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The Adventurer: The Curse of the Midas Box

The Adventurer: The Curse of the Midas Box felt like a waste of good talent.

by Ed Blackadder

Boasting a strong cast of well-known thespians and a healthy budget of $25 million, The Adventurer: The Curse of the Midas Box could have been a film of some significance but instead turned out to be quite a disappointment, worthy of a TV movie perhaps, but just not up to scratch for cinematic release. It's based on a novel of the same name by G.P. Taylor, but having never read it, I can't say if it's even close to the final film version, however, the way the story appears to speed through certain elements of import near the beginning, I think the screenplay has butchered the original tale, leaving out too much of whatever made the book seem worth making into a film in the first place.

The Adventurer: The Curse of the Midas Box tells the story of a powerful box that belonged to King Midas, that grants the owner untold riches but can also be used as a weapon. A group working in secret for the British government, one of whom is Will Charity (Michael Sheen), have been trying to track the box down, but so has the power-hungry, evil Otto Luger (Sam Neill). Will turns up injured at the museum where Mariah Mundi's (Aneurin Barnard) parents work, and are given a key for safe keeping. When Mariah's parents and kid brother are kidnapped by Luger's henchmen, who are trying to retrieve the key, Mariah joins Will in an adventure to try to rescue his family and get to the Midas box first.

The Adventurer: The Curse of the Midas Box
Directed by Jonathan Newman
Cast Aneurin Barnard, Michael Sheen, Lena Headey, Sam Neill, Ioan Gruffudd
Release Date 10 January 2014
Ed's Grade: C

It sounds like a fun movie, if somewhat run-of-the-mill, but instead of a rip-roaring adventure, we got a rather sedate tale with some sedate performances by a cast that didn't look to have their hearts in the film. The only one who looked as though he was having any fun making the film, namely Ioan Gruffudd (Fantastic Four), was only in The Adventurer: The Curse of the Midas Box at the very start and very end. Interestingly, both Gruffudd and Sheen have played British Prime Minister Tony Blair in the past, with Sheen having played Blair twice.

Aneurin Barnard (The White Queen) is a decent actor, who I've seen do much better than his take on the seventeen-year-old Mariah. This part needed someone with a spring in their step to help liven things up a bit, instead of Barnard's low-key approach. Sheen as Will Charity was about the best of the lot, with his terrible makeup and fake nose that was fooling no one. Next would have to be Jurasic Park's Sam Neill (Escape Plan) as the evil Luger, but I've also seen him do bad much better, like his performance in Event Horizon. Lena Heady as Luger's wife seemed like a waste of a good actor, as her part could have been played by anyone, but all these names may have been where most of the budget went, instead of investing in a better script.

Young children may enjoy this adventure film but I doubt anyone above the age of ten will appreciate what little this film has to offer. It's not a complete failure, as far as adventure movies go, but unless you have nothing better to do, I don't think you should go out of your way to see it.

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