Librarian, The: Return To King Solomon's Mines (2006)
TNT is heading back to the library for more rip-roaring, pulse-pounding adventures with the protector of humanity's greatest secrets in this sequel to the enormously successful TNT Original movie The Librarian: Quest for the Spear. Noah Wyle (ER) is back in the title role, co-starring this time with Gabrielle Anwar (Scent of a Woman). Bob Newhart, Olympia Dukakis and Jane Curtin are also reprising their roles from the original. THE LIBRARIAN II: RETURN TO KING SOLOMON'S MINES is directed by Jonathan Frakes (Star Trek: The Next Generation), with Dean Devlin (Independence Day, The Patriot) serving as executive producer under his Electric Entertainment banner. The script is by Marco Schnabel, based on characters created by David Titcher.
Only one film under his belt, and already Flynn Carsen (Noah Wylie) is talking like Indiana Jones. "Relax," he tells a companion before daringly retrieving an ancient artifact before it can be used for evil. "This kind of stuff happens to me all the time." A character of modest charms (much like this made-for-cable movie), Carsen is not your typical movie action hero. His brain serves him better than his brawn. Early on, his knowledge of vegetation plays a key role in a cliff-jumping escape from pursuing bad guys. Carsen, for those just tuning in, is a librarian at the Metropolitan Library, which secretly houses history's mythic artifacts, including the sword Excalibur, and the Shroud of Turin. The fate of the world is once again in Carsen's hands when a map to the legendary King Solomon's Mines is stolen. Carsen embarks on another fantastic global adventure, with stops in Casablanca (with inevitable references to the Humphrey Bogart classic) and Kenya. This time, he has new female companionship, Emily (Gabrielle Anwar), a beautiful archaeologist who can match the much-educated Carsen degree for degree. Reprising their roles from the first film are Olympia Dukakis as Flynn's meddling mother, who tries to fix him up with his third cousin ("You'll have plenty to talk about"), Jane Curtin as flinty library administrator, Charlene ("Save your receipts"), and Bob Newhart as his mentor, Judson. Savvy viewers will see plot twists and character revelations coming from a mile away, but that is all part of the fun, as are the hokey special effects and knowing humor ("There's always a secret passage," Carsen observes while navigating a catacomb). Who know if there will ever be another Indiana Jones
movie. Until then, The Librarian
is worth checking out, especially on DVD, where it can be enjoyed without intrusive commercial interruption. --Donald Liebenson