you can suspend your disbelief, this comedy-adventure about a perpetual student (Wyle) who is forced to chuck his studies and job hunt, and who ends up interviewing and getting the job at a very unusual library is a romp. Bob Newhart and Jane Curtin play Flynn Carsen's quirky employers (Newhart especially is a hoot, especially in an action scene at the end), Olympia Dukakis is amusing as Flynn's mother who despairs of her son ever meeting a nice girl and settling down, and Sonya Walger is the cynical, ever alert bodyguard sent to protect him. The plot, involving the theft of the spear that pierced the side of Christ, is preposterous, putting one in mind of Disney's vintage In Search of the Castaways, while the story has riffs of the Indiana Jones films and Romancing the Stone.
This is a television movie so most of the special effects are average, although there's a nice sequence with a rickety bridge. There are quite a few scenes, though, that are obviously green-screen. But after all that, I enjoyed this much more than the overblown hit The Mummy, with its technically stunning but overwhelming SFX and Brendan Fraser's endless mugging.
I'll be interested in seeing the two sequels. I don't expect the plots to make any more sense, but they should be fun to watch.