The Librarian: Return to King Solomon's Mines -- an early look
Well, not that early, considering it premieres tonight on TNT. But it is early enough to let you know that if you are fan of the first Librarian film you will probably like the second installment as well. And, even if you never saw the first one you'll still enjoy it.
For those who are unfamiliar with the film series, The Librarian stars Noah Wyle (ER's Doctor John Carter) as Flynn Carson, holder of 22 college degrees and 'librarian' of the Metropolitan Public Library. Actually, Flynn's job is to find and protect historical and sometime magical items that are stored in the special section of the library. His position of librarian takes him around the world in search of said items, and it sometimes leads to situations no normal librarian would be involved with. I mean, librarians usually aren't held at gunpoint by villains whose books are overdue.
This installment takes place approximately one year after the first Librarian movie, when Flynn went abroad to retrieve all three pieces of the Spear of Destiny from falling into evil-doers' hands. He has been on many quests during that time and is no longer the bookish, unknowing college student he once was. He's more confident, more willing to take additional risks to obtain objects that villains should not have. This time around his quest takes him to Africa in search of the legendary King Solomon's Mines and said king's book, which supposedly grants the reader powers to bend space and time.
Along the way he meets up with Emily Davenport (Gabrielle Anwar, Scent of a Woman), an archaeologist with 25 college degrees (show off), who develops a hate-love relationship with Flynn. Together they meet Jomo (Hakeem Kae-Kazim), a proud village elder who is in the couple's debt after they rescue him from the African desert. They also run into Flynn's 'Uncle' Jerry (Robert Foxworth, Syriana), a friend of Carson's late father who his hiding his real reason for being in Africa when the Librarian is. And, if you've watched enough action-adventure movies you probably know already that Jerry's intentions are not what they seem.
If you enjoy the Indiana Jones movies or other comedy-action-adventures like Romancing the Stone, and if you are a fan of Noah Wyle, then you'll like this film. Granted, some of the special effects are a bit clunky, and the situations they get into and out of jump the bounds of reality, but the actors are strong, the writing is good, and the directing by Jonathan Frakes (Star Trek: The Next Generation) is solid. The movie has a nice mix of tongue-in-cheek humor as well as action to keep it interesting. Wyle, who produced the film, is likeable in his role of Flynn Carson (he was likeable as Carter on ER, except during that whole drug addiction phase, then he was just a git). I don't know if you could compare his character in this film to the role he played on ER for twelve seasons (guest appearances last season). Whereas it look a long time for Carter to learn to be a good physician, it seems that Flynn became a good librarian very quickly.
The supporting cast also needs to be mentioned here as well. Olympia Dukakis plays Maggie Carson, Flynn's mother; a woman who wants nothing more than to see her son happy, even if it means setting him up with his third cousin for a date. Also of note is Bob Newhart as library curator Judson. Unlike Newhart's other television roles, he plays Judson very seriously. He's very unassuming, very serious as Judson: he doesn't play the character for laughs. While he didn't have a big part it was nice to see him in this type of role.
So, since a good portion of the primetime schedule is repeats this week, why don't you give The Librarian a chance. Frankly, I think you'll enjoy it.