The Librarian Trilogy: The Librarian: Quest For The Spear, The Librarian: Return To Solomon’s Mines and The Librarian: Curse Of The Judas Chalice (film review).

Before you watch the TV series ‘The Librarians’, you need to watch the three earlier films. I pulled them as a boxset, and the one I got is Region 1, so I hope your DVD player is multi-region.

The first is ‘Quest for the Spear’, made in 2004. Flynn Carsen (actor Noah Wylie) is a professional student with some 22 degrees, specialising in Egyptology, and in his 30s, he kicks out of university to find the real world. At home, he gets a mysterious envelope telling him he’s got a position at the local library, only to join a very long queue. He gets through an unusual interview to become ‘The Librarian’. Judson (actor Bob Newhart) shows Carsen the artefact museum and tells its very secret at the pain of death not to tell anyone what he does.

On his first day, supervisor Charlene (actress Jane Curtin) and Carsen discover Judson unconscious and the spear of destiny stolen. He’s been ordered to bring it back. They only have one part of the spear, and he has to find the other two parts to retrieve the stolen piece. On the plane to South America, he meets Nicole Noone (actress Sonya Walger), and they don’t get on until there is an attempted hi-jack by the Serpent Brotherhood, and she rescues him, jumping out of the plane. For the team, he’s the brain, and she’s the muscle. They also discover that the Serpent Brotherhood is following them. The rest is classified because it follows them from here to Shangri-la and has far too many spoilers. The Serpent Brotherhood is led by Edward Wilde (actor Kyle MacLachlan), who leads from the front.

I have to confess, I kept thinking ‘Warehouse 13’ but that happened 5 years after these films, although I do have to wonder why I can’t recall these films popping up on UK TV. This is certainly watchable and loads of fun.

The second film, ‘Return to Solomon’s Mines’ (2006), has Carsen getting a clue to said mine after getting a crystal skull from Atlantis in Colorado, as you do. Judson orders him to find King Solomon’s treasure but keep the mines secret. Carsen can’t be that bright if he doesn’t know the film ‘Casablanca’ was never filmed in Casablanca. At a dig there, he meets Emily Davenport (actress Gabrielle Antwar) and her team doing a private dig for the Queen of Sheba’s relics. They don’t exactly hit it off, although he discovers he’s not the only one searching.

He returns late at night seeking his clue and ends up with Davenport when they are attacked and, because he is wearing a masonic symbol, is given his first clue to go to Kenya for the next. They get a guide there in the form of Jomo (actor Hakeen Kae-Kazin). The rest becomes spoiler-free but predictable as villains follow their trail.

In many respects, with any journey plot, there is a lot of convenience in plotting to have the right things in place to move the story along, even if it is loaded with plot holes. When was the last time you heard that hippopotamuses liked chocolate? Exactly.

Even before I got to ‘Curse of the Judas Chalice’ (2008), I was already experiencing a bit of sameness with the plot and do wonder, when it came to the series, that was the reason why they decided to make the Librarians a group for variety. The usual shenanigans include getting the Philosopher’s Stone, fighting a rival, and losing a girlfriend for always being late. Carsen feels overworked and has given him some vacation time, which he spends in New Orleans.

Meanwhile, Sergei Kubichek (actor Dikson Tulain) goes to New Orleans, grabbing Professor Emil Lazio (actor Bruce Davison) for translation along the hunt for the Judas Chalice, using a map to revive Dracul’s body to revive Russia’s aggression. Carsen meets singer Simone Renoir (actress Stana Kayic) and finds that not only does she know who he is, but she also hands him a relic just in time for Kubicek’s men to try to grab it. Unless you have your library card, the rest is again classified.

This disc also has extras. 7 minutes of ‘Deleted Scenes’, although looking at the three of them, it’s more like extended scenes. Another 7 minutes of ‘Visual Effects Deconstruction Sequences’ show how much CGI was added to the scenes, showing how much was really real with eleven scenes. It does demonstrate acting skill to nothing at all. Finally, ‘A Look Behind the Monastery Scene’, running for 2 minutes, shows how it was built up in production.

My comment about the second two films being repeats of the first one is largely because my story-writing mind picked up similar patterns, and I did spread them out over three weeks. The problem with any quest plot is that you’re likely to lay out similar elements and mysteries. As these films were laid out originally over six years, you were probably less likely to remember them. Quite why it took that 8 years before the series beats me, but that’s Hollywood. I’m just going to fit it over the summer months.

GF Willmetts

March 2024

cast: Noah Wylie, Sonya Walger, Bob Newhart, Kyle MacLachlan, Kelly Hu and many others

check out website: www.sonypictures.co.uk


Geoff Willmetts has been editor at SFCrowsnest for some 21 plus years now, showing a versatility and knowledge in not only Science Fiction, but also the sciences and arts, all of which has been displayed here through editorials, reviews, articles and stories. With the latter, he has been running a short story series under the title of ‘Psi-Kicks’ If you want to contribute to SFCrowsnest, read the guidelines and show him what you can do. If it isn’t usable, he spends as much time telling you what the problems is as he would with material he accepts. This is largely how he got called an Uncle, as in Dutch Uncle. He’s not actually Dutch but hails from the west country in the UK.

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