The Librarian – Return to King Solomon’s Mines is the first of The Librarian films I have seen. I became interested in them because of the recent first season of The Librarians on TNT. This is the second of three television films in the series.
Our protagonist, Flynn Carsen (played by Noah Wyle) has just brought a crystal skull to be stored safely in the Library. Later that evening, his uncle (more of a family friend, adopted as an “uncle”) gives him an amulet Flynn’s father wanted him to have. After getting home, Flynn is ambushed and a package he received that day is stolen from him. The package contained a map leading to the lost mines of King Solomon, but there are other clues which are needed before the mines can be accessed.
I was introduced to these films through the recent television series on TNT, which I thoroughly enjoyed (looking forward to the second season). I found Return to King Solomon’s Mines to be a bit campy, but still fun for the most part. The acting was a weird mix of excellent (Bob Newhart and Jane Curtin), reasonably good (Wyle), and too melodramatic and cheesy. In parts, this distracted from me enjoying the film.
The special effects were low budget, and pretty much what I expected from a made-for-TV film on TNT. They were not horribly bad, but they often distracted rather than adding to my enjoyment. The costuming in parts was also a bit clichéd and goofy. I enjoyed the campiness of Condorman better.
There were also too many convenient plot points scattered throughout the story that it made the flow unnatural. It often felt like a plot written by a kid: too obvious, somewhat tricky-looking without any depth, and full of deadly adventure which goes beyond believable, even in a fantasy film.
Even with all the problems, Return to King Solomon’s Mines was still fun in a campy way. It definitely won’t win any awards, but it is fun to see in order to find out about the Librarian from the TV series and what happened to him before he met those in the series. Just don’t expect The Avengers.
Release Date: December 3, 2006 (USA)
TV Parental Guidelines Rating: TV-PG
Alcohol/Drugs: 1 (social drinking, drunkenness, some minor smoking)
Language: 1 (minor)
Sexuality: 2 (slow pans up scantily-clad woman, making out, implied sex)
Violence: 2 (poorly-aimed gunfire, torture, violent threats, death by lava)