Saturday, February 8, 2014

The Adventurer: The Curse of the Midas Box
Released in U.K. on January 10th, 2014;
Available on DVD, Blu Ray and VOD February 11th, 2014

Written by: Christian Taylor, Matthew Huffman, based on the novel by G.P. Taylor
Directed by: Jonathan Newman
Michael Sheen as Captain Will Charity
Sam Neill as Otto Luger
Lena Headey as Monica
Ioan Gruffudd as Charles Mundi
Keeley Hawes as Catherine Mundi
Aneurin Barnard as Mariah Mundi
Mella Carron as Sacha
Tristan Gemmill as Isambard Black
Daniel Wilde as Cleavy
Xavier Atkins as Felix
Vincenzo Pellegrino as Grendel
Oliver Stark as Glocky
Ian Reddington as Ratchit
Brian Nickels as Grimm


Review by Stephen M.

Trying to emulate several great action/adventure movies is a great formula for success.  The Adventurer: The Curse of the Midas Box which is out next week on DVD, Blu Ray and VOD is fun and full of adventure if not very original.  Based on a novel by G. P. Taylor, the cast includes several notable actors like Sam Neill (Jurassic Park), Michael Sheen (Romeo & Juliet) and Lena Headey (Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Game of Thrones).  The movie while interesting does not quite capture the magic of the blockbusters of Hollywood it imitates.

From Men in Black (secret government agents), to Sherlock Holmes (Victorian era mysteries and villains), there's just something all so familiar throughout this movie.  When Mariah Mundi's (Aneurin Barnard) parents and little brother Felix (Xavier Atkins) goes missing, it's up to him to find and rescue them.  Along the way he gets the help of his parents' mysterious friend William Charity (Michael Sheen) and hotel seamstress Sacha (Mella Carron).  His parents had obtained keys to a rare relic (Midas Box) that supposedly can turn anything you put in it into gold.  The villain of the series when he's not being chased by dinosaurs is Otto Luger (Sam Neill).  He wants the Midas box for a more nefarious purposes than stockpiling up gold.

I love the costumes and sets of the movies with which if you see the "Making of" on the DVD, you'll see how it all is put together.  Aneurin while having the look that captures the essence of that time fails to have the charisma in the movie to make him a likable character.  I am not sure if it's solely the fault of the actor or if it's just the way the character is written.  William Charity's character on the other hand would've made a great main character, matching Robert Downey Jr.'s Sherlock Holmes in charisma, subterfuge and action prowess.  Also notable in the movie is Lena Headey as the vicious Monica, head of the hotel that Otto runs, as well as Sacha who slowly catches the eye of Mariah.  Remembering that this is no Hollywood blockbuster, the special effects are quite good, especially the flying tarot card moments which has a Harry Potter feel to it.

Overall, I would recommend renting the DVD or Blu Ray or watching on VOD.  While not entirely original, there's enough fun here if you're into the genres that National Treasure or any of the other films I had mentioned before, you shouldn't be too disappointed in this.  
The twist on the Midas box shows us that the author and filmmakers are trying to make their own stamp on adventure movies.  There are plans to bring the rest of the books that G. P. wrote of Mariah's adventures to the screen making it a trilogy.  I wouldn't mind seeing how some of the cliffhangers, including the one during the credits turn out.


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