The Librarian - Return to King Solomon's Mines (2006)

Actors: Noah Wyle, Gabrielle Anwar, Bob Newhart, Jane Curtin, Olympia Dukakis
Jonathan Frakes
Closed-captioned, Color, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only)
Number of discs:

DVD Features:

  • Available Subtitles: Spanish
  • Available Audio Tracks: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • "In the Den with the Librarian's Special Effects Artist" featurette


At least some originality wouldn't have been uncalled for in this made-for-TV rip-off of the Indiana Jones movies directed by Jonathan Frakes, Captain Packard's second-in-command in Star Trek - Next Generation (who had better luck at directing with Star Trek - First Contact).

Instead The Librarian ? Return to King Solomon's Mines steals scenes such as the opening of the ark (replete with bad guy chanting incantations in ancient Hebrew) and those maps with an arrow indicating to where our heroes are traveling straight from Raiders of the Lost Ark, not even bothering to mask their theft by making some sort of post-modern wise crack along the way to pretend that it is a "homage" and not outright plagiarism.

Noah Wyle is a ?librarian? at a secret library where ancient mythical artifacts such as the Excalibur sword and the ark of the covenant (ho-ho) are stored. (Wouldn't that make it a museum then? Shouldn't it be called The Museum Custodian in that case?)

Anyway, Wyle's character doesn't seem to spend a lot of time at the library - in fact we don't even see him once putting away books and organizing them according the Dewey decimal system. Instead he is always gallivanting across the globe rescuing (stealing?) artifacts from right under the noses of bad guys, much like another certain globe-trotting adventurer we know so well.

THE DISCS: You get a trailer for the original TV movie subtitled Quest for the Spear (this is the first sequel) and for The Closer second season DVD box set. There is a short documentary about the special effects, but let's be honest: this sort of thing got boring when all they began to consist of is a bunch of computer geeks sitting in front of their PCs; it is much more interesting to learn, for instance, that the planet Krypton was an exploding tennis ball in the original 1970s Superman movie .

WORTH IT? Don't get me wrong: per se I don't have any issues with Indiana Jones rip-offs ? after all, the first Mummy movie and Sahara were kinda fun - but The Librarian is so hobbled by its unoriginality and (very) limited budget that the movie merely comes across as embarrassing.

The computerized special effects (for all you South Africans out there: the effects were amongst others handled by a Cape Town-based outfit) are so clunky and cheap looking that even with all the advances in computer technology the quarter century pre-CGI effects in Raiders actually comes across a whole lot better. The sets and stunts are also stunted by a lack of budget. It all just looks cheap. The cast is game, but Wyle's constant mugging proves that he simply ain't no Harrison Ford.

RECOMMENDATION: Ultimately The Librarian is too ambitious for its own good. If only they had a bigger budget and made another pass at the screenplay and removed those too obvious rips from Raiders of the Lost Ark.



blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest Headlines

Most Popular

Copyright © 1997-forward James O'Ehley/The Sci-Fi Movie Page (unless where indicated otherwise).