The Librarian
. 2006

Director: Jonathon Frakes

Reviewed by Paghat the Ratgirl

With a soundtrack that just boldly rips off The Magnificent Seven (1960), an intrepid hero (Noah Wyle) from a prime time hospital soap as the nickel-cigar low-budget comedy version of Indiana Jones, & supporting cast of comedians (Bob Newhart & Jane Curtin) who manage never to be funny, The Librarian: Return to King Solomon's Mines (2006) was running on empty at the starting gate.

The LibrarianWylie as super-librarian Flynn Carsen has to get the Crystal Skull, relic of Atlantis, from the tomb-raider thugs who barely reached the treasure cave ahead of him.

It's the same skull as in Indiana Jones & the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008), but that's not from imtation since Wylie's film came out first. It just shows that Indiana Jones has descended into such awful cliche that even a crapfest like The Librarian will accidentally have the same prop.

The encounter with tomb-raider thugs permits a long escape scene similar to several with Indiana Jones except done on the cheap, with plenty of leaping & running through woods & hills & off cliff edges. We never again see the dumb Crystal Skull (until it turned up in the next Indiana Jones film) as the skull is introduced with nothing to do with the rest of the film or its story.

Back at the library, Flynn's attacked by his pet magic sword, Excalibre. The library collects magic stuff & keeps it hidden away from the world in the gigantic secret back room, & it's our Librarian's duty to bring more magic stuff for the private collection thereby saving the world because all that magic would otherwise fall into the hands of bad guys.

His 007 "M" style mentor/boss Bob Newhart isn't especially helpful but can make a dry observation or two. The idea that his overseeing a collection of world-destroying magical treasures all in one secret place makes them safer than when scattered in numerous secret places is the main funny, but the filmmakers never realized that.

Archeologist & eating disordered babe Emily Davenport (Gabrielle Anwar) is doing a Queen of Sheba dig in Casablanca. She will take a side-journey to help Flynn with the primary adventure.

The main gig requires he Key of Solomon, which is a book -- surprisingly it's a real book about Solomon's mystic powers over angels & demons, but the film's version bares no resemblance to the original. With this book Flynn it will be possible to unlock the mystery of King Solomon's Mine.

The Solomonic secret is time travel. But beware of General Shamir (Erick Avari) who looks like a real-life sleezebag politician who actually is head of Egyptian antiquities in Egypt. This villain is apparently named after the shammir worm, a mythological creature which Solomon used to carve the stones for the Temple, but this was apparently not an intentional reference to the particular myth.

It's a way dumb movie & the mine ain't much either. In the mine the villain reads the Key of Solomon to learn to bend time so he can get the girl he lost in youth or who the hell knows why since it makes no sense at all. But the plan goes awry & everything dangerous gets burnt up in terrible CGI FX.

Since nothing in the film is original, it's success hinges on finding it funny. I didn't find its attempt at comedy any better than its attempt at magic & adventure, so for me it just sucked all the air out of the room.

But I'm sure it has a suitably adoring target audience, including anyone who likes to see what their old sitcom & soap stars are up to lately. I would further recommend it to anyone who wants a safe comedy adventure with no bad language, nothing scary or bloody or over-stimulating, suitable to little kiddies & hardcore religious nutsack grandmothers with bad hearts, a grand evening's viewing for the entire Wuss family.

copyright by Paghat the Ratgirl

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