Tanya, Linus, and I were privileged to get to see The Adventurer: The Curse of the Midas Box prior to its official theatrical release on 1/10/14. Overall I would say that it is a great adventure movie for families, although some darker moments and occult references might be too scary for younger children.
Charles Mundi (Ioan Gruffud, Glee, W.) and his wife Catherine Mundi (Keeley Hawes, The Tunnel, Identity) are agents of the Bureau of Antiquities, a secret branch of government tasked with obtaining and protecting significant and dangerous archaeological artifacts. Their children Felix (Xavier Atkins) and Mariah (Aneurin Barnard) are unaware of this encountering a wounded colleague of their parents, Charity (Michael Sheen, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn), after which their parents are captured. Will the two brothers be able to defeat the sinister Otto Luger (Sam Neill,Jurassic Park, Bicentennial Man) rescue their parents and prevent the world from evil the likes of which hasn’t been seen for centuries?
Overall, I liked The Adventurer: The Curse of the Midas Box. The story takes place in late 19th century England, which in of itself inspires the imagination. The characters are well-thought out and the story is compelling, although it took me about 15 minutes to get sucked into the action.
Sam Neill’s cold, collected performance creates the perfect villain. You immediately dislike and distrust him from the moment you lay eyes on the character of Otto Luger.
The story has many twists and turns, some of which the viewer can pick up on or guess at and others which will come as a complete surprise. There was enough action to hold a viewer’s attention while still leaving room for exposition.
From a technical perspective the film is well-produced. Computer effects are used but, blend in naturally with the environment. Character interactions are well-executed and timed. My only complaint is that the overall color palette of the film was very dark and it seemed to be under-lit either intentionally or in post production filtering. The lighting is often soft and can give a dull, muted look to some colors.
The film is safe to view for family audiences, although it is rated PG for good reason. Some of the action and drama sequences might be too much for younger children. There is no swearing and violence is not gruesome or graphic.
However, there is a clear occult/supernatural reference in one critical scene in the movie, which might be either offensive or slightly disturbing to some Christian viewers.
Overall I would say it is a very entertaining film with a twist that will leave the viewer questioning what will happen next to the Mundi boys and their new-found place in the Bureau of Antiquities. I would rate it a 4 out of 5, only because it did take a while for the story to take off, for the dull lighting combined with dark color pallette, and for the brief occult reference.
Copyright 2014 Chris Weitzel